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Reuseable Homemade Staples
January 11, 2011
4:52 pm
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annabel52
Youngsville, NC
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I have always been concerned with chemicals that I put in my body and use on my body. I make my own laundry detergent and have started making more things from scratch like bread and I hope to start on cheese soon.

I also make a lot of reuseable items and wondered if anyone else does the same. Although our household is down to two and a “visiting” daughter I try to cut corners when I can.

As I said, I make laundry soap, liquid hand soap, cloth “paper” towels, swiffer duster covers, crochet dish cloths and reuseable sandwich bags.

What does everyone else make?

January 11, 2011
5:17 pm
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aprilejoi
Michigan
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What is the reusable sandwich bag?

January 11, 2011
8:16 pm
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annabel52
Youngsville, NC
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Its a fabric sandwich bag. I made some for myself and have done some for craft shows. It is basically a fabric square lined with nylon with a velcro closing. I have also used them for snacks like goldfish, chips, carrots and such. I don't have any pictures, but check etsy.com and you should be able to see buches.

I made mine from recycled vintage sheets, but all the ones on etsy are made with designer fabrics so they charge big bucks .

The reuseable bags  save boxes of plastic lunch bags. I still use the plastic bags, just not nearly as many.

I do draw the line at reuseable toilet paper!!

January 11, 2011
8:39 pm
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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I make my own dish scrubbies with acrylic yarn…they scrub well but don't scratch.  It's a good way to use up any scrap yarn…about 3 or 4 yards maybe.  When they use up, I toss and make a new one.

I use “cloth” papertowels, too.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

January 11, 2011
8:48 pm
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Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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I won't get into a discussion of how personal hygiene was handled before disposable paper products were available.

But greased squares of cloth were used for a very long time for wrapping food. You simply wipe clean fat up[ with a square of cloth until it is quite covered.. It will be fairly water resistant and far stronger than waxed paper.

I make cloth bags just big enough to hold a quart size freezer weight zipper bag for stowing foods on mthe boat. I fill the plastic bag and protect it with the cloth bag.

January 11, 2011
8:51 pm
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Steph
Snead, AL
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I make laundry soap, all-purpose cleaner for the bathroom/kitchen, use vinegar for soap scum on my shower door, and also clean my toilets with baking soda/vinegar. I have made butter before, but since I don't have a cow, I have to buy heavy cream, which is expensive, so I only make it for special ocassions.

 

Speaking of reusable, I have been wanting to use those reusable bags at Walmart/grocery stores/wherever.  Does anybody else use them? The only reason I haven't tried them is that I only go to the store about twice a month, so I buy a buggy full of groceries! I would have to carry in like 15-20 of those bags! And how do they know you didn't just rip the tag off, put it in your buggy, and say you brought it from home?! Does the Walmart lady have to put a smiley face sticker on your bags when you bring them in? haha.

January 11, 2011
10:07 pm
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justdeborah2002
ottawa ON
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The cloth re-useable grocery bag is standard here.  

We are charged a nickel if we want to have a plastic or paper bag from the store.  So it's completely normal to see people walking in with 15, 20 or more bags.  

And trust me, once you have used the bags more than once, they don't look like the starched bags with the tags still on in the store….one glance will tell you it's used.

queen of make it fit

January 11, 2011
11:22 pm
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CD
California
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I use the reusable grocery bags.  If you know people who attend conferences for work ask them for the canvas giveaway bags they've collected.  Chances are they have acquired a few & are ready to get rid of them.   My next mission is to get the reusable produce bags.  I hate getting all those little plastic bags when I have to buy some produce from the store!

January 12, 2011
1:17 am
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Flatlander
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aprilejoi said:

What is the reusable sandwich bag?


like this one

http://www.skiptomylou.org/2008/05/08/lunch-time/

January 12, 2011
9:18 am
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mammaleigh
NW Georgia
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I am going to have to dig for the link where I saw this but I started making re-useable shopping bags at home. They are made from the plastic ones. Which I like that better I can just rense it out if something happened to spill on it then hang it up to dry. It takes a little while to make them so I have one half finished (I have serious ADD when it comes to crocheting, unless it is the last min.)

Right now I make our laundry soap, candles, 1/2 a grocery bag…I am about to start to make cloth diapers as we are going to start trying for another little one soon, in the summer I will can baby food…I think that is about it.

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living.  The world owes you nothing.  It was here first."  ~Mark Twain

January 12, 2011
9:21 am
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prvrbs31gal
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I've also seen the recyclable sandwich bags that look like ziplocs, with velcro to close.  I did some pretty extensive research into what kind of cloth to use as a liner, since it would have to be (ideally) waterproof AND safe for food.  Long story short is that I could not find ANY easily-obtained material that was unquestionably foodsafe.  If you know of any, please let me know!  I have too many questions/doubts about vinyl that is commonly used in the handmade snack bags sold on Etsy…

January 12, 2011
9:24 am
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mammaleigh
NW Georgia
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http://www.needlepointers.com/displaypage.aspx?ArticleID=34472&URL=http%3a%2f%2fusers.frii.com%2fsos%2fBag%2fMarketBag.html

 

I didnt have to dig too far! Actually I just remembered why I stopped on it, my hubby liked it so much he said that he wanted me to make him a hat out of the material! It is a little crazy looing for a hat but hey he works hard so if he wants it I do it…or at least try!

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living.  The world owes you nothing.  It was here first."  ~Mark Twain

January 12, 2011
9:36 am
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I Wanna Farm
Michigan
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About reusable grocery bags: Make or keep one just for meats so that you don't put fruits and veggies in there and they get contaminated. Just tell the clerk you only want meat in that bag. Also, don't forget to wash them after a few uses, bacteria can get in them from the food. You never know with grocery store 'fresh' foods. After you empty your grocery bags, put them by the front door and next time you get in the car take them out and throw them in the trunk, and you'll never forget to bring them.

I am very interested in those reusable sandwich bags, although I noticed on Etsy that I had to type in the search sandwich, and sandwhich, because a lot of people didn't spell it right and you'll get different results with both spellings. But I want to learn how to sew, and when I do I'm going to make some.

Heather B.

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.
Mark Twain

January 12, 2011
9:49 am
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lavenderblue
WNY
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Do any of our homesewers have a good source of real oil cloth? That seems to be what was used in the 'Skip to My Lou” link. The kind with the fuzzy-ish backing that grandma (or great-grandma, for some of you) thumbtacked to her kitchen table?

Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.  Ogden Nash

January 12, 2011
10:49 am
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Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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Lavender, It seems that today's “oilcloth” is coated with PVC. Perhaps your best bet would be to tack a yard of fabric down and paint it with acrylic paint. you could then stencil it to suit your fancy.

January 12, 2011
11:03 am
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annabel52
Youngsville, NC
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The reuseable sandwich bags I made were lined with unbleached muslin. They did not keep the sandwich as fresh as a vinyl liner but was just fine for me. I too am concerned about food contact with polyvinyl coated fabric. If I had a messy sandwich I just wrapped in wax paper first (I know its not saving, but it keeps the inside clean). The latest ones I have made have been with untreated nylon.

I make the reuseable shopping bags with t shirts. Really easy and those suckers hold a ton of stuff. I use them for storage (yarn,fabric,stuffing) and they work great. I also crochet market bags with t shirt yarn (a little bulky, but strong). I did one for a swap and they are time consuming but sturdy. I also recycled an old curtain for use as a meat shopping bag. Remember the old curtains that were lined with a rubbery, vinyl stuff (60's or 70's) can't remember what the fabric was called. Works great, washes great and since the food dosen't touch the lining it is food safe. Mine is a lovely harvest gold!  I also have reuseable shopping bags made using the walmart plastic bag as a pattern, only my bag has a pocket and is made from vintage sheets.

Some people say “yuck” when I say I recycle old sheets, like they have never been washed! I personally think the sheets offer a sturdy, easily cleaned fabric that is readily available and economical.  A twin sheet is about 2 yards and I usually pick them up for $1 or less. I always wash newly acquired sheets at least twice in warm water with vinegar and line dry them in the sun. They not only smell good but are really clean.

January 12, 2011
11:19 am
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Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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cast off clothing makes very good bags. Pants legs need only closing one end and adding handles. Old houshold linens are great many upholstery fabrics are very good A cast off sofa or chiar has yards of fabric. All you need is a sharp utility knife to harvest what you want. If the piece is out for trash pick up remove some of the covering if it suits your taste.

January 12, 2011
11:21 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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I tried doing a Google search “food safe cloth material”.  MIND BOGGLING!!!  surprised No material seems to be food safe and waterproof at the same time (waterproof to keep contents fresh, keep air out).

Some say oil cloth shouldn't be in direct contact for storing food.  Many don't want their food in direct contact with plastic. 

Some fabrics are waterproof and deemed food-safe, but that side of the cloth should be away from the food.  That doesn't seem safe to me…..

 

TOO MUCH!!!  LOL!!!!

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

January 12, 2011
12:27 pm
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annabel52
Youngsville, NC
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Food touches the plastic grocery bags and people don't think twice about it. I read that the average use time of a plastic grocery bag is 30 minutes.The time it takes to get home and unload.

How much bad stuff is your food going to absorb in those 30 minutes that is not going to be washed off before eating?

My mom used to tell me that anything can be bad for you if you over indulge. Food, drink, drugs, sunshine and everything else…eating

January 12, 2011
12:44 pm
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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I was researching more for the re-usable sandwich/snack bags, continued cotact with food to keep fresh……not just for transport.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

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