They are known in our house as zippybags. I try to remember to not refer to items by the trademark name just for accuracy sake, like bandages instead of bandaids and gelatin instead of jello. I'm not always successful, but I try. Whatever you choose to call it, I am a fan.
And I do not care to have another lecture about the evils of plastic from the environmental police, please. Yes I already know, thank you. Which is why I re-use them as much as possible. They can be washed, turned insideout to dry and used again several times. As long as the actual closure still maintains it's integrity, it's all good.
Generally we have two sizes in this house; a larger gallon size and the much smaller sandwich size. In all honesty, I use the larger ones far more than the smaller. One box of the small zippybags can get me through a year or longer. The gallon sized bags are useful for so many things. Freezing baked goods for one thing. A batch of cookies, a loaf of bread, brownies, muffins, and etc, all fit just perfectly in a gallon bag. When I make a batch of chili or gumbo (I don't seem to know how to make a small batch of either of those) the leftovers pour beautifully into the gallon bag and then pop right into the freezer for another day. The food is preserved exactly as I anticipate it to be. Perfect!
If we are going to be away for more than a couple of days when we travel, I put full sized bottles of shampoo into gallon bags to protect everything else in my suitcase! A wet swimsuit also will squish right into one for the trip back home. Nothing leaks! Yay! The inside stuff says on the inside. Quite honestly, nothing else works as well. I know because I have tried. So as I said at the start, yes we use zippybags in this house.
Generally I buy the brand name ones. That blue and green box up above. I believe they are made by Johnson & Johnson. Because I re-use bags, one box can last me quite awhile and because they really do their job so well, it feels, to me, as if buying the brand name zippybags are worth the price.
But just after Thanksgiving last year, I bought a different brand thinking that I was being smart, saving a few bucks. Big Mistake! All zippybags are not equal.
When I start gathering the product necessary for my cookie baking marathon every year, one of the many items on the list is zippybags. Lots of them. I try to make, at minimum, 13 different kinds of cookies (usually more). Each of those kinds of cookies needs to be broken down again into separate zippybags for each of the boxes of cookies I'm shipping to the kids plus whatever is leftover for neighbors, my sister and us. Lots of bags.
I buy cookie baking marathon product where ever I can find it. Some of it comes from my local Publix, some from Costco but there are somethings I can only find at Walmart, of all places. It was while we were at Walmart last year that I spied the enormous box of no-name brand zippybags for cheapcheapcheap. Hey, a zippybag is a zippybag, I sez to myself and threw it into the cart tickled at the idea of a little savings.
As it turned out, I hated them. First of all the plastic bag itself wasn't a substantial enough. They had a tendency to tear and needed to be handled with great care. When I am in the midst of my 3-day cookie-a-thon, I'm like a machine. I am cranking out batches of cookies like a madwoman. I do not have time to be delicate with a zippybag. So every time we spied a tear or a pucker, we had to rebag and throw away the original. No savings there! Wasteful!
Then too, each bag had two separate layers of zippies. Annoying as all get-out. And the zip need to be started from one particular direction or it didn't work at all. ARGH! Even more annoying! When I'm deep in cookie-mode, having to slow down to re-zip a bag closed and start from the other side and two zip TWO zippies per bag closed made me crazy.
And worst of all? There were so dang many zippybags in that box that I just last week finally used the last one thank goodness! I will NEVER EVER buy walmart zippybags again. EVER!
But I will still buy zippy bags. I remember, in my childhood, the sandwiches in my lunch box were placed in small sandwich sized waxed paper bags. The waxed paper bags did keep the sandwich in one piece, I mean, it wasn't as if I was finding the bread on one side of my lunch box and the innards spread around. But without that definitive closure that a zippybag offers, there wasn't much by way of actual perservation. By lunch the bread was starting to show signs of staleness for sure.
By highschool, they created a sandwich sized plastic bag with a fold-over top that "locked in freshness" as the commercial went. It was an amazing thing! It really was a boon to lunchbag sandwiches but you absolutely couldn't put anything wet in there because they leaked. They leaked a lot, in fact, which was discovered the first time I tried packing an egg salad sandwich. What a mess! And if you put in, for instance, grapes that had been rinsed, you had better be certain that alllllll of the grapes were dry before you packed them or the water would be all over the inside of your lunch bag. Wet paper bag are seriously compromised. Just sayin'.
By the time my kids were in school, the zippybag was a real thing. I could put almost anything in their lunchsacks and not worry about leaks or staleness or anything else. It was glorious!
But when I look back to before my childhood, I realized that things were a lot worse. Sandwiches were wrapped in butcher paper, in newspaper, or re-useable cloth. My dad carried a lunch pail to school. It was literally a small bucket with a metal handle and a clean rag or newspaper tucked into the top of it. Anything could be in that bucket. But whatever it was had no way of staying fresh. Of course he ate it anyway. Food is food, especially for a young growing boy or girl. And back then, that's just what you did.
I happen to know that plastic bags became fairly common in the late 1950's. I remember one kid that I went to school with when we lived in California who didn't have a lunchbox or paper lunch sack. She brought her lunches in a used Wonderbread plastic bag. It was colourful and I suppose it worked. One does what one must.
I know that they make little plastic containers for sandwiches now that are re-useable. I'm guessing that a lot of folks use those. I suppose it makes sense. Kids will just throw away a zippybag but the plastic containers they might remember to bring back home to be washed and re-used.
I wonder what the next generation will use? What will be the next development for convenience, freshness, tidiness and food preservation? Maybe they will find a way to make a really good container that will bio-degrade? Or even better..one that can be eaten! No waste at all! Great idea. Hey somebody invent that will you please?
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.