When friends are waving their hands in the air dismissively and reminding me that "a baggie is, what, a penny or two?", it really almost sounds silly even to me. I mean, if I see a penny lying on the ground, I won't pick it up. A nickel? Maybe. A dime? Probably. A quarter? Definitely. So why do I insist on reusing baggies? (You can read more about that here and here if you want.) Because pennies add up to dollars!
We got through nine months on less than half a box. If I had thrown them away after just one use, I think I would've needed about a box a month. That's an extra eight and a half boxes of baggies! At around $3 a box, I saved over $25. Brand name Ziplocs cost at least a dollar more per box, so you can add in another $8.50 for purchasing the store brand. And that's without even mentioning the one box of quart-size baggies for the freezer, and one box of gallon-size for storage which I expect to last until this time next year.
Maybe you can't buy anything with a penny. But if you had an extra $25 (or $33), would you spend it on baggies? That's what I thought. That's why I wash and reuse mine!
Another Reason to Call Me Crazy
I'm actually a bit flattered when people call me crazy. It feels like a good kind of crazy when you know you have $25 in your pocket that most people spent on baggies...
So here's another reason to call me crazy:
We haven't bought plastic trash can liners in 16 years. When we moved into this house, we discovered that paper grocery bags fit our pull-out kitchen trash can just fine. And we don't just repurpose them once. We use each bag many times, until it becomes stained or torn. All you have to do to make this work is refrain from putting liquids in your trash can. If you really need to put something wet or sticky (like eggshells or coffee grounds) in there, you can enclose it in the plastic packaging from another food item, a worn-out zip-top baggie, a plastic grocery bag, or the bag your newspaper comes in.
Again, I urge you to think about your use of disposables. Reusables may be the key to saving money at the grocery store. But before you start thinking I'm all environmentally conscious, I should admit that's not what motivates me to do these "crazy" things. I just don't like to buy things just to throw them away! But I did make my contribution to the landfill with three years' worth of disposable diapers. Some conveniences are worth the cost.