so! i'm trying to reduce the amount of ziploc bags we go through, which admittedly isn't tons, but also admittedly could be about zero if we worked at it. whenever i go to campus for any length of time, i bring lunch along with me, and i usually use at least two ziploc bags each time: one for my sandwich, and one for crackers or something (to be dipped in hummus), and/or one for dessert, if it's cookies or something "loose" like that. now, i don't go to school all day very often (especially this past year, being on sabbatical), but still, even going a few times a week adds up to a bunch of garbage. my husband tends not to pack lunches for himself (he just packs them for me! score!), so it's really just me using all these bags.
i decided to buy a few reusable sandwich bags to give them a try. i ordered a pair of these lunchskins from 3 green moms, and i also ordered two snack taxi bags (one in the sandwich size, and one in the snack size). i haven't had a chance to try them out very thoroughly yet, but i'm working on it. my first impressions are pretty good, although i have a couple of general concerns.
first is the dreaded jelly problem: i can't tell you the number of times i've pulled my pb&j out of my lunch bag and found that some jelly has seeped out of one side. not a ton, but just enough to get on the ziploc and be sticky. i'm not really looking forward to that happening in these new bags, because wiping up jelly everyday is kind of yucky. the couple of times i've used the bags already, i've made Extremely Neat Sandwiches with Very Careful Peanut Butter Boundaries, but let's get real because that's not always going to happen. well, and now that i think about it… sometimes the peanut butter seeps out the side, too, and that's not fun to clean up, either. meh.
second is the freshness issue. as my husband pointed out, velcro flaps don't really mean airtight, so i'm wondering if i'll ever end up with slightly stiff bread or mildly stale cookies. so far, so good, but only time will tell!
if anyone has had experience with either of these bags, let me know how you like them… or if you have any specific cleaning tips. so far, i think i prefer the snackTaxi bags, because they're more flexible, and therefore easier to quickly turn inside out and back again. then again, the velcro strip is wider on the lunchskins, so maybe i'll notice that they keep things fresher. stay tuned, i guess!
my next project is finding the perfect lunch bag (i.e., the bag to carry all this stuff in). right now i'm using a (free) insulated bag from whole foods–they gave them away when they opened up in our town. i like it okay, but it's designed kind of funky and i've been wondering if i'd like different shapes better. i'm also wondering whether i need insulated or not, since i have a mini-fridge right next to my desk. any recommendations, i'd love to hear them!