Did you know that reusable food storage bags exist? They do and I’ve been using them in place of plastic baggies for the past two months. Here’s everything that I learned!
My family is in the process of transitioning to a more natural lifestyle. In previous blog posts, I shared how we switched from paper to cloth napkins, started using homemade cleaning products, and prepared to cloth diaper our third baby.
My ultimate goal is to only buy food at the grocery store. No soap or shampoo. No paper towels. No toilet paper. (KIDDING. Soft, store-bought toilet paper is a must!)
I would love to reduce my dependence on store-bought plastic baggies. Between prepping “no-cook” freezer meals, healthy snacks, and eating all of our meals at home (my husband even comes home for lunch everyday), I buy a lot of plastic baggies. They take up less space in the refrigerator than reusable glass containers and are easy to throw in my diaper bag with diapers, wipes, and back-up clothes for my three young daughters. (Last week I counted and I used 13 plastic baggies – and that didn’t include any snacks!)
I was looking for a gift for a friend who’s into food prep and stumbled upon neat-os reusable storage bags. Eureka! I immediately bought some for my friend and contacted neat-os to see if I could review their products on my New Leaf Wellness blog. The founder, Rachel Ostroy, sent me a “combo pack,” which includes a reusable gallon bag, sandwich bag, and snack bag.
Awesome features of neat-os reusable bags (shared on their website)
- Made of polyethylene-coated canvas cloth created for chefs
- BPA-free, PVC-free, phthalate-free
- Made of certified food safe materials
- Made in the USA (design, materials, production: every part of every bag!)
- Easy to clean — dishwasher and washing machine safe
- Opens and closes with a zipper that cleans easily
- Sewn with external seams so there are fewer places for food to hide
- Features a window to see what’s inside
Plus, they were created by a mom!
Things I’ve stored in my neat-os
- Flour tortillas
- Peeled and sliced carrots
- A sandwich
- A natural energy bar
- Cooked ground beef (in the freezer)
- A marinated pork shoulder (in the freezer)
- Baby clothes and (clean) diapers
- Baby wipes
When my neat-os are empty and clean, I always use them in place of plastic baggies.
One of the things about neat-os that surprised me was how much I love using them for non-food items. They are absolutely perfect for organizing my diaper bag and purse. I feel a little bit weird about using those same bags for food too though (like raw meat). Since neat-os are available in two colors (green and orange), I ordered a different color for my second combo pack, so I can easily tell which ones are meant for food only.
On their website, neat-os state that their bags are not leak-proof or good for super liquid-y items (like soup). Of course I had to give them a try to see what would happen: I filled my gallon-sized neat-os bag with water (over the sink) and the water leaked out the zipper and out of the corners and bottom once it was saturated. I tried also tried freezing a pork shoulder that was marinated in a thick sauce (think ketchup plus grape jelly). The bag didn’t leak in my freezer, but I needed to thaw it in a bowl in my refrigerator so it wouldn’t make a mess.
Using neat-os reusable bags will definitely save me money in the long run. If I spend a conservative estimate of $10/month on plastic baggies, that adds up to $120 per year (every year!). Two combo packs of neat-os and two extra gallon-sized bags retail for a total of $96 (with free shipping). If these neat-os replace all of my plastic baggie use, I’ll save $24 this year and $120 every year after that!
Reusable bags mean less plastic baggies in landfills! According to this source, regular plastic shopping bags take up to 1,000 years to decompose. I wonder how long plastic baggies with seals and zippers take! I used 13 plastic baggies last week. If I do that every week this year, I’ll add 676 plastic baggies to landfills for my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on. That’s simply unacceptable.
The bottom line
I can’t escape disposable plastic baggies entirely. I am still going to use them for my liquid-y freezer meals and times that I’m packaging food for friends. (Although neat-os make a great gift!)
Overall, neat-os reusable storage bags are a fantastic alternative to disposable plastic baggies. neat-os are cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, safe, and easy to clean bags that keep food fresh. I highly recommend neat-os reusable storage bags.
For more information or sales, visit neat-os’ website.
Disclaimer: I was given a “combo pack” of neat-os bags free-of-charge. All opinions are my own.