Reusable (Food) Storage Bags -- What do you think?

I have been seeing these reusable storage bags in stores and online. I am pretty interested in them, especially the durable silicone ones. They are certainly not inexpensive. For example, a Stasher or Zip-Top sandwich size bag is $12. A regular Ziploc is $0.1-0.15 – approximately 100 times difference.
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https://www.amazon.com/Stasher-Silicone-Reusable-Bag-Sandwich/dp/B01DZQT99I/
https://www.amazon.com/Zip-Top-Reusable-Platinum-Containers/dp/B07TYHRWSD/

There are cheaper brands than Stasher and Zip-Top, such as the Akeeko bags which are about 1/4th the price ($15 for 4 bags), so they will be 20 times more expensive than a Ziploc bag.

They are advertised to be used >5000 times. I like the idea of durable and reusable. The thing is that I am already reusing some of my Ziploc bags (depending what they were used for). While the 5000+ uses of these silicone bags sound great, I doubt I will live long enough to use each of them more than 200 times for freezer bags.

What do you think? Anyone has purchased and liked them? Did you only buy 1-2 to replace your regular sandwich bags? Or did you purchase 20+ of them to replace all occasions. Anyone not purchased them because they look like a bad idea? Thanks.

These are not Cookware, but not sure where I want to put this topic under.

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What is the added value over Tupperware/Rubbermaid/Lock-n-Lock containers?

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For me, if I am only bringing foods to work or another location, then these silicone bags have no addition value over a rigid container like Tupperware. For me, it is mainly for storing foods in a freezer where I want to squeeze out as much air as possible to reduce freezer burn (which it not possible for a rigid container. This is why I won’t able to use the same bag >5000 times.

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Ah. Have you explored vacuum sealers?

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One concern some may have: if you have children who don’t understand that these are more like refrigerator containers and less like Ziploc bags, they may end up throwing them out after use.

That said, I have no idea who would use one of these 5000 times. You have to wash it each time (one presumes); even with daily use and wash, that’s almost 14 years! I suppose they could become family heirlooms or something. :slight_smile:

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We have a handful of stasher bags rec’d when they first went into online promotion and they have held up 5 years already. We clean them in the top rack if the dishwasher opened btwn the rack tongs.
The large ones are used to store ice cubes; instant cold pack. The other 4 sizes we use to stack purees and small leftover items like peas, corn off the cobb. These do the job, require no other equipment and for two people or less are quick and easy carriers. Plastic wrap can be messier and req repurchase, electric sealers req much more than that. For what they are, they work without the bulk of Tupperware.

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I haven’t, and don’t plan to. Even rigid silicone rubbers are a PITA to keep clean imx, and the softer ones are even worse. (I might feel differently if I had a dishwasher, but I don’t.) I use silicone rubber spatulas because I think their utility (far) outweighs the bother of having to re-wash them before using them if they sit around unused for more than a few days (I dunno what it is, but they pick up a weird, smeary residue awfully quickly), but in general I’m not a huge fan of silicone rubber in the kitchen…

I do have a vacuum sealer for longer-term storage purposes though, and use regular (polyethylene) freezer bags for short-storage or sometimes traveling with things when a rigid container would be significantly more cumbersome. As a balm to my eco-concerns (which aren’t dogmatic to begin with) I do try to re-use them , but how and how often depends on what I’ve stored in them. It’s not worth the trouble to me to try to “scrub” oily/fatty food residues off the insides (even turned inside out), but I do re-use them for less messy/water-soluble foods until they start to noticeably weaken (or literally fall apart), and then usually save even even those to throw away oily/liquid kitchen and/or other waste that I couldn’t really just toss in the regular garbage, and that wouldn’t be a good idea to pour down the kitchen sink drain (or flush…)

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Forgot to include travel uses. They work really well on travel sized supplies, car snacks and as pool floaters. I like multi use products.

At this point, there are a dozen brands and many diff prices.

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For me, even less likely. I have some other container to bring lunch to work. These sandwich bags will be more for storing frozen meat. I often buy meat, and section the meat into multiple small bags and put them into freezer. So, we are talking about, once every several months. So, let’s say once every 3 months (if that), 4 times a year. 5000 uses would be 1000+ year for me.

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Good to know they held up.

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You bring up a good point about difficult to wash. I only have a couple of silicone tools and they do require thorough cleaning. That being said, if I am not using them to store oily cooked food, but rather only for frozen meat, maybe they will work.

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I have several Stasher bags, some from gifts some I bought myself and use them regularly. I didn’t do the costing out piece but at risk of sounding rich, the cost doesn’t deter me and I would buy them again. I’m actively trying to use less plastic and these absolutely help with that. They hold up very well and I like that I can freeze meat in them and use the same bag for a marinade. Easy cleanup in the dishwasher.

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Being environment friendly is important to me too. That being said, these bags are thick and heavy. e.g. One stasher bag is probably >100 times heavier than a plastic Ziploc bag, so one Stasher bag will need to be reused enough to counter the plastic/rubber. (I don’t know the environmental impact of silicone vs traditional plastic). It is good to hear you have reused them many times and they hold up. I do not use a dishwasher, but my intention is to use them for frozen raw meat, so it may be easy to wash up. Thanks.

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For hand washing, I find them very easy and they dry SO MUCH FASTER then other plastic bags. As for the environmental impact, great question. I do know that they have a program where if your stasher gets damaged you can send it back to them and the recycle them into playground materials.

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Close a Ziploc freezer bag almost completely, squeezing out most of the air. Snug the seal around a plastic straw and suck as you whisk the straw out of the bag, pressing seal and straw together at the last nanosecond, and completing the seal. It’s almost as good as the vacuum sealer I can’t usually be bothered to drag out of storage.

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Yeah. I do that. I cannot remember if you were the one or someone else, but I also partial submerge the ZIploc bag in water to squeeze out the water for a few year now. It works well. The only thing is that should I get these thicker silicone bags to do the same. They seem to be pretty durable (may be not as easy to clean). Either way, I don’t think I will get to a point of completely retire my Ziploc freezer bags. It is just a matters of reducing the usage.

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I’ve been waffling on these for months too, but I am also weary of cleaning. I like the idea of reducing single use plastic bags. I think I might still get good use even if I choose not to put day or oily foods in here. Then I can avoid the PITA cleaning of soft silicone.

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Silicone reusable food bags = sounds like a good idea. Are they easy to clean?

Very easy. Hand wash in warm sudsy water or clean placed in the top rack of a dishwasher. I’m surprised there is any doubt since Tupperware has been around a long time and grocers sell all sorts of plastic containers. This gauge of silicon is no different.

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We do have a dishwasher and I agree. I never use ours. Difficult to clean and dry. Mine are unbranded through Amazon, with slide-over clip seals. I strongly prefer totally clear food storage (food food ID and leftover-consumption purposes) and these don’t meet the need.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold