Packing some savings

29 01 2009

img_1456When my 10-year-old daughter tracked back in to school this week after the looooooooooooong winter break, she packed her lunch as usual but one thing was missing: the zip-seal plastic bags. In their place are reusable Wrap-N-Mats that I bought for her at reusablebags.com.

Leading up to Christmas, I took advantage of reusablebags.com’s free shipping offer and bought a set of three mats for $18.95 and gave them to my daughter as part of her Christmas. You’re probably thinking that gift was about as welcome as a package of new underwear, but she shares my enthusiasm for doing our part to preserve the planet. So she was eager to give them a try on her pb&j sandwiches and rice cakes.

The mats are lined with a plastic that is easily wiped off so you don’t have to worry about messes. And they easily fold and secure with Velcro.

img_1457I have to admit, at first sight, I thought these little contraptions were a tad on the pricey side. So I searched all over the Internet trying to find them at a better price to no avail. So, with the free shipping offer and a previous positive experience with the company, I decided to make the investment in future frugality.

Here’s how it breaks down for my wallet: At Harris Teeter, a 100-count box of Ziploc sandwich bags is $4.29 minus my 40-cent coupon (doubled) would be $3.49.  Of course, I could get them cheaper by waiting for a sale or a triple-coupon promotion, but, in general, I will have recouped my initial investment in the time it would take us to use just 5 1/2 boxes. Savings to the planet? That would have to be priceless, to paraphrase the commercial.

If you have never been to the reusablebags.com site, I would give it a look. It gives a second-by-second tabulation of the number of those ubiquitous plastic img_1458grocery bags we are using. It is shocking. The site also has links to ways you can become active in the environmental movement, how you can reduce your consumption of plastic bags and other throwaway items as well as a full line of reusable products for sale, from grocery bags to water bottles. To top it off, the company donates 1 percent of its sales to organizations devoted to the preservation and restoration of our natural environment.

Forgive me for sounding like a PR flack for reusablebags.com. I just happen to think it’s a terrific company.

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2 responses

3 02 2009
ebtswtmommy

I saw these and also wanted to purchase some, but I’ve decided to have my sister make some for me instead. I found a site that sells “PEVA” fabric (doesn’t have harmful chemicals in the “vinylish” fabric) so that they’ll be washable and another site with directions on how to make them. Now I’ll just have to wait and see when my sister gets around to the project. She is notoriously on her “own” schedule. I asked her to do this because I cannot stand seeing the waste of throwing out plastic baggies all the time. I reuse mine as long as I can, but since my daughter is so young, only in Kindergarten, she forgets a lot and throws them out by accident. I’m also hoping that other Moms might see her wraps and use them also. Every tiny bit helps as far as I’m concerned. I’m hoping a wrap like this would help some of my less “green’ friends recycle.

3 02 2009
freetobefrugal

I never dreamed of making these so I most admire your ingenuity. Please come back and post the links to the sites you found for the PEVA fabric and the instructions. My husband takes his lunch to work so we could use a few more. I’m not the best seamstress but I have a friend who can help me. I bet other readers would be interested as well. Thanks for reading the blog and commenting.

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