33 Ways to Re-Use Bread Bags

November 22, 2010 11 comments View all articles in Re-Use-It

Very few of us have time to bake our own bread these days. This is fine, except buying from bakeries or supermarkets results in a mass of leftover bread bags. You can already guess where we're going with this…bread bags wind up in landfills, where they take up to a thousand years to degrade and contaminate our soil and water in the process. The obvious solution is to recycle them. But there are hundreds of ways bread bags may be used before they get thrown away or recycled. To help you get the most out of your bread bags, we've provided a few of the ways you can re-use them.


  • What better use is there for bread bags than holding bread? Instead of using another plastic bag to carry your sandwiches for picnics or long car rides, use a bread bag!
  • You can also use a bread bag to pack your lunches in.
  • If you are one of the last few individuals with enough time to bake bread, keep it in the store-bought bread bags you already have. Or, if you know someone who bakes their own bread, give your bread bags to them!
  • Clean bread bags without any punctures work well for storing and freezing food. The plastic isn't as durable, however, so foods will be more prone to freezer burn.
  • Give leftovers or other homemade foods to friends and relatives in bread bags so you don't have to worry about getting your favorite Tupperware or dishes back.
  • There's no point buying piping bags from the grocery store when you have perfectly good bread bags at home. If you already have the nozzles and tips you need, all you have to do when you want to decorate a cake, cookie, or gingerbread house is fill a bread bag with icing or frosting.
  • Bread bags are perfect for breading or seasoning foods. Just put the breadcrumbs or seasoned flour into a bread bag, add the meat or vegetables, shake, and then bake or fry.
  • If you have a backyard compost, keep a bread bag on your kitchen counter to collect the fruit and vegetable peelings and various other food remnants throughout the day.
  • Use bread bags in your pantry to store dry goods like beans and pasta.


  • Carsickness is never convenient or easy to clean up after; a spare bread bag in the glove compartment can make all the difference for the ill passenger or driver, not to mention the car owner.
  • It isn't safe to have empty water bottles or crumpled papers rolling around in your car where they can get lodged under your brake pedal. Keep a bread bag in your car to collect garbage and help your car's interior look tidier. As long as the garbage is dry, it can be emptied (or recycled) and the bag can be re-used over and over again.
  • Going fishing? Pack some bread bags in the car so you'll have something to bring the fish home in.
  • Bread bags are the perfect size for holding wet swim clothes after a day at the beach or lake.
  • They're also great to have on hand for impulsive berry picking or flower stealing.
  • If you keep some bread bags in your car, you'll be more likely to remember to take them into the store when buying produce.
  • If you have a long road trip planned, remember to take along a bread bag full of healthy snack foods and fun activities to keep the kids happy and entertained.
  • Pack some bread bags in your suitcase to store dirty shoes or laundry on the return journey.
  • Keep shampoos and other liquid items prone to leaking during travel inside bread bags.
  • Protect your matches and kindling for camping and beach trips by putting them in bread bags.
  • Pack some bread bags in your car or diaper bag when visiting friends or traveling, so diaper odors are kept from lingering in and around garbage bins.
  • If you're bringing your pet along on vacation, fill a bread bag with the food they'll need instead of packing the entire twenty-pound bag.


  • Turn a bread bag inside out and use it to pick up pet waste either on walks or in the yard.
  • They're just as convenient for cleaning litter boxes too.
  • If you don't have pets, donate your bread bags to your local pet shelter so they can put them to the same uses.
  • Bread bags are the perfect size for holding yarn in between or during knitting projects.
  • Put a bread bag in your pocket when you go to the beach to collect seashells and pebbles.
  • Keep beach toys and other outdoor toys dry and in one place by storing them in a bread bag.
  • You can also use a bread bag for storing your gardening tools.
  • Put a bread bag over small, potted plants to aid germination.
  • Bread bags are great for family crafts. Cut one into strips and use it for the tail of a kite, or blow one up and use it as a papier mache mold.
  • Instead of bubble wrap or newspaper, blow up a bread bag like a balloon and seal the end for a homemade pillow pack that will keep your items safe during shipment.
  • Use bread bags over your feet before you put snow or rain boots on. They help keep your feet dry and make getting the boots off easier.
  • Bread bags work well as emergency rubber gloves when cleaning toilets or tackling nasty carpet stains.

If your bread bags are clean and still in one piece after being re-used, but you don't participate in a curbside recycling program, look for plastic recycling bins near the doors of your local grocery stores to drop off all your plastic bags. Remember, each municipality has their own set of recycling restrictions so it is important to make inquiries.


Margie on April 2, 2012 at 5:37 a.m.

Some great tips here. Thanks for sharing!

TraceyC on April 2, 2012 at 6:37 a.m.

I always use them to pick up pet waste & store home-made ice cubes.

Kathy on April 2, 2012 at 2:28 p.m.

As a kid, we put bread bags over our socks when the liners of our boots were wet and we still had to wear our boots.

rex@pioneerwireless.net on May 10, 2013 at 7:31 a.m.

I use one to store all my other empty bread bags.
Until I can take them to the recycler.

Rick on Jan. 23, 2015 at 4:16 a.m.

They are great for storing celery that you buy at Jim & Ralph's that have no wrapper. Just wash good, shake off excess water, let dry for a bit then sleeve them in the bag, keeps fresh for weeks.

JJ on May 19, 2015 at 5:08 p.m.

These are all excellent suggestions, people! My idea for them: stash wet cloths in a clean bread bag and some dry towels in another before you go out on a picnic or day trip so you can wash before and after you eat, and put them in the laundry when you come home. Then you don't waste paper towel, and consequently you'll have saved at least one tree.

Groupy on June 11, 2015 at 4:40 a.m.

Don't forget crafts. Or cut in strips and crochet into many useful goodies like purses or tote bags. Mats for the kids to sit on or pillow covers for outdoor furniture.

Patty on April 4, 2016 at 9:49 p.m.

Can you put sandwich bag over your shoes for boots?

Debbie on July 21, 2016 at 10:24 a.m.

Can you use the empty bread bag to store another item in the food dept?
My hubby also uses them as freezer bags? I am worried about all this reuse :/

Amanda Shaw on Feb. 23, 2018 at 4:26 a.m.

Wrap around feet after moisturising, for an hour, with a glass of wine or a cup of tea. And watch your favourite TV show. They’ll be much softer afterwards :)

Rachel on March 9, 2018 at 11:31 a.m.

You're worried about *reuse*? I think this the first time in my life I see someone worried about attempts at curbing waste. Unreal.

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