Chances are good you still take home groceries in plastic or paper bags but did you know they can be handy for back to school? If you are like our family, we have a whole stash of these bags that we save, as there always seems like a million ways you can reuse them. I try to bring reusable bags, but I still end up with a stack of various paper and plastic bags. When heading back to school, you will find these bags come in handy in all sorts of ways.If you have a stash of paper and plastic bags around your home, now is the time to dig them out or keep them from the trash can.
Did you know that according to the National Resource Defence Council we dump about twenty million tons of plastic into the ocean annually, with a large portion being plastic grocery bags. Back to school time will give you tons of reasons to give these bags a second life and save them from the trash. Below, you will find seven ways to reuse grocery bags at school and not only save money but save the planet as well. Take a look and see which ideas you might care to try during this back to school season.
7 Ways for Repurposing Grocery Bags for Back to School
1. Pack up smelly gym clothes.
Keep a bag on hand to bring sweaty and stinky gym clothes in. It will protect the rest of your items from the dirty clothes as well as keep some of the smell under control. If your child does swimming at school, a plastic shopping bag will easily keep the moisture off of everything else as well.
2. Pack a lunch.
Plastic grocery bags are perfect for throwing lunch items in when on the go. Just toss your items in, twist, and knot closed. Your food will stay safe and fresh, and you won’t need to buy any store bought baggies.
3. Cover textbooks.
Paper grocery bags can easily be cut and folded onto the covers of textbooks. This will keep them safe and protected throughout the school year as they get tossed in book bags and backpacks. If you are in the position to sell your textbooks back at the end of the year, this will help them retain value as well! You can also make decorative notebooks that you can design yourself!
4. Make flash cards.
Cut the paper grocery bags into squares and you can use them as flash cards. Write math facts, vocabulary words, and anything else you can think of. These cards make the perfect study aids. Just cut, write, and you are done.
5. Make plastic hair pom poms.
Fancy up your back to school hair for less. Cut plastic grocery bags into strips and tie in the center. Cut and fluff until you have small, white pom pom flowers. Hot glue these onto headbands or hair clips and you have the perfect hair accessory for pennies! For boys, you can make fun little boutonnieres. You can also make party decorations out of these pom poms if you make them a little bigger, check out the DIY video below.
6. Protect art projects.
Stash extra bags in your child’s backpack to bring art projects home in. This is safer than placing them in a backpack or just carrying them as is. Paint, clay, and other mediums will also be kept off of your child’s clothing.
7. Save for science projects.
Plastic and paper grocery bags can come in handy when doing all sorts of science projects. Paper bags protect your surface well and can be balled up to package items safely. Plastic bags can be used in recycling and trash break down experiments as well. Save your bags as science experiments are sure to be part of your child’s curriculum!
Don’t forget, teachers can always use extra bags for their classrooms. Why not consider donating some to your child’s teacher, so he has them on hand during the year too? They will come in handy for trash, storage, crafts, covering books and so much more.
So don’t pitch those paper and plastic grocery bags. Back to school time is when you will need them the most for these tips and anything else you might be able to think of. When it comes to repurposing this school year, you will have it “in the bag.”
Looking for more great back to school repurposing ideas? Check out our tips for finding stylish second-hand clothes!
What frugal ways do you use grocery bags for back to school, or just in general? Tell us in the comments!