Today I cleaned my first Ziploc baggie. This is one great leap I have been putting off for 23 years that now opens new doors of frugality to my retirement. I was washing the dishes in the sink, when right past the medium-sized pot and to the left of the sharp knives, I saw it floating there, like an omen dooming me to forever re-use disposable items. I tried to avoid it, hoping it would somehow find its way to the trash can, but Grammy’s voice spoke from my conscience telling me: “Wash the baggie. Grammy will be proud. The earth will love you. Come on, just do it” and I slowly reached for the scrubby and, consequently, my fate. I mean, who knows, by next week I might be making doilies out of old WalMart bags or weaving potholders out of old t-shirts. It used to be very sentimental for me when Grammy would send me cookies at college and the baggy they were in would have “Strawberries, June 1994” written on the front, letting me know just how much scrubbing-love she had put into this gift. Now I am the baggie-washer. Someday you’ll come to my house and I’ll have drying baggies perched on various appliances in my spotless kitchen. What have I done!?
Disposable Items that Grammy re-uses:
1) Ziploc baggies.
2) Old towels. Grammy cuts them up and turns them into potholders.
3) Twist-ties. We have an entire tupperware devoted to twist-ties.
4) Bottles from bottled water. She will reuse these even though they cause cancer, but she won't stand in front of the microwave because she got a forward in her email about microwaves exploding.
5) Peanut containers. If you go to the pantry in search of peanuts, you better check before you eat from it because it could contain raisins or sunflower seeds.
6) Plastic silverware.
7) Plastic cups. There is a big stack of plastic cups in the basement with names on it, and when family comes to visit, she brings it up so people have their own special cups.
8) Stamps. For as long as I can remember, Grammy has cut the stamps off of mail she gets to send to children in some far away country. I'm not sure if these kids just love stamps or if this is a way they raise money, like how Yoplait raises money for breast cancer and hunger by collecting the yogurt tops.
9) Scraps of fabric from quilts.
This is where my life is heading...