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I’ve been using Stasher bags for a couple years now, but I’m not normally one to evangelize about mundane products. Oh, I’ll tell everyone who comes to my house about how great my espresso machine is. Reusable silicone bags aren’t as seductive as silky espresso, though.
So it continues to surprise me that when I do have guests over for dinner and I pull one of my multi-color Stasher bags out of the refrigerator — one holding some parmesan I’ll grate over a salad, or a sliced lemon to squeeze over pasta — they’ll often be delighted by the baggies. They’ll ask, with serious interest, what are those? When I explain, they declare that they’ll be buying some for themselves the second they get home. And it’s in those moments that I’m forced to remind myself to be thankful for people who take time to make even the most mundane products better, for our own households and the planet.
You see, Stasher bags are essentially reusable versions of the single-use plastic bags you’ll find from brands like Ziploc, Glad and Hefty. They’re made of food-grade platinum silicone and range in sizes from pocket-appropriate 4 fl. oz. bags ($8) to hold dog treats or paper clips to 104 fl. oz. “Mega” bags ($30) that stand up on their own and can hold whole fruits and vegetables.
Now, there is of course the price issue. A quick look on Ziploc’s website shows a box of 100 throwaway sandwich bags going for just under $4 at Walmart. Meanwhile, a sandwich-size bag from Stasher goes for $13. But after using my own set for a couple years now, I can confidently say that these reusable versions will be more than worth it by the end of their life.
For one, while you may be under the impression that silicone will leach the colors and smells of food — like some plastic containers do — the platinum silicone used here has been easy to clean in my experience with no residual odors or discoloration. Additionally, they’re flexible and super lightweight, unlike the glass storage containers I also have in my cupboard. Then there’s the fact that these are not only sturdy enough to be used in the actual cooking process (Stasher says they can go in the microwave and be used to sous vide, and I’ve personally found they hold up in the freezer and dishwasher just fine), but they can be used to store just about anything. Want a new way to organize your kid’s school supplies? Put ‘em in a bag. Dead batteries you need to recycle? Put ‘em in a bag. Got an unwieldy junk drawer? You get the idea.
Quite possibly the best part is that, even at the end of their long life, Stasher doesn’t want you to toss their products in the trash like all those billions of single-use plastic bags. They actually have a repurposing program with TerraCycle where you can send them the bags to be reused in other products.
Even after all that, I can understand if you’re hesitant to buy $13 sandwich bags. Thankfully, right now Stasher is offering some significant discounts on a few different bundles, including the Starter Plus 9-Pack where you can get nine bags for under $100. It’s not the most exciting $100 you’ll spend this month, and I can’t guarantee you’ll be eagerly awaiting their arrival like other online shopping you may be doing today, but I can say from experience you won’t regret the change in your kitchen. In fact, you may end up turning into an unwitting evangelist like me.
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Stuff We Swear By: Every Kitchen Should Have a Pack of Stasher Storage Bags