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Celeste Blake Designs Gallon-size Reusable Bag Giveaway & Review

Reusable gallon-size bag from Celeste Blake Designs,
$13.95 (incl. shipping)

About 7 months ago, I ran out of quart-size and sandwich-size bag disposable plastic bags simultaneously. As I pulled the last one or two baggies out of the box, I resolved to stop buying disposable baggies and find reusable alternatives to replace them. Since then, I have tried and reviewed numerous reusable food bags, and I am proud to say that I have not purchased any more disposable plastic bags since then.

But. . . I am still using disposable gallon-size bags. Until recently, I didn’t know of a suitable reusable alternative.



But now I do! For the last couple of months, I have been test-driving one gallon-size reusable bag by Etsy shop Celeste Blake Designs (provided to me free to facilitate review). Previously, I had tried and loved Celeste Blake Designs' reusable sandwich bags and snack bags, and so I was thrilled when the owner asked me to review her newest creation: a gallon-size reusable bag.

Reusable bags by Celeste Blake Designs have the following features:
  • Zipper closure: easy to open and close, quiet, and clean (doesn’t catch crumbs). 
  • Food-safe, waterproof nylon liner. The nylon interior is always white.  The thick nylon liner (heavier than ripstop nylon) makes these bags ideal for long-term storage in the fridge or freezer as well as for storage of very wet items. 
  • No exposed seams. Exterior and interior layers are sewn separately to prevent wicking. 
  • Excellent prices: $13.95 for the cotton/nylon gallon-size bags and $14.20 for double-layer nylon gallon-size bags with 2 layers of nylon. Prices include cost of shipping to the US. Buy multiple items and save on shipping! 
  • Hand or machine washable (air dry).  
  • Available in 3 sizes: snack (5.75" x 4.5"), sandwich (7” x 7”), and gallon (11” x 12”). 
  • Gallon-size bags come in two styles: 1) all-cotton exterior with waterproof nylon liner -or- 2) two layers of waterproof nylon (colorful nylon exterior, white nylon interior -- see photo below).
  • 100% cotton exteriors come in a huge variety of fabulous designer prints (see photos in this post). Nylon exteriors come in a variety of solid colors (see photo below).



For the last couple of months, I’ve been using my gallon-size reusable bag to store my healthy whole grain "cookies" in the freezer. The bag has worked perfectly, keeping my cookies fresh and free of freezer burn. These bags are not 100% air-tight (you can push air out through the zipper when closed, so I would not store liquids such as soup in them), but they are pretty close. This bag is the solution I have been looking for to my gallon-size disposable bag habit. I will be purchasing several more in the coming months. Here is what I plan to use them for:


10 Uses for Gallon-Size Reusable Bags


Frozen healthy cookiesThe gallon-size bag almost holds my double recipe (since quite a few get eaten straight out of the oven). I also always keep a smaller bag full of healthy cookies in the freezer to grab when we leave the house, which I refill from the big bag as necessary.

Frozen bananas. I always have broken up over-ripe bananas in the freezer for smoothies and banana bread. My current disposable plastic bag is looking mighty gross, so this will be the very next thing I use a reusable bag for.

Deli meat in the fridge. My nitrate-free deli meat from Trader Joe’s comes in a “reseal-able” container, but it’s not reseal-able enough for me, so I always stick it inside a gallon-size disposable bag as well. I’ve noticed that these bags look gross and/or the closure breaks after about a month.

Frozen not-so-healthy chocolate chip cookies or brownies. I hate almost all store-bought baked desserts, and love having cookies and brownies on hand in the freezer for the occasional treat. Also, if I freeze part of the batch, I don’t feel obligated to eat it all before it goes stale.

Frozen black bean burger patties. Someday I’ll post this recipe. I always make a double recipe.

Bag of flour. I grind enough hard white wheat berries to last me one to two weeks.  I store the freshly ground flour in the freezer to preserve nutritional value (before buying a grinder, I kept store-bought whole wheat flour in the freezer inside a plastic bag). Currently I’m using a plastic Tupperware container to store my whole wheat flour, but I would rather put my freshly ground flour in a used white flour paper sack, and put that inside a reusable gallon-size bag, because that would take up considerably less space, especially as the flour gets used.  I have a very small freezer.

Wet bag. It is very handy to have a wet bag in your diaper bag and in your car. These bags can be used for a dirty cloth diaper, clothes wet from a potty training accident, swimming clothes, or clothes that got wet from an unexpected trip to a park (or friend’s home) with water activities.

Super cute toiletry bag. I’ve always used a disposable plastic bag as a toiletry bag. I would like to get a reusable gallon-size bag with a super cute fabric to use instead. It might be nice to have 2 or 3 for this purpose actually, since I usually need one just for the shampoo, conditioner and contact solution.

Sewing/ art/ craft supplies. You don’t really need a waterproof bag for sewing or art supplies, but it would be nice to have an extra thick bag to protect little hands from scissors or to contain the mess from a leaky marker.

Homemade play-doh. My kids eat play-doh, so it’s best if I keep the preservative-free homemade variety on hand in the fridge.



A few more ideas:
  • Frozen home-prepped ingredients such as cooked shredded, sliced or diced meats; shredded or sliced cheeses; herbs; bread crumbs; blanched veggies; fresh berries and other fruits. 
  • Frozen home-made prepared foods like baked goods, burritos or enchiladas. 
  • For messy food preparation (crushing nuts, crushing crackers or cookies for a pie crust, breaking up bread crumbs). 
  • Picnic: store reusable utensils, cloth napkins and other supplies, then use the bag to store your dirty used items until you get home. 

Of course you could use your reusable gallon-size bags for a million other things, just like folks do with the disposable variety. But I plan to mostly use my bags for items that require a thick waterproof layer. If you also want to use your gallon-size reusable bag for puzzle pieces or Legos, go right ahead! At this time, I mostly use drawstring cloth bags for these types of items, although I have to help my kids open those, so I sure wouldn’t mind having more zippered bags for storing those items as well!

What about raw meat? I have issues with raw meat, and I don’t think I’ll ever use reusable bags for meat. The only reusable containers I store raw meat in are my Pyrex containers which can be put through the dishwasher. Instead, I buy meat already packaged in smallish shrink-wrapped portions at Costco, preferably without any Styrofoam, so that I don’t need to repackage my frozen meat purchases. But feel free to try it if you aren’t such a raw meat-phobe as I am.

But I won’t be able to see what’s inside! If you do replace your disposable bags with reusable bags, I recommend that you buy a variety of prints. At first it was a little more difficult to use opaque reusable bags to store food in the fridge or freezer, since I couldn’t see the contents without opening the bag. But I soon learned to use the same bag for the same thing over and over again. Now, for example, my 2-year-old will open the fridge, and take out the blue and white reusable bag whenever she wants a little slice of parmesan cheese, because she has figured out that this is the bag I always keep my block of parmesan cheese in. My 4-year-old knows that the large bag with colorful pears on it in the freezer holds my healthy cookies. Actually, in the freezer, I think Celeste Blake Designs' colorful prints make finding what I want even easier than using transparent plastic bags. I find it much easier to grab my healthy cookies in the colorful pear print bag than to sift through my various disposable transparent bags for my frozen bananas.

Enter to win this reusable gallon-size bag!

Giveaway

To win a gallon-size reusable bag (pictured above) of your very own from Celeste Blake Designs, simply leave a comment below about what you plan to use your gallon-size reusable bag for. Include your email in your comment, unless I can figure it out from your commenting persona (Blogger profile/ blog/ etc.).

Extra entries (leave an additional comment for each extra entry):
  • Spread the word by email, Facebook, Twitter, carrier pigeon, etc. (you can use the buttons at base of the post). 
  • Make Celeste Blake Designs an Etsy favorite (you need an Etsy account to do this). 
  • Extra entry for current or new Eco-novice subscribers (this includes readers who subscribe by feed or email, "like" Eco-novice on Facebook, or regular readers by some other method). Tell me how you subscribe/ follow/ read Eco-novice in your comment. 

You can enter the contest FOUR times total. Leave a different comment for each entry. Contest open to residents of the US, Canada or Australia. Giveaway ends Thursday, June 30, 2011.

**June is Etsy Giveaway Month at Eco-novice** 
New giveaway each week! 
Don't forget to enter last week's Giveaway for a set of stainless steel straws 


What will you use your gallon-size reusable bag for?


This post is part of


Disclosure: I received one free gallon-size bag from Celeste Blake Designs to facilitate this review. Celeste Blake Designs is also currently advertising on my blog. I am trading my ad space for store credit so that I can buy more of these awesome bags. See my full disclosure policy here.