Bread Bags Make Terrible Shoes -- But These 10 Uses Are Genius!

Liz Alterman | Jan 21, 2015 Food & Party


So it turns out newly elected Republican Senator Joni Ernst and I have something in common! When the Iowa politician admitted last night that she grew up wearing bread bags on her feet -- setting Twitter ablaze with jokes at her expense -- I cringed.

Why? Because her confession sparked a series of flashbacks I'd somehow suppressed from my own childhood. That's right, I, too, set off for school with those ridiculous plastic liners (complete with mounds of crumbs at the bottom!) snaking up my legs.

Whenever it rained or snowed, my grandmother insisted we head straight to our bread box where my mom stored what seemed like thousands of empty bread bags -- Wonder, Arnold's, D'Italiano, Thomas's English Muffins, choices galore.

After my siblings and I chose our bags, we'd slip them on over our shoes and then slide the whole ugly package into our boots. But that's not even the worst part. We'd then "secure" them with rubber bands at the top to ensure no water whatsoever got near our shoes! 

I'm pretty sure we could've navigated the carpool without those unfashionable plastic booties creeping up our pant legs, but I get why my grandmother -- and whoever forced Ernst to wear them -- did it.

Bread bags can be repurposed for plenty of practical uses. Just remember, making kids wear them over their shoes isn't one the little guys will appreciate, no matter how dry their feet might be!

Do you reuse bread bags? If so, tell us your favorite way to repurpose them?

Image via Liz Alterman

  • Carry Home Wet Swimsuits


    Image ©MNStudio/shutterstock

    Don't you hate when those wet bathing suits soak through everything else in your bag? Take along some empty bread bags and stick a suit in each. This way you can count 'em up and make sure you have everyone's trunks and swim shirts and they won't saturate all your other belongings.

  • Contain Shampoos & Lotions While Traveling


    Image © Radius Images/Corbis

    Rather than risk ruining a nice cosmetic bag when traveling, consider sticking your shampoos, creams, and lotions in a bread bag. You won't bring more than you absolutely need, and if a leak occurs, you haven't destroyed anything other than a bag you were planning to chuck anyway. 

  • Cover Those Sticky Jars


    Image © P.Desgrieux/photocuisine/Corbis

    I don't know about your pantry, but in mine that pesky maple syrup bottle is continuously sticky. Gross! Instead of allowing it to try to goo itself to your other groceries, pop it inside a bread bag and it won't have a chance to stick to anything other than your flapjacks!

  • Dispose of Those Dirty Diapers


    Image © Frederic Cirou/PhotoAlto/Corbis

    Have you ever been on the road when your baby drops a bomb but you've got nowhere to put that dirty diaper? Keep a few extra bread bags in between the wipes and the ointment and you'll have that mess contained in no time. 

  • Clean Up After Your Pup


    Image © 68/George Doyle/Ocean/Corbis

    Keep a supply of bread bags by the door and you'll find they're just the right size for picking up after your pooch! 

  • Create Makeshift Gloves


    Image © heshphoto/Corbis

    Are you facing an ugly job around the house? Cleaning the toilet? Picking up vomit? Sending a deceased goldfish off to his eternal reward? Fashion a pair of makeshift gloves out of empty bread bags. That'll make the grim task a bit less icky!

  • Make Your Own Packing Material


    Image © Gregor Schuster/Corbis

    If you need to ship something breakable but have run out of packing peanuts or tissue paper, fear not. Simply blow up a bread bag, tie a knot, and voila! Instant stuffing!

  • Fashion an Impromptu Shower Cap


    Image © Dennis Galante/Corbis

    Can't find a shower cap and you don't have time to wash and dry your hair? Bread bags to the rescue! (Though this is definitely a time you want to get all the crumbs out so you don't find birds landing on your head! You can always turn them inside out to be certain you're not accessorizing your 'do with crusts!) These bags are also perfect to cover a cast in the unfortunate event of a broken arm or ankle. 

  • Defrost Without the Mess


    Image © Rooney, Deirdre/the food passionates/Corbis

    If you've got a piece of meat you want to defrost in the fridge but don't want to deal with the puddles that may form as it melts, place it inside a bread bag and you'll keep your fridge clean and dry.

  • Tidy Up Your Car


    Image via @son_of_harry/Twitter

    Ugh. Do you end up with cups, wrappers, and assorted crackers on the floor of your minivan? We've all been there! Keep some empty bread bags in the car and pass them back to the kids to fill. Make it a game by seeing who can collect the most junk! 

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