Friday, April 13, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Againbags Reusable Sandwich & Snack Bags

Growing up, I was the kid with the Mom who loved to save plastic shopping bags.  Whether they were grocery, produce, or department store bags, as long as they were clean, they made it into the endless stack of "reusable" bags in our pantry closet.  The same went with snack, sandwich, or freezer bags.  My Mom would wipe them down, and place them back in the drawer until the next time we needed them.  Was my Mom a pack rat?  Uh, yeah!  But, we always ended up reusing them for one reason or another.  I would later learn that I myself would become that same pack rat.

For so long, we had become accustomed to having those bags around to reuse as trash basket liners, doggy poop bags, lunch "boxes, etc.  We had plastic bag dispensers at the bottom of every bathroom sink, by the kitchen pantry, in the laundry room, and in the garage.  They were always full to the brim with bags.  By keeping all of the bags in one place, I was thinking that I was being organized and tidy.  I didn't realize that it wasn't as important as being conscious about where those bags would eventually land, no matter how long it took to get there.  It wasn't until about two years ago when I bought a bunch of reusable fabric bags on sale that I slowly stopped bringing home plastic bags.  Ever since then,  those dispensers have remained empty.

This year, I challenged myself and my family to take another step towards being "plastic bag free" by using reusable snack and sandwich bags.  We have used tupperware containers, but sometimes, they become bulky and take up too much space.  I wanted something that was not only space-saving in a diaper bag, backpack, or lunch box, but also in the drawer I kept it in. Then Againbags came into my life, and it has never been the same since!

I was so excited to receive the set of Againbags to review, not only because I've been wanting to fulfill our newest green goal, but also to start saving moolah on sandwich bags every month. Jennifer Scala, or "Jenn" as I have come to know her through our various emails, sent me a small, medium, and large bag - all with different designs - as well as a small and large bag from the Active line.  I received the bags quickly, and I was ecstatic about using them!

I was instantly in love with the bags!  The small and medium bags come in 8 colorful designs, and the large comes in 6 - each one is sure to match the personality of every member in the family. The small bags are 4" x 7" in size, priced at $5.95 each, and are perfect for fruit slices and bite-size snacks.  My kids love using them for pistachios and almonds.  The medium bags measure at 5.5" x 7" and at $6.95 each, they are great for sandwiches, chips, or pretzels.  The hubby and I have used the large bags for pita wraps, while the kids fill them up with goldfish crackers.  They are 7" x 8", priced at $7.95 each, and are large enough for a sub sandwich or animal crackers for the entire family.  Made with 100% cotton laminate, they are leak-proof and are easy to clean.

The small (4" x 6.5") and large (7.5" x 8.25") bags from the Active line are made from heavy weight 2-ply nylon fabric.  Priced at $6.95 and $8.95 each, respectively, they are grease and moisture-resistant and are perfect for the active, outdoorsy individuals, like my husband.  They come in 6 solid colors that can be mixed and matched to everyone's liking.

The first weekend after I received these bags, I had brought them to my niece's cheerleading competition.  The people next to us had a bucket of popcorn they had bought from the concession stands.  Coincidentally, my daughter and I packed our own popcorn snacks in the Againbags.  I could tell that the lady beside me kept looking over at us and eventually commented on the bags. She said that she loved the apple and black-and-white zigzag designs and thought that they were genius ideas.  Apparently it was the first time she's ever seen reusable sandwich bags and admitted that she's never even heard of them before our meeting.  She asked where I got them from, and let me tell ya - I wished right then that I was the one who made them.  Of course, I didn't take the credit, but I couldn't be more excited to tell them about Againbags.  And I was glad that the website address was super easy to remember, too.

Per the information on the website:
Over the years, my children have carried countless lunches to school.  And every time I packed one of those lunches in a plastic bag, I thought there has to be  a better way --- I felt worse and worse about all those plastic bags from my home ending up in landfills.  It didn't make things any better that I was trying to teach my own children the value of recycling.  "Recycle in every way you can," I said to them as I handed them a plastic bag that we all knew would be thrown away as soon as they were done with it.  But one day I wondered, why not make a reusable bag, one that looked cool, and which they'd be proud to carry to school and (most importantly!) home again?  The idea grew on me, and one day I asked my children what I should call it.  My little one said, "Call it an Againbag, Mommy, because I can use it again and again."      
I love it when a great product comes with a great personal story!  And I'm even more inspired and in awe when a child is the root of the product concept.  Children are absolutely amazing, aren't they?!

The Againbags site also offers a lunch set that includes a small, medium, and large sized bag and sell for $19.95.  They are a very green, very cost-effective gift that will keep on giving for a very long time.

You can also find sandwich wraps that unfold and double as placemats (very cool!) and wrap sets that include one sandwich wrap and one small snack bag.  There are lots of different options for even the most discriminating person who is unwilling to give up their plastic bags.

All the bags and wraps are hand sewn in the USA (woohoo!), are dishwasher and laundry safe, and are BPA, lead, and phthalate-free.  You can't say that about plastic bags!  They are made with a hook & loop closure, which is great for keeping the bags tightly closed.  I have on occasions, however, had trouble opening them easily and quickly, but I guess that just means that the velcro is very strong - perfect for all those washes.

Now, what is a great picnic without a flexible chalk mat for the kiddos?  At $19.95 each, these rollable and portable boards are complete with 3 pieces of chalk and are a must-have for dinners out.  I definitely need to get my hands on a couple of these.

While I was browsing the Againbags site, I found out that they can screen print onto their Active bags, making for wonderful fundraising products that are great for schools, sports teams, and church groups.  They also offer wholesale pricing for any retail shops or boutiques that want to carry some of the best green products I've ever come across.

Also, check out their blog, The Tasty Travels of Againbags, showing photos of customers and the places where they have taken their favorite reusable bags.  Warning:  there are lots of food pics. Yumm-o!  You can also LIKE them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.  Everyone likes a little love, right?
Simple as that, Againbags came into the world, reducing the use of plastic baggies, one lunch at a time!
BUY:  You can purchase any of the bags or sets on the Againbags site.  Prices start at $5.95, and shipping  for US orders are just a flat rate of $4.95  Use the promo code Active20 to get a 20% discount off your entire purchase.  This code is only good until May 5, 2012.

WIN:  Againbags is giving two (2) lucky The Green House followers a set of small and large bags from the Active line.  This giveaway is open to US, Canada, and UK residents only.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! You must complete the mandatory task first, then complete the other tasks to get as many entries as you'd like.  Good luck!  **If the Rafflecopter form does not show up, please refresh your screen, or click on the post title!

The Green House Disclosure:  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  The products(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Anonymous said...

thank you so much for this post. I hate those plastic sandwich bags. this would be great to pack my hubs and daughter's lunches with. I am always looking for ways to reduce my carbon footprint, but I never thought to look for resuable lunch bags. My mom saved and resued many things plastic forks,spoons, aluminum foil you name it. I really enjoyed your post.

Amy V said...

i love the dot snack bag set

Amy V said...

name- amy v

adita afrin said...

totally love your top!


Martin Clooney said...

wow!! thats a cool idea using things which are recycled from other products.

Reusable Containers

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