Has anyone tried putting powdered bulk goods such as flour, sugar, etc. into fabric bulk bags, rather than jars? I was thinking maybe the muslin bags featured in the ZW store link would work. Just wondering if anyone has tried it, and whether it made a mess?
After all, flour sack towels remind us that flour was once shipped in fabric bags. The fewer large containers I have to carry to the store, the better. Fabric bags I could just keep in my purse and stop by the store on the way home from work, rather than having to collect my containers to make a special trip. I'd probably still store the flour and such in containers once I got home, though...
I found the really powdery ones (sugars, flours, dried milk) are too messy for me. I have appropriately sized canisters I only need to take alternate weeks: AP flour, then bread flour, sugars, occasionally milk. Everything else is fine in my bags. I think if I had to, sugar could also work in a bag.
I'm leaning towards a once a month separate trip, though, as there's a local shop I like to support which carries all these basics, but no produce/meat. Maybe not classic ZW model, but would work for me.
I, too, carry a few bags in my purse, though, "in case". Just not my preference.
Just wanted to note that the messiness I refer to isn't in filling the bags, or any leakage; it's in transferring from bag to container, the "pouf" that seems to always accompany pouring something powdered, like flour.
My other concern with bags is any dampness getting into my dry staples. This would include rice, cereals, etc. Even sitting next to produce in your grocery cart/basket/bag is enough to dampen most fabric bags. One more thing to have to think about...
One thing I found was the seams on my cheap bags were not leak proof. So, I just pulled out the sewing machine made a french seams and now I fill them turned inside out (that way nothing collects along the substantial seam edges). Mine were cotton bags I found at a local resaler. The only thing I saved in buying these was the purchase and cutting of the cotton fabric and drawstrings. I discovered they were leaky when I was sorting them out after laundering them and all the seams were in tatters!
As to a way to avoid dampness seeping in, I have a tall tin I found at a thriftstore (it previously held popped corn) which could hold several cotton bags of baking ingredients; just make sure the bags are well labeled. Usually these items aren't aromatic, so "co-mingling" them like this should work. It would minimize the space they take up as well as protect them from moisture fluctuations in the environment and eliminate the need to individually containerize their contents...Just a thought I wanted to share.
I generally buy flour and baking soda in their original paper or cardboard packaging. I think the flour is fresher than the bulk stuff where I shop. Also I'm pretty klutzy and where I shop the bulk aisles are packed with people, and I'd end up spilling shit everywhere if I tried to bulk the flour. I was using small brown paper bags when I started ZW to do the bulk flour, but it's such a freaking hassle when the store is crowded, and to be honest I don't think it's more fresh than the stuff in the packaging. You could use a paper bag or a leftover paper bag that you already purchased flour in. I bring small paper envelopes from home to buy bulk spices.
Good Point! I used to get most of my bulk staples at a local shop until one of the owners [accidentally] complained about how he disliked bulk bins because "bugs" would get into them….
Now, sadly in a way, I go to a large store where I know they have quick turnover. And, yes, it's crazy annoying competing with a dozen+ others.
If I remember, I, too, will turn my bags inside out for flour, sugar, vital wheat gluten, etc. My bags have babylocked seams --a royal pain to clean stuff out of.
Paper bags, brilliant idea!
In rereading posts, I realized that I originally said powdery stuff went into jars, whatever.
I've gotten lazy, and find that most times I can get away with my nylon bags turned inside out, the only exception being flour which we use less and less often. For that, I still [try to remember to] bring my canister --it's been OK, though, to use a bag and just tolerate the "poof".
My usual haunts either don't tare, or I have to track someone down …..