The inspiration for today’s post comes straight from the “build a better mousetrap” file. And it all started a few weeks ago, when I decided that I had had it up to here with “chip clips!” (No, seriously!)
I have been using various forms of chip clips to close up bags of chips, rice, pasta, beans, etc. in my pantry for nearly my whole life. Sometimes they were the actual fancy chip clips they sell at the grocery store, but most of the time I just ended up using a very un-fancy clothespin instead.
The Problem With Chip Clips
As I’m sure you’ve experienced for yourself, there are several drawbacks to using chip clips (or clothespins) to “seal” bags of food. First and foremost, they do a pretty terrible job of keeping things fresh because they don’t really seal the bags at all!
Second, they are cheaply made and break constantly. (Especially the clothespins! I guess there’s a reason they’re meant for hanging clothes, not keeping food fresh.) And lastly, I’ve never come up with a good way to store all those chip clips and clothespins, so I could never seem to find one when I needed it!
The Solution: Sealing Sticks
Well, all of that changed when I recently stumbled across a new product (or at least it was new to me) called a Gripstic. And to my surprise and delight, these brilliantly simple sealing sticks turned out be the “better mousetrap” I had been searching for!
Not only is the Gripstic seal vastly superior to the one you get with regular old clips, but they’re also much easier to store since they are about the size of a straw. I store mine in a mason jar that I keep in the pantry.
They come in various sizes, making them useful for sealing bags of different sizes and shapes. To use them, you simply fold down the edge of a bag, slide the guide under the crease, then slide the sleeve onto the guide over the top of the creased bag. It’s a really quick action, and when you want to re-open the bag, it’s as easy as sliding the stick off in the opposite direction you slid it on.
Not only do I love how much easier and more effective they are, but I also feel good about being able to cut back on how many ziplock bags we use in the kitchen. Instead of putting a half-used bag of frozen corn into a ziplock bag before putting it back in the freezer, I just use a Gripstic instead!
They’re also extremely handy to have in the car during longer trips. Rather than allowing half-eaten bags of chips to go stale or potentially spill everywhere, I can seal them up with a Gripstic to keep them fresh!
Where Can I Get Them?
I got this 30-pack of sealing sticks (they aren’t the name brand Gripstics, but they had good reviews and I wasn’t feeling picky) for about $18 on Amazon.
The set includes 6 sealing sticks in each of the following sizes:
If you aren’t sure you want to commit to buying 30 of them just yet, you can get a 3-pack of Gripstics (the name brand ones) on Amazon for just $5! The sealing sticks in this set are 7 1/4″, 8 3/4″, and 11 1/4″ long, so you’ll be able to test them out on a variety of different types of bags for just a few dollars.
I even stumbled across a heavy-duty version of “sealing sticks” you can use on larger bags, such as potting soil or kitty litter bags. These have been a major help in my ongoing potting bench organization efforts!
How Do You Use Them?
I use my Gripstics to seal:
- Chip and cracker bags
- Frozen foods like corn and peas
- Pantry items like flour, sugar, and chocolate chips
- Bags of candy
- Bags of cereal
- Bags of beans, rice, and pasta
- Bags of salad and other greens
- …and more!
What are some ways you could use sealing sticks in your kitchen?