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Today, I will share some thrifty and surprising uses for bread tags. You know, those little items you have knocking around your junk drawer. Now, some of you may routinely throw them out. However, I hope that, by the end of this article, you might be thinking twice before you throw another one away.
Many years ago, I met an older woman whose family background was Russian. She was pretty creative at finding uses for things and didn’t like to throw anything out. She told me an old Russian saying, “What you throw out is what you will need next.” Many times through the years since I met her, I have found this saying to be true. Here are 40 ways to get creative with bread tags.
Uses for bread tags in the kitchen
- Use as a non-damaging scraper for non-stick pans (thanks, Daisy!), granite countertops, glass stovetops
- Keep other plastic bags closed (e.g., frozen produce bags)
- Funky Wine charms for parties with a built-in conversation starter (“Hi there, what’s your expiry date?)
- Make your own improvised scrubber: Cover a sponge with a used netted produce bag and clip closed with your bread clip: Voila! Ready to do the dishes in frugal style! [source]
Uses for bread tags with electronics
- Keep your charger cable handy at your bedside by attaching a bread clip to your bedside table using a dab of hot glue or tape. Thread the in charger cable through and plug your phone in as required.
- Organize the many cables for your television or computer by attaching a bread clip to each one and labeling it. Super handy if you need to unplug just one item.
- Are you tired of tangled earbuds? Use your bread clip to secure nicely folded earbud cords to prevent tangling.
- Manage those tangled and dangling extension cords. Clip the end of the cord to itself with an extra bread clip when you put the item away. It will be easy to retrieve and ready to go when you need it next time.
Bread tags for children
Note: As bread tags might be a choking hazard, please ensure that you use these ideas with children of an appropriate age.
- For imaginary play, bread tags can make fun pretend earrings (these could be painted with nail polish or other paint or even bedazzled).
- One website claimed that children would play “for hours” sorting a pile of bread tags. Worth a try! To make the activity more advanced, you could write numbers on the tags and create mathematical games by adding bread tags with a + or – sign. For more advanced games, have the children sort the tags by “sun sign” expiry dates or some other criteria you assign (“find the tag closest to your birthday, closest one “wins”). Alternatively, you could write the alphabet on the bread tags and play spelling or sounding out games.
- Play Bingo with bread clip bingo chips (and trying saying that quickly three times!)
- Replace missing game pieces with a labeled bread clip (Sharpies work well for this.)
- Hide your massive collection of bread clips like Easter Eggs and have a prize for the most found
- Have the children put some bread clips into an empty cardboard tube or clean food container to make a musical shaker. Children can then decorate it and play it along with some of their favorite music.
- Children can make Bread Tag Creatures by painting the bread tags (Scary Monsters, Snow Men, and Gingerbread Men). Instructions are all here at Crafts by Amanda.
- Are you feeling quite ambitious? Make an abacus/counting frame out of bread tags, a cereal box, and wooden dowels.
Get organized with the help of bread tags
- Have you ever fumbled around your pile of extra keys looking for that one you need? Clip all extra keys with a bread tag and label clearly with a sharpie.
- Organize that junk drawer! Clip together items, such as elastic bands or twist ties, and use and find them easily.
- One bread tag on the end of a roll of any tape will allow you to find the end of the roll effortlessly and instantly. Think of the precious minutes saved of other tasks!
- In a pinch, use bread tags as bookmarks. Put one “foot” of the bread tag where you left off and put the other foot forward enough pages that it grabs and holds well.
- I have long hair, and there are hair scrunchies everywhere in my purse, car, and house. I cannot be without a hair scrunchie, or I panic. You can use a bread tag to hold a bunch of hair elastics and scrunchies together. This could work in your purse or bathroom, where you keep your main stash. You could even sort them by color or type this way. [source]
Organize your pantry
Want to organize your pantry and always know what you need at the store? You can use bread tags to create a visual system so you can quickly assess what you need to buy to keep your pantry stocked (or your preps!). You create a board where you can hang the tags on something like a nail. Each one represents one item in your stock, which you can label using your label maker or a sharpie.
As you use a can of kidney beans, you would remove one tag from that nail and put it in the basket on or below the board. Then, when it’s time to shop, you can check your board for items you need in your pantry. (Whereas, I am rummaging around my cupboards before shopping trying to see what I’ve used.) You’ll need some organizational skills to maintain this. But I can see it could be quite helpful, even just for certain canned items. For more details, check out this link.
Uses for bread tags with laundry
- Orphaned socks can be a real pain. Perhaps if you clip your socks together before you put them in the washer, the aliens will be less likely to steal them!
- Similarly, you could use a bread clip to keep socks together in your dresser drawer after they are washed and dried.
- Use a wire hanger to dry your delicates by clipping them to the hanger with a bread clip.
- If you want to dry some items on a line outdoors, you could use some bread clips (probably not for super heavy items, though!). As well, you could keep a bunch of bread clips together for many improvised uses while camping!) [source]
- Is your plastic laundry hamper broken? No problem! As a Frugalite Rock Star, you know how to repair it by “welding it” with a bread tab and a hot glue gun.
Get crafty with those bread tags
- Knitters, don’t have a row marker? No worries: use a bread tag!
- Bread tags can clip and organize spare thread or extra embroidery thread or yarn, preventing tangling.
- Deck the Halls by using bread tags to hang your Christmas tree lights (they can be painted with festive colors beforehand if desired.)
- Type “bread tag jewelry images” into your search engine and go. Inspiration Galore!
- For the ambitious artist, you could try out an Andy Warhol-style portrait made of bread tags or an artistic shower curtain made only of bread tags wired together. The sky’s the limit!
- Bread tags make great little gift tags. Decorate them to the season or occasion by painting and bedazzling them. Show your thrifty and eco-nature as you gift your friends and family!
Miscellaneous uses for bread tags
- Need tags for your next garage sale? Bread tags can work well, either clipped or taped on, depending on the item. Here are some other tips to make your next garage sale an epic success.
- Have fun making beautiful music with your bread-tag guitar pick!
- Uh Oh! Went a bit over your painting tape and onto a window? No problem: you can use an extra bread clip to scrape that paint off.
- Are you working on your green thumb? Use bread tags clipped onto pots or seed starting containers to mark seedlings or rows of seedlings or clip loosely onto plants in the garden. Want more tips on how to grow a garden on a budget? Look no further!
- Repair aging flip flops where the strap between your toes keeps popping out by simply clipping the bread tag onto the bottom to make the hole narrower and hold the flip flop together.
- Did one of the holes for the strings on your horizontal blinds break? Glue a bread clip to reinforce that hole. Just a bit of glue, and they are ready to go!
- If you are feeling lucky, keep a bread tag safely tucked in the credit card area of your wallet and use it to scratch lottery tickets. Maybe you should buy an extra ticket on the expiry date of your tag. Good luck to you!
Other sources for bread tag uses
- The Frugal Life
- The Many Uses of…
- Green Eco Services
- The Secret Yumiverse
- Reuse, Grow, Enjoy
- Pioneering the Simple Life
A bread tag by any other name
Whatever you call them, bread tags, bread clips, bread tabs, or something else, do you save them or throw them out? Could you see yourself trying any of these ideas for bread clips? Do you have one of your own you can share with us? Please tell us in the comments below.
14 thoughts on “40 Thrifty and Surprising Uses for BREAD TAGS”
Thank you. Kind of nice to know I am not as crazy as some have said for saving the clips. I have been saving bread bag clips for years. Bread bags as well, primarily for waterproof boot liners.
I originally started keeping them to use for leaving clandestine messages, with each color having an assigned meaning. Left at a dead drop, clipped to a fence, included in some other type of message system, holding closed a plastic bag that can be seen by others that you want to get the message.
Dozens more ideas, simply for communication purposes. I picked up some useful tips in the article, as well.
Just my opinion.
Hi Jerry, Wow! You just opened up a whole new bread clips WORLD for me with your post. I am quite interested in hearing more about these clandestine messages…what did the colours mean? Are you able to share? Or is this part of some top secret operation? Please post more if you’re able. Much appreciated!
I LOVE reusing bread tags! I especially like the ones that are totally blank, it’s like a little extra present attached to the bread bag. One good use for me is not just clipping a charging cable, but actually writing on the tag what the cord charges. I have come upon weird cables before when cleaning out a drawer or something, so after I find out what it’s for I write a tag. Also handy for computer hookups, etc. Mark the tags for each item before you plug them in, then next time you are cleaning or moving equipment around you know which cord goes where 🙂
Hi Christine, so delighted to hear from another bread tag enthuisast here. You are in good company!!!! I like your addition of identifying the charging cables. i am going to do that, as I am always coming across strange ones in my drawer. Thank you for adding your own suggesionts to our growing list. Here’s hoping the universe will send some nice big BLANK ones your way soon!!!
I don’t get many bread tags but this is going to make me start saving the ones I do get! I especially like the electronics uses.
Hi Redbranch, So glad to hear that you’re inspired to start collecting. I know you are a creative Frugalite, so please keep us posted if you find any new uses not listed!
Thank you, Colette.
I do not have a fixed set of messages for the tags. I am affiliated with several different groups in this area (Reno, NV), with very diverse approaches to prepping, prep needs, plans, and just about everything else. So, with the possibility of so many different things that could happen, a given tag of specific color could have several different meanings depending on what is happening, the specific set of people, and the type of information that is being delivered.
For instance, in one group, during a time of a Civilian Disarmament campaign where the JBTs are rounding up weapons and people, a yellow tag left tucked into the passenger side window gasket means “Your area starts tomorrow (or soon).”
In the same group, during a time of neighbors spying on neighbors for a government ‘See something, Say something’ program with rewards for information, the same yellow tag in the passenger side window gasket means “Meeting at our third choice Starbucks.”
Now, the same group, in the Civilian Disarmament situation, if the yellow tag is left beside the closest fire hydrant that the person passes regularly, it means “Group is compromised so go to plan F.”
Each group has its own set of meanings and applications for the colors. And, as you mentioned, there is a matter of OpSec for me, though TPTB are well aware of my activities, as I am on a couple of watch lists already. From all the way back in the 80s. That means I do not have or use a fixed set of meanings for each color. That is determined by the group using them. In a couple of the groups I am an active participant, but the rest I am an advisor and educator, so do not even know the actual way they set up the messaging system.
Plus, in the groups where I am part of the system, we change the meanings from time to time with a simple shift ‘x’ number of tags right or left, using a standard color order. One year it is one set of meanings for each color, the next year we would shift everything ‘right, two places’ making the messages that were indicated by yellow tags now being indicated by light blue tags. And so on. This is just an example.
If you let it, this system can grow very quickly to unmanageable numbers of meanings per color and in total. So, I always keep it pretty simple, with no more than three meanings per color per different situation. And those situations are limited in number since many of them will use the same messages.
Also, the tags are only one of several clandestine message systems I use. These are all primarily for very oppressive, dangerous times when being seen or caught meeting or talking to someone in the open could be a disaster itself. Of course, for training, there is another set of messages that make it easy for new people or people with problems keeping track of things to learn how to use the tags, and when a shift in messages per color takes place.
Another aspect is that each group lives in a different area, and that will affect the messages. You might not have three Starbucks to choose from. You may need to have a notch or other mark on the tag to identify who left it. That can be tricky if the system is overused and the authorities are surveilling someone in the group and see the variations in the tags.
It might seem very spy-oriented, but it is actually for use when associations with specific people or groups in the open is a problem, and other methods of contact are either down or known to be monitored.
For anyone that plans to use the system, I would suggest keeping a running list where message ideas that come to one are written down. When you think things are covered fairly well, go through the list and really look at it and edit it down to as few as possible and still be able to get the idea across for each type of use.
Hope this helps. Anything more specific would need to be through emails.
Just my opinion.
Hi Jerry, Thank you so much for your time to write in such detail about this. I enjoyed every tidbit. The details you shared allowed me to see the many potential applications for bread tag messaging. I am grateful for your post. I am sure it will be interesting to many readers. Many thanks!
Sure thing, Colette. I have ideas, articles, and opinions on pretty much everything prepping and enjoy sharing it with anyone that shows an interest. I always try to offer it up as options, points of reference, discussion starters, alternatives, and research starters. I always label them as my opinion, because that is what they are. I do due diligence research and usually suggest everyone do the same on any subject or situation I write about. Because, with the way things are now, one person’s truth is another person’s lie.
My stuff is not the gospel, nor is it chiseled in stone. It is simply my thoughts and opinions on a variety of subjects.
Keep up the good work. This was a great article. I was not aware that anyone besides myself was using bread tags. Something so simple that can have so many, even if minor, uses for a prepper is one of the purest signs of excellence in prepper mindset. In my opinion!
Hi Jerry, I appreciate your open-minded and thorough approach to gaining and sharing knowledge. The Op and the Frugalite have a wonderful community of folks sharing in the comments: so glad that you are a part of it. Yes, as you suggest, the modest little bread tag can be a wonderful symbol for the creative prepper mindset! May we all make good use of ours in the coming days! Thanks so much.
OK, this is for you musicians out there. I use bread tags to secure the straps on my acoustic guitar, dulcimer, and banjo from slipping off and causing a disaster. First you will have to trim the inside hole of the tag with a knife to make it a little bigger, then fit the hole in the leather end of the strap over the button on the instrument, then wrangle the tag over that onto the button. This may only make sense to musicians. It can be a little hard to get it on, but, hey, that’s what keeps the strap from slipping off and dropping your beloved instrument on the floor! I prefer the bread tag solution to the costly, clunky, and ugly store-bought things that stick out too far, in my opinion.
Maddie! Thank you for sharing this for all our musician readers. I love that you get out your trusted knife to actually CARVE the bread tag for its intended purpose. Thrifty combined with creativity and skill = Frugalite Rock Star!!! I play the ukulele (no claim to actually being a musician). However, I will keep some bread tags on hand to secure my straps, if needed. Wishing you the best with making beautiful music with your bread tag protected instruments. I’m sure they appreciate it!!!
I love your article, very informative. I do have another idea for you. Use the tabs to scrap polish off your nails to protect them opposed to using remover. Then what can’t be removed, use the chemicals. Works great 4 me.
Hi Talley, You have amazed me. I didn’t think we could find another use for those bread tags, but you have done it. Anything to reduce the use of the chemicals sounds good to me. Thank you for taking the time to add to our list. Much appreciated!