This Laundry Tool Can Keep Your Pantry Goods Fresh, Too

published Jun 19, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

There are a few categories of items in my home that mysteriously disappear. Of course, the socks disappear. So do our food storage lids, at least some of them because of the dog who loves to chew on them! Hair ties disappear, too, and I’ve never been able to figure out where they go.

There’s one other less common but really necessary household item that regularly disappears at our house: chip clips. No matter how many I get, no matter what kind of chip clips they are, and no matter how specific of a spot I’ve designated for storing them, these tools that keep food fresh get lost and never found again. 

It gets expensive to replace them. The grippers I like cost about $2 apiece, but even the budget-friendly Walmart food clips I buy end up gone forever. 

My family recently had friends over to stay with us for a couple of nights. As many families with multiple kids do, they travel with snacks, and the mom’s super genius solution for keeping chips and other snacks fresh has become my new go-to: clothespins! 

Rather than using tools specifically for closing chip bags, using clothespins is one way to use a multipurpose item in more than one way. I currently use clothespins to hang up clothing in the laundry room and to hold up a trash bag in a pop-up laundry hamper for a makeshift garbage can when my family goes camping

Since both of these uses aren’t too frequent, I’m storing more clothespins than I use at any one time. Bringing them out of hiding to use as chip clips is a great way to use what I already have. 

Another reason clothespins are great is because of how inexpensive they are. Target sells a 50-pack of clothespins for a mere $1.25! This means that even if they get lost, or if they get squished and come apart, my financial output is pretty insignificant. It also makes me a nicer mom because I’m not irritated about the cost of chip clips.

Summertime has been the perfect time to come across this clothespin-as-chip clip hack. More frequently than any other time of year, I’m tossing chips or crackers into bags for picnics or pool days. I love being able to also toss a handful of clothespins in the bag (or clip them onto an unopened chip bag so I know I have them when I need them). 

Having clothespins at the ready means I won’t be worried about letting food get stale or spill all over the bag or the van, and that I won’t have to scramble for chip clips to give me that peace of mind.

Buy: Target Room Essentials Clothespins (50-Pack), $1.25