6 Surprising Things You Can Do with a Paper Bag

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Paper bags are good for a whole lot more than just brown-bagging your lunch
6 Surprising Things You Can Do with a Paper Bag
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One paper bag, many uses.

Ripen fruit. Place unripe fruit like apples, pears, peaches, tomatoes, and avocados in a brown paper bag at room temperature to ripen faster.

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Pop popcorn. Save money on artificial-ingredient-heavy prepackaged microwave popcorn and make your own. Add ¼ to ½ cup popcorn kernels to a paper bag. Fold the bag over on itself twice and place right-side up in the microwave. Cook until the popping slows down to 1 to 2 pops per second, 1 to 3 minutes. Add butter, salt, and spices straight in there and shake it up.

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Dry herbs. Dry herbs in a paper bag to keep dust and bugs off of the herbs as they dry. Place herbs in a paper bag (punch some holes throughout for proper circulation) with the stems aligned with the bag opening; tie the outside of the bag to keep the stems in place and hang for 1 to 2 weeks, checking on the herbs periodically.

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Drain fried foods. Save paper towels and re-use flattened paper bags to drain fried food or baked goods.

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Disposable serving bowls. Cut or roll down the top half of lunch bags to portion out disposable bowls for chips, snacks, and candy.

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Gift bags. Use programs like Adobe Illustrator for printing straight on the bag for goody bags. Or decorate with string, name tags, and bows.

(Credit: flickr/ohsohappytogether)

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Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.