Americans consume over 1.2 billion pounds of potato chips each year, making it one of the most popular snack foods in the United States.
If the entire population were addicted, it'd be about 4 pounds per person each year. Not everyone does, though, so it'd be more realistic to say that you had about 6 pounds passing through your stomach last year. In comparison, the amount of broccoli you probably ate was only 4.5 pounds.
But just because you know how to lay waste to a bag of chips doesn't mean you're doing it right. Despite what you may think, there's proper etiquette involved in owning a bag of chips, from opening them to licking up every last crumb.
For most of us, opening a bag of chips is second nature. You grab each side and pull it apart. If it sticks, you use one hand to pull on the vertical flap for more leverage. Occasionally, though, you'll get a stubborn bag that would rather disfigure itself than give you a clean opening.
Making the bag easier to open at home is not the main concern with snack manufacturers, it's making sure they don't prematurely open on the way to the store. Most bags are heat-sealed with adhesive polymer, which is usually done at low temperatures with high pressure to speed up the bond and keep production lines moving fast.
But chip makers don't all use the same ratios, making some brands easy to open and others impossible. To make sure you always get a clean opening, which is important for resealing, always use a knife or pair of scissors.
If you don't have a sharp object nearby, the coins in your pocket should suffice. As redditor Xasf explains, "Place two coins on the opposite sides of the bag (close together) and squeeze the bag with your thumbs. Then when you try to rip open the bag, the coins will work as makeshift scissors and neatly cut it open."
For those of you who take pride in devouring an entire bag of chips in one sitting, see #3 below for a better option.
If you don't like fishing blindly for the perfect chips, you can either keep cutting down the opening for more visibility (which ultimately gives you less leverage for resealing) or turn it into a bowl using the "roll up from bottom" method (which retains the leverage you need for proper sealing later).
This also had the added benefit of keeping your forearms and hands cleaner, and is easy to straighten back out for storage. The only downside is that you'll have a few more crushed chips than usual (see #7 below for help with that). To see how it's done, check out Grant Thompson's full guide here on WonderHowto.
The bowl hack above is not going to work very well with lunch-sized snack bags, or with gluttonous binge-eating, but you'll still run into visibility problems and dirty hands. For that, there's the bite and twirl method.
Take the bag and use your teeth to bite a small tear directly in the center. Grab that piece in-between a finger and thumb, then rotate the bag either clockwise or counterclockwise using your free hand, twirling the opening larger and larger until it's big enough to eat out of.
Again, this method is only good if you plan on devouring all of the chips in one sitting, otherwise you'll have no easy way to reseal it.
Opening a can of Pringles requires absolutely no skill, but getting them out without a mess does. Instead of sticking your hand in or pouring them out in your palm, fold a piece of paper in half and shove it down into the can, then slide the neatly stacked crisps out.
If you're a serious Pringles eater, you can make this, but it's overkill and by the time you're done making it, you won't have any chips left to use it on.
No matter what method you're using above, you're still going to get your hands dirty when you finally dive in. For some, it's all part of the job, and leads to the even more delicious salt or cheese flavored fingers. But if you want to avoid Cheeto fingers while you're playing Call of Duty 18—just use chopsticks.
This trick also works well with other finger foods like chocolate, sour candies, and popcorn.
Chip clips are an easy way to reseal chips, but let's face it—you probably don't even own any. I don't. Instead, you're probably using spring-type clothespins or binder clips, and those will not "seal" the bag, they only help close them. To properly seal in the freshness, get origami on 'em.
Just roll or fold the top of the bag down neatly, fold in each end, then roll the fold back over itself for a tightly sealed bag of chips without the clip.
Check out Flywoodkb's full guide for step-by-step instructions with pics.
When you finally get to the end, intuition will tell you to hover the bag upside down over your head to make the crumbs slide down into your mouth, but intuition is wrong. This will just lead to potato chip dandruff.
The better way is tilt the bag so that the crumbs all slide to one corner, then cut open the opposite corner, place the hole over your mouth, and tilt the bag for a clean and efficient waterfall of crumbled goodness.
Images via Gookumpucky
Chips aren't just good for eating. When you're fresh out of candles during a power outage, throw some Doritos into a ramekin and light 'em up. Pringles work well, too. Actually, pretty much any kind of fried corn or potato chips will work.
For more info on why this works, check out the guide at MacGyverisms.