Using What You Have – Glass Bottles and Jars

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We recycle lots of glass bottles and jars at our house, but I reuse a lot of them, too. It’s free storage and I prefer it to plastic.

My canisters are gallon pickle jars, mostly from a movie theater where I worked when my husband went back to college in the late 1970’s. After washing and soaking off the labels, I painted “oats”, “flour”, etc. on them but that eventually wore off. A few years later I stenciled red cherries on them to match the new curtains I made, but that, too has worn off. Now they have labels I printed off from the computer, onto regular paper, cut and attached with clear strapping tape.

The jars work very well as canisters because they hold a lot, seal against little invaders and I can tell at a glance how much of something I have on hand. We buy in bulk at Sam’s Club; it’s not only cheaper, but convenient, too. We live about 4 miles from the store and I just won’t get in the car and drive in for a missing ingredient. I love having plenty on hand.

I store the 25 pound sacks of flour and sugar in large plastic buckets with tight lids, from which I replenish the smaller vessels, but everything else goes into glass. Currently we have flour, sugar, oats, cornmeal, macaroni, dried beans, baking soda, and powdered milk stored in large jars. Breakfast muffins are in a large one in the freezer. Quart to half-gallon sized ones contain yeast (in the refrigerator), cornstarch, barley, rice, grits, cereal and lemonade mix.

This summer we bought a large box of Texas peaches and froze most of them in a light sugar syrup in jars. It was too hot for me to get out and pick blackberries, but we usually have jars of them in the freezer, too.

For convenience and because I like the way it looks, I keep bottles of canola oil, olive oil and vinegar in small bottles. Sometimes I order water at restaurants and it comes in beautifully colored bottles. Lovely shades of green and blue. A package of corks from the hardware store seals them. This is very convenient for making salad dressing and cooking.

My parents were young adults during the depression and I learned about this from them. My dad would sit and shell pecans during the winter, put them in jars in the freezer and then we’d always have plenty for cooking the whole year.

This post is linked to:
Make Do Mondays
Frugal Friday on Life as Mom

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3 Comments

Filed under Free, Hints, Making Do, Thrift, Using What You Have

3 responses to “Using What You Have – Glass Bottles and Jars

  1. What wonderful information on recycling! I have only a couple of large pickle bottles and I would love to have a dozen times a dozen more! I will have to open my eyes for some other options. I have a bunch of mismatched bottles but none of them are really large and the large ones are just so much more convenient.

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  2. carlahoag

    Sam’s used to have pickles in the gallon glass jars, but now they only have plastic, so I buy the 1/2 gallon ones. They’re useful, too, but less so than the larger size.

    I try to be aware of the container when I buy a product. I purchase lots of generics, but if it comes in a good, reusable one, I’ll pay a little more.

    Kraft Marshmallow Creme jars are really good for pieces of cut onion or green pepper or tomato. They are not too tall and have a wide opening. I like storing the vegetables in them because I can see what’s in them. If stuff is in plastic, I forget what it is, then it spoils.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Love this idea–it’s a beautiful way to make-do!

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