Easy Way Out

I'm not crafty, creative, or a great cook. This blog is just going to be some simple, inexpensive ways to tackle different things. The motto of Easy Street 2: "Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without." I haven't always lived this way, but I've slowly changed over to cheap, recycling, and re-purposing. I love learning new ways to do things, so you're joining me on this journey! Failures, successes? I'll report them all!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mason or Ball Jars For Storage

I used to store leftovers in plastic containers in my fridge.  You know how it is.  You leave them in the fridge too long and the orange stains won't come out of the plastic container.  Ever.  Ewww...

The condition of the plastic deteriorates.  The smooth plastic turns rough. Ugh...

All the bad news on plastic drinking containers or microwaving plastic made me nervous.  Yes, it was time for a change.

If I had my way, I would buy those clear square glass containers that our grandparent's generation used.  They had clear glass lids, stacked neatly, and you could see what was in them.  Now, they are mainly available in antiques stores--and those things are crazy expensive.   I hear that some stores are starting to bring them back.  (And I'm not talking the ones with plastic lids.  I want the ones with glass lids.)  I knew I couldn't be the only person who wished they would make a comeback!

Until I find the glass storage that I'm looking for, I have started using Mason or Ball Canning jars.  They are glass: no staining and no deteriorating.  (Though breakage could be a problem, knock on wood--it hasn't happened yet.)  I put them through the dishwasher, and they come out sparkling clean and ready to go.

Jars make it easier to see what I am storing.  They are much clearer than the opaque plastic.
The most surprising perk:  these jars kind of seal themselves.  I have to work to pop off the sealing lid.  Grapes stay fresh much longer. (I take the grapes off the stem as soon as I get them home from the store.)  Celery and carrots keep their crispness.

These jars come in quite a few different sizes.  I primarily use the pint and quart jars.  If you are buying jars, choose the wide mouth variety for ease of use.  I have some narrow mouth jars that I use, but I prefer the wide mouth jar.  Jelly jars are perfect for storing small things like leftover sauces or small amounts.  I have a couple of jars that are larger than quart.  I think they might be half gallon, but I'm not sure.  I love those for storing soup or larger quantities.

How much will these cost you?  You can usually get 9-12 jars with lids for about $12.  Hardware stores, grocery stores, Walmart, Target--they all carry them.  They are economical and smart.

Seeing the healthy items in jars in your fridge means you usually reach for them first.  (OK.  I might still be hunting Rocket Pops or Diet Pepsi, but sometimes I will grab the grapes or the pineapple!)

I use my jars in the fridge for fresh produce or leftovers, but now I really need to start using the jars in my pantry, too.  Rice, pasta, dried beans, raisins, and nuts would all keep neatly.  When I open a package and use part of it, I wouldn't have a container that is open but not tightly sealed like the boxes or bags they come in.  That is the next step.

Canning jars for storage? It just makes sense. 

3 comments:

  1. When you store fruits and veggies in the jars, do you just put them in there or put anything in with them? Looks like you put water in some of them, but not others. I'm new to storing this stuff. Thanks.

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  2. Great idea I hate when my plastic boxes get discoloured or the surface starts to deteriorate. When we fitted our new kitchen 4 yrs ago I was horrified to find weevels in my larder / dry storage cupboard after about 6 months! Everything had to be thrown out! From then on I store all caerials, pulses, flours, sugars, rice and pasta in jars and tubs with tight sealing lids. I found the source was a bag of flour, I read online the best way to avoid this is to put unopened bags of flour in the freezer for a few days before opening, as weevels could be present in any one of these :/ makes you think!

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