December 12, 2012

An Obsession with Bottles and Jars


In my mind, there are two kinds of jars: Mason or canning jars, and other jars.

A bottle and jar obsession

My obsession doesn't stop at canning jars. I hate to throw out jars that we empty at mealtime. These cleaned jars hold flowers, rooting cuttings, dehydrated foods, and leftovers.

A bottle and jar obsession
Mixed Pepper Rings

Partly it's because we don't have trash pick-up; I won't throw glass jars down a ravine and they can't be burned. To recycle jars and bottles, I'd have to drive at least 45 minutes to a town with recycle bins, and I rarely go that direction. It's easier to wash them out and reuse them, eliminating the need to buy other containers.

A bottle and jar obsession
Chicken soup for dinner?

A couple of years ago I gave away a boxful of empty spaghetti sauce jars. I put a free ad on Craigslist, although I really didn't think anyone would want them. Surprisingly someone did. She told me I saved her a lot of money on Christmas gifts. I'm not sure what she did with them, but she didn't have to buy the canning jars she'd planned to use.

A bottle and jar obsession

My brother gave me this spice holder the Christmas before my youngest child was born. The jars are long empty of course, and I've repurposed the whole thing in my "office" to hold buttons, paperclips, push pins and so on. Those small bottles are wonderful for holding all kinds of little objects.

A bottle and jar obsession

I save other emptied spice jars to hold my homemade taco and chili seasoning mixes. I prefer to store food in glass rather than plastic, but I do use plastic spice jars for this.

A bottle and jar obsession

Empty soy sauce bottles are great for homemade vinegar, salad dressings, and olive oil, or to hold a single sunflower or rose. The two bottles above hold plum vinegar and pear vinegar. Notice the "mother of vinegar" on top of the liquid, and the "stuff" near the bottom, which is also mother.

A bottle and jar obsession

Along with my blue Mason jars, I like little brown bottles too.

A bottle and jar obsession

This brown jug was found in a ravine on our property. I'd love to know how many years it sat half-buried, and how it remained unbroken. What did it hold originally? Now it holds a tall branch.

A bottle and jar obsession.

Any jar and lid with a rubber ring inside can be vacuum-sealed with a FoodSaver. This makes them great for storing dry staple foods such as rice or popcorn, or dehydrated foods.

The humble jar is more valuable than a lot of people think.




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21 comments:

  1. These are good ideas, Kathi! I have been saving Mason jars lately for some DIY Christmas gifts. You just gave me inspiration for some other things. Pinning this. Thanks for linking up to Traffic Jam Weekend!

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  2. Yes ordinary jars are definitely worth saving. I find honey jars very useful for storing my homemade chilli sauce. I now have a small cupboard full of odd jars. My daughter opened it the other day and declared, "Mum, I think you've got enough jars now". Plus I was super excited when on her last visit my mother brought with her 2 boxes full of fowler jars minus the lids and clips.

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    1. I am happy to welcome you into the jar lovers club, Therese!

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  3. Love all those jars! I like the brown ones, too.

    Thanks for linking up at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!

    Jennifer

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  4. Thank you, Jennifer. I like those little brown bottles, and the brown jug is pretty special. Thank you for visiting.

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  5. This was a nice feel good post.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Laura. Have a great weekend.

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    2. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Laura. Have a great weekend.

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  6. I try to save some of our jars, but many, like pickle jars, have a strong smell lingering even after washing in the dishwasher. Do you have a solution?

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    1. Hi Donna, soaking jars and lids in a solution of baking soda and water helps sometimes. Sometimes I just have to give up on pickle jars though.

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    2. Hi Donna, soaking jars and lids in a solution of baking soda and water helps sometimes. Sometimes I just have to give up on pickle jars though.

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  7. I love glass jars, too! Here's my article on why and how to reuse jars.

    Donna, my solution for jars that retain a strong spicy smell is to use those jars only for spicy leftovers, or for bulk foods like dry beans that won't be damaged if they take on a little of that smell.

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    1. That's a good solution, Becca, thank you.

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  8. Kathi, I just came over from Hearth and Soul Hop. Glad I found your blog. Could relate to your bottle and jar obsession! Unlike you, I can easily recycle them here, but I have a hard time giving them up!

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  9. Jean, you too are a kindred soul. :-)

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  10. Kathi, what a great idea. I always use plastic containers for small left overs but I have heaps of screw top jars, and now I will use them instead of the plastic. Thanks for this enlightening post, such a blessings. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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  11. Thank you, Terri - glass is healthier for us than plastic too!

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  12. I adore bottles and jars too - I love how you have repurposed yours, Kathi. They are lovely plus it's frugal and sustainable too! Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.

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  13. Hi April, jars are a "bonus" when we buy the contents. ;-) Thank you for visiting.

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  14. Hi Kathi,
    I too love bottles and jars and save all of my glass bottles and reuse them for many of the same purposes you use them. A friend of mine just gave me a salad dressing that comes in a reusable carafe, I couldn't confess to her that I was more excited about having the carafe than the dressing! :o) Great article.....

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  15. Claudine, I know I'm not the only one who can relate to that feeling of being even more thrilled by the container than by the gift. Thank you for making me smile this morning!

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