It’s so exciting to see that in just three years the reusable and sustainable container movement has really grown. In this post we thought we would talk a bit about reusing glass jars in both practical and decorative ways. We’re talking reusing both your food container jars (pasta, pickles, olives, and more) and Mason jars.
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Buy a cap for Mason jars
One of the most sensible Mason jar reuse trends is to buy a cap and use the jar over and over. You might have got the jar from someone who gave you a canned good, and now you have the opportunity to reuse the jar for another purpose. Or you can buy Mason jars brand new in many shapes and sizes, and use them for all sorts of things.
There are many types of caps —
- the flip and pour cap — for example, if you’re going to store homemade salad dressing in the bottle, then the cap helps you not dispense too much at once.
- the large mouth opening cap — for, perhaps, oats or nuts storage.
- the pump dispenser lid — maybe the bottle will now hold hand soap, so the dispenser becomes a necessity
- a cap with a screen — for shaking out parmesan cheese or red pepper flakes
Keep the cap for other jar types
It’s a little harder to source lids for other jars you can use (that aren’t Mason jars). We’re talking about pasta jars (though some might be Mason jars), pickle jars, olive jars, and other glass jars that you have emptied out and cleaned for reuse. So, keep and clean those lids when possible for reuse since you know you’re going to have a perfect fit.
Ideas for reusing jars for food
One of the hottest ways you can reuse a large glass jar is to make a layered salad for lunch. For busy moms who work, you can easily make a week’s worth of grab and go lunches for yourself on Sunday and be ready to dash out the door Monday morning without a second thought.
One idea is from Food blogger Layla Atik, who has a wonderful breakdown of Mason Jar Burrito Bowls with instructions and several versions to get you going.
Beyond the layered salads, here are other ideas. You can store —
- Grains: oats, rice, quinoa, wheat, barley, and more
- Nuts: almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and more
- Granola: make your own and store — this way you can cut down on added sugar from store-bought granolas
- Salad dressing: make your own
- Smoothies: make your own in the morning, take it with you to work, give it a good shake before you drink it later (the bottle serves as a manual “blender”)
- Cooking ingredients: salt, baking soda, sugar, spices
- Snacks: like pretzels, crackers, dried fruits
We adore how you can reduce your food waste buy buying in bulk and then storing in jars. You avoid plastic, and you avoid having to recycle so much packaging — look for stores that have bulk food, but also request that they are vigilant in keeping the bulk food area pristinely clean and that they monitor the area to keep people from reaching into the food with their bare hands. Feel free to complain to stores who don’t clean and monitor.
Use the bottles for pretty decor and other storage
- Hand soap container
- Cotton ball and Q-Tip container
- Rustic-looking vase
- Candle container
- Pencil jar
(This is an updated post from 2/2/16.)