I Save Jars

The title of this post does not mean that I run down the streets in a cape and mask, rescuing jars in distress everywhere…. But that sounds like it could be fun! (^.^) The title of this post refers to me choosing not to throw jars away, but to wash them out and reuse them. I have many,many jars in all shapes and sizes in my cupboards!

Years ago, during on of my researches on healthier living, I discovered how bad plastic is. Not only is it often unable to be recycled, but it is also very bad for you because the chemicals it’s made of leech out of it into your food and drink. This concerned me, so I started looking for other methods to store food and drinks in. Enter the glass jar! This lovely item has been around for a very long time and it provides a way to store edible and drinkable things in a safer way.

I began collecting glass jars then. Whenever I’d buy food that came in a glass jar I would wash it out and reuse it. From time to time I’ve had to cut down on the amount I’ve had if they’ve started adding up way more than I can use. I sell them, give them away, or recycle them.

One of my favorite types of jar is the canning jar. I like these jars because they usually have a 2 part lid system that makes them very good for home canning and preserving. They come in several shapes and sizes as well, which gives me more variety for storage. I’ve ordered replacement canning jar lids many a time over the years! Sometimes it seems the lids will need to be replaced long before the jars.

As you can see from the picture at the top of the post, I use jars to store most things in my pantry. I have a kiddo who eats a lot of gluten free food, and when I find GF snacks for her I buy them in bulk and store them in jars. It helps me with bulk items in general because I save money buying in bulk and I can store it well at home.

FYI – Yes thereĀ are some snacks in my picture that are not in jars. The reason for this is that we volunteer at an animal shelter every week and I have to pack my kiddo a lunch. Those snacks were super marked down at our local grocery store and they go into lunches easily. I shop both for sales and for health. We have a great grocery store that constantly is marking food down super cheap so I look for ways to stretch my money and eat as healthy as possible!

The only issue I have with glass jars is freezing. I cannot find a way to freeze liquid in glass jars without it breaking. I will leave room for the liquid to expand at the top, fill it only halfway, cool it before freezing it, etc. But the jars often end up breaking anyway. I found some neat looking stainless steel containers I am going to try for freezing instead. The reviews are mixed, mostly due to people not liking the containers getting dents or having issues with the lids. Dents don’t bother me and lids can be replaced with cloth or other wraps. I just need a good freezing container!

Food stays fresher in my cupboard in jars and seems to last longer. I also feel it’s safer from any sort of critter that might go visiting your pantry at night because of all the food there…. Food in jars doesn’t smell either. I noticed recently that I could smell the food through the packages, even the ones they come in from the store. I put them all into jars instead and no more food smell. No food leaking out either, as they can from store packages.

My cabinets seriously look OCD. EVERYTHING is in jars, cans and sealed containers. This is what keeps my food the best stored though! It’s a little extra work to clean out jars and remove the labels, but I feel it is worth it!

What do you use to store your food in that is free of harsh chemicals and toxins?