What can I do with jelly jars, pasta sauce jars? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 11-25-2008, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there any way to re-use jelly jars or sauce jars?
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#2 of 32 Old 11-25-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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Gah. Yes. I never have enough! I use them to package bath stuff.

But you can use them for any sort of storage/packaging.

Or bake tiny pies in them to give as gifts!
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#3 of 32 Old 11-25-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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They are great for storing craft supplies, dry food (rice, beans, spices...) nails and screws and things like that, leftovers in the fridge and probably a bunch of other things I'm not thinking of.

Like avenginophelia said, they are great for packaging bath stuff as gifts. I also use them to package home make cookie mixes or other baking mixes or home made tea blends.

The only thing I wouldn't use them for is canning. The glass on those kinds of jars is prone to breaking in the high temperatures of a canning pot and they often don't get a good seal. With out a seal, you food will go bad.

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#4 of 32 Old 11-25-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
Or bake tiny pies in them to give as gifts!
Have you actually baked the pies in store-jelly or other jars? The recipe talks about buying jars for the purpose. I haven't read all the comments, yet.

thanks
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#5 of 32 Old 11-25-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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Have you actually baked the pies in store-jelly or other jars? The recipe talks about buying jars for the purpose. I haven't read all the comments, yet.

thanks
--janis
I haven't. Do you think they might not be able to withstand the heat? I'm worried about that as well.
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#6 of 32 Old 11-25-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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I use them for food storage. Or sometimes even leftover storage, like spaghetti sauce that I made myself. So much better than plastic and it doesn't stain like plastic does!

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#7 of 32 Old 11-25-2008, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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food storage

what a great idea

That will help me eliminate all that plastic tupperware that I no longer want to use.

It seems so obvious, but never occured to me
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#8 of 32 Old 11-25-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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Any kind of storage... I use them for keeping my craft area somewhat organized, the tool bench, the garden shed, anywhere you have lots of little things that will scatter everywhere.

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#9 of 32 Old 11-25-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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You can make snow globes with the smaller ones

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#10 of 32 Old 11-26-2008, 03:42 PM
 
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We reuse nearly every glass jar that comes into our home. In fact, I purposely choose glass packaging whenever possible. It is becoming harder and harder to find mayonnaise, mustard, and other items in glass jars. We have now replaced 90% of our plastic food storage, which includes transferring food that comes in plastic bulk storage or bags into glass containers. We only kept 6 very small plastic containers for DD's school lunches, a few water bottles, and some specialty plastic items. I don't mind plastic lids, though. I just make sure the food is below the lid "zone"...

My motivation is TASTE!!! I find food tastes soooo much better in glass storage than in plastic. I also really like how much easier and cleaner glass is to clean. Health and environmental aspects play a part for me, also, but really the taste won me and my family over...

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#11 of 32 Old 11-26-2008, 04:45 PM
 
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I know that canning is a no-no although my mom always did it with mayo and pasta sauce jars, I never have though. What about freezing things in them? Don't some people use glass to freeze things, just leave enough headroom for things to expand?

How about starting a couple of plants, sweet potato comes to mind this time of year, I use glass jars for rooting cuttings all the time.
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#12 of 32 Old 11-26-2008, 05:19 PM
 
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I use them for rooting planting in water, for leftovers, and for storing food items I get in bulk.
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#13 of 32 Old 12-09-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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for everything. storing food, supplies, mixing salsas, anything.
and i love them for candle holders...if you paint them, they give off a great light.
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#14 of 32 Old 12-09-2008, 04:57 PM
 
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We definitely use them for food storage - both in the fridge and in the pantry. I often take my lunch to work in them (a repurposed jar filled with chili or lentil soup, for example). I have a padded lunch bag, so I don't really have to worry about them breaking. I'm about to start doing poured candles in them, too. Let's see.... I store things like baking powder in them for cleaning and put one in each room. I have the tooth powder I made in a pesto jar. I like to put pretty rocks or buttons, etc. in jars around the house. We have the counters for ds's card games (like Yu-Gi-Oh! and such) in a little pickle jar. We drink out of jelly jars. I'm sure we have them employed in other ways, too - just can't think of them right now. We use them for everything, though. Yay glass!

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#15 of 32 Old 12-09-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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Definitely for bulk food storage. I get moths in my cupboards so everything needs to be in closed packages.
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#16 of 32 Old 12-10-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lightheart View Post
I know that canning is a no-no although my mom always did it with mayo and pasta sauce jars, I never have though. What about freezing things in them?
Why is canning a no-no? Growing up my grandmother reused any small jar for jelly. Any jar (like most mayo jars before they went plastic) that will take a standard lid and ring can be used for canning, whether you buy them with mayo in them, or you buy them empty.

As for freezing, sure. I'm chicken about freezing in glass, but I know plenty of people do it. Just leave plenty of head room, and I've also heard to leave the lids off until they're frozen.

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#17 of 32 Old 12-10-2008, 11:53 PM
 
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I think in your grandma's day it might have been better.

Now though most glass jars are made of thinner, lower quality glass than the jars made specifically for home canning. Also they are less often made to fit a standard sized lid. Re-purposed jars are more likely to break under heat and pressure, they are also more likely to have irregularities that make it difficult to get a good seal.

You can can with them, but you run a higher risk of your jar breaking or not sealing properly.

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#18 of 32 Old 12-13-2008, 12:37 AM
 
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You can make snow globes with the smaller ones
i did that a couple years ago. it was TOO cute.

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#19 of 32 Old 12-13-2008, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just getting started using jars for storage now. I went to put some homemade hot chocolate mix in one. It still smelled like pickles despite being washed well and air dried. Another one still smelled like jelly.

What can I do about the smell?

Thanks
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#20 of 32 Old 12-13-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
Why is canning a no-no? Growing up my grandmother reused any small jar for jelly. Any jar (like most mayo jars before they went plastic) that will take a standard lid and ring can be used for canning, whether you buy them with mayo in them, or you buy them empty.
Another reason is for bacterial contamination. The PP was talking about using new canning rings on the re-used jars. When you preserve something, it takes heat (canning jars designed for that heat) plus the ability to seal the lid air-tight. You can't do that without a canning lid.

Freezing is different. Most glass will be fine. You just need to be sure that the food is room temp before putting it in the freezer - and allow it to "warm" up naturally, but don't heat it up in the glass jar.

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#21 of 32 Old 12-13-2008, 09:20 PM
 
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We reuse nearly every glass jar that comes into our home. In fact, I purposely choose glass packaging whenever possible>>>>

me too.
I just wish more manf. started using square glass containers LOL
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#22 of 32 Old 12-23-2008, 11:16 AM
 
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We also have made snow globes out of them, it's a great project for the kids and...uh...I have quite a bit of fun making them too!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#23 of 32 Old 12-23-2008, 12:15 PM
 
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I use them for freezing my chicken broth after roasting or baking a chicken (or turkey, ham, whatever leaves juice behind). I always leave enough room for expansion and have found that when they've broken (maybe once or twice), they don't shatter into tiny pieces, but rather large, easy to remove fragments.

I also use them for draining off grease after browning hamburger or cooking bacon. I cannot pour it down my drains for fear it will build up and clog them, so I put them in the jars and then throw them away when full.

I've also made gifts out of them by adding a small strand of Christmas lights, filling with potpurri, then topping with a doily threaded with a colorful ribbon to tie off and make a 'lid'. When the lights are plugged in, the aroma is heavenly

Oh, and never underestimate keeping some on hand for summer firefly catching, assuming you're in an area that gets fireflies My kids also like to keep mini bug farms going when they catch something neat or interesting. Just remember to poke small holes in the lid or your bugs won't last very long.

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#24 of 32 Old 12-23-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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Small and medium sizes are great for spice storage. Buying spices in bulk or from an East Indian Grocery store is much more frugal.... storing them in jars makes it easy to identify, they stack, keep them fresh... and look nice too!

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#25 of 32 Old 12-23-2008, 08:32 PM
 
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AFA pickle-smell (or other unsavory leftover smellies) I found that filling the jar with hot water and a couple of tablespoons of baking soda, and leaving overnight (or until you get to the dinner dishes the next day ) works to take out most all smells.
Speaking of soaking, another re-use for jars is to soak stained items before the wash, little socks and undies, etc. with just a little laundry soap or peroxide for whites, if your lid fits well you can even agitate them every once in a while.
Speaking of shaking things in jars with well-fitting lids, you can use them to make pudding, sauces, etc. by shaking the ingredients in the jar to mix them.
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#26 of 32 Old 12-24-2008, 07:24 AM
 
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I have tons of them. I use them for storing and freezing.

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#27 of 32 Old 12-29-2008, 01:38 AM
 
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we use bigger jars for pencils, paintbrushes, pens, etc.
food storage in fridge and cupboard
canning - jam, salsa, peaches, plums
"wish" jars - whenever we think of something we'd like, we put a slip of paper in our jar, then other members of the family always have ideas for b-days, holidays etc.
i don't freeze them anymore, my idea of head room and my freezers always seem to be amiss.
and it may see too obvious, but old jars are the only drinking glasses we use. the little ones are perfect for kids, and they are harder to break than you would think.
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#28 of 32 Old 12-29-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kacymoose View Post
I'm just getting started using jars for storage now. I went to put some homemade hot chocolate mix in one. It still smelled like pickles despite being washed well and air dried. Another one still smelled like jelly.

What can I do about the smell?

Thanks
Vinegar is great for getting rid of smells in jars and cans! I just pour it in the jar and let it sit for awhile.

I like using pasta sauce sized jars for hot chocolate or other gift mixes a lot. I paint the jars with acrylic paints, then do 2-3 coats of mod podge to seal it all. I put a square of fabric over the lid, glue it down, and glue/tie a ribbon around the edge to make it look finished.

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#29 of 32 Old 12-29-2008, 12:11 PM
 
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What about freezing things in them? Don't some people use glass to freeze things, just leave enough headroom for things to expand?
We use them for freezing bone broth or big batches of cooked beans, chili, sauce, etc. We fill them 3/4 full so when they expand the dont burst.
Nothing goes to waste this way if we are not going to be able to eat it all soon.

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#30 of 32 Old 12-30-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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Wow, these are some great ideas! I wouldn't have thought of most of them.
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