I had an epiphany one day! Instead of recycling empty glass jars, I decided I would reuse them. I buy a lot of beans, grains, etc from the bulk section at our food co-op. Buying a new food item also meant the purchasing another mason jar. We save a lot of money by buying the bulk items, but we have taken our savings a step farther by reusing glass jars. I’ll take you through the steps:
- Soak the jar in warm soapy water. Then wash to get all dried food, etc off (you can also stick it in the dishwasher).
- Allow the jar to dry by placing upside down on a drying rack or towel. If you will be removing the sticker/label residue (see below), you can skip this step and just dry the outside of the jar.
- I don’t like the leftover residue (the sticky goo and the white paper) from the label, so I remove by soaking in rubbing alcohol.
I pour the alcohol on make-shift rags (we cut up old t-shirts) and place on the area of interest. I usually let it sit for about 30 minutes or longer. It probably takes a shorter amount of time, but I just leave it and go do other things. The residue can now be removed by rubbing it off with the rag. If the sticky goo needs a little more attention, scrape it with a butter knife.
- Wash the jars again to remove any rubbing alcohol.
- Let the jars dry completely.
- Add food: rice, beans, nuts, spices, etc.
Voila! You’ve stored your food, and saved yourself some money.