I'm always thinking about creative ways to both save money and the environment at the same time. I turn to Apartment Therapy's Re-Nest blog often for its useful and fantastic ideas on how to be an eco-frugalist.
One article I return to constantly is this one: 10 Simple Uses for Spaghetti Jars. It has great ideas on how to re-use those jars—packaging we mostly overlook before we (hopefully) throw it in the recycling bin. You can save a lot of money by re-using and re-purposing items you might otherwise throw away. And the nice thing about jars is that they look great and don't degrade while leaching icky chemicals the way that plastic does.
Here are some of their tips on how to re-use jars, plus some of our own:
1. Storage of bulk foods - re-use jars for storing sugar, flour, grains, rice, etc. when the original packaging wears out, or if you split with a friend.
2. Watering your houseplants – skip a watering can and fill up a jar instead.
3. Cold drinks - add some lime or lemon juice or some cucumber to a jar of water, put the lid on and give it a little shake. Then stick in the fridge until you need some refreshment. Works well for iced tea too.
4. Breakfast on the run – add instant oatmeal, dried fruit and brown sugar to a jar and toss in your bag. Once you're at work, at some hot water, mix well and enjoy.
5. Leftovers – who needs expensive Tupperware? Great for dips, sauces, and soup.
6. Organization - keep various screws and nails of all sizes in these, or cotton balls and swabs in your bathroom. Jars are clear so you can see what's inside.
7. Gifts – pass along those sauces, mixes, and other edibles in a jar. Tie a pretty ribbon around the lid and you’re done.
8. Make your own flavored olive oil – mix oil with your favorite herbs like rosemary or basil and let sit for a few days. Drizzle a salad or dip in some fresh bread.
9. Ribbon or string/yarn/twine storage - Cut a hole in the top for a twine dispenser or slit for ribbon dispenser.
10. Piggy bank – corral loose change and keep handy for those parking meters and bus fares.
Check out our varied selection of pasta sauces and jarred foods to spice up your lunches and dinners. We offer sauces, jams, pickles, peppers, and all kinds of other jarred foods whose packaging can be reused in creative ways.