Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Glass jars for food storage

Someone recently asked me for pictures of my pantry. With the addition of my wonderful new grain mill (and a bulk order of wheat!), my "pantry" is still in the midst of being organized again. I say "pantry" since I store food in my kitchen cupboards, on our enclosed porch, and in our bedroom!

I will take pictures soon, though. But for starters, here is a handy tip for storing food: Glass jars.

Quart- and pint-sized jars of food

I love the quart- and pint-sized glass jars for smaller storage. Salt, sugar, rice, beans, poppy seeds, xylitol, vanilla extract, popcorn, etc.

Tightly sealed (but not "canned")

The canning lid and ring keeps the jar air-tight. Sometimes you can find white plastic lids that will fit these jars, which is perhaps more convenient than dealing with a lid and ring (though probably lightly less air-tight).

I love the see-through aspect of using jars, and I think glass looks much prettier than plastic! Most foods do store better away from sunlight, however, so it's better to keep glass jars behind cupboard doors (or in a dark basement -- ours is too icky though!).

Gallon-sized jars of grain

For larger-volume items, gallon-sized glass jars are wonderful! I have wheat berries, cream of wheat cereal, quinoa, bulgur wheat, and barley in gallon-sized jars. I'm on the lookout for more of the gallon-size jars, as they are SO convenient!

Making the seal tighter...

Glass gallon jars don't always have air-tight lids, but if you fold a couple of layers of waxed paper or plastic and place it between the jar and the lid (and then screw the lid on) it will make a tighter seal. :)

Extra measuring scoops

When you frequent garage sales or thrift stores, extra measuring cups can be found quite inexpensively. Leaving a half-cup scoop in the jar saves time and dishes! :)

More perks: Glass is easier to clean and sterilize than plastic, and won't leach chemicals into your food. Glass jars (at least, the quart-size) are very inexpensive and can often be found for free! :)

More tips (including how to remove sticky labels from glass jars)!

I'm not the only one who likes glass jars. See Laura's beautiful pantry here, and read Lindsay's post about using jars to store food! :)

To participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Post a kitchen tip in your blog, with a link to this post. Then come here and add your name, tip subject, and URL to this post! Links must be family friendly, as always. If you don't have a blog but would still like to share a tip, just leave a comment here with your tip! Everyone's ideas are appreciated. :) Note: Please link to your individual post, not your blog's main/front page! Thanks for participating! :)

Comments

Tammy,
Thank you for continuing this weekly tradition.
I always glean wonderful tips and ideas from these posts. I have also used many of your recipes. Thank you for sharing.
We're leaving for a few days away from home and I just had to check your tips before leaving.
Peace,
Lynne in NC

Those jars look beautiful. I've been dreaming about a grain mill for a couple of years, so I'm reading your posts with great interest. Maybe in the fall...

I just love the idea of leaving measuring cups in the jars! That is such a great idea. I always see those at yard sales and thrift stores.
Thanks for the tip!
Toni
http://thehappyhousewife.com

One quick comment - you might find it helpful to also wwrite the date of storage on each jar somewhere so you can make sure you are using the oldest supply first. I love glass jars too. Large gallon sized ones work especially nice. I can buy those at Sam's Club, Costco, etc. with pickles in them. They wash up nicely and store alot of product in them. I just wish these jars were square so they would fit better on shelves.
Thanks for the tips. Have a great day.
Sandy

I can get square gallon-size glass jars at Target. They are sold as (I think) cookie jars but work fine for storing rice, flour, baking mix, etc.

I look forward to these weekly tips on your site. I will be on the lookout for glass jars at yard sales and thrift stores from now on. Love that look for storing food!

Jen
www.jenchambers.blogspot.com

Thanks so much for linking to me! I DO love my jars! LOVE MY JARS!! (That's why it was so much fun to see your jars!!)

Laura @ heavenlyhomemakers

We store everything in glass canning jars, too!

Here's my tag-a-long tip: Get a canning funnel! I am sure you have one, Tammy, but for anyone who doesn't do canning... I have a stainless steel one that fits the mouth of wide or regular mouth jars. I use it every day. Otherwise, filling jars can be a very messy operation.

Hope your summer is going well so far!

Hi Tammy,
I just love the look of grains stored in glass jars. It is so pretty.

I'm glad you are enjoying your grain mill. I got one last year and have loved it.

This is my first time to participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesday. Thanks for hosting. There are so many great ideas....I really enjoy reading them.

~Stacy

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/AussieinAmerica/

I too love jars! I can't wait to fill my pantry with them when our house is done.

pizza shops, and sandwich shops for gallon glass jars. They usually will sell them for $1 or give them to you.

I love jars too, but yours look so nicely organized!

I store in glass jars also. I have jar attachment with my foodsaver that makes an air tight seal. I love how fresh it keeps things. I love your kitchen tips :)

I use jars too! I was going to do a blog post about it sometime. LOL Anyway, I use the big olive jars, works well and that way you can always know what is in the jar. :) I think it looks nice too when you open up your pantry and you can see the jars all lined up. I really like your little scoops. Neat idea! ~Tanya - mama to 5 :)

http://www.goodmans.net/get_list_602_2.htm
This company carries Ball one gallon, two and four gallon jars with special rubber gaskets. Now that you know that Ball makes that size maybe you can find some locally, cheaper.

I use jars for many of my pantry items. Quart sized for beans, nuts and grains. Pint sized for spices. I started using them because I have about 200 canning jars left over when I am done canning in the fall! Question: How do you get the pickle smell out of the gallon sized pickle jars? I have one that's been sitting in my kitchen for months waiting to be de-smelled.

I'm alittle late. lol, but try alittle bleach water.

Tammy, your posts are always so interesting! I have wanted to try out a grain mill for years, but I've been prevented from jumping in because of the fear of spending so much money and possibly not liking the outcome, or just not having time to use it.

Oh, and the idea to use jars is awesome. My daughters love those huge pickles that you buy at concession stands for a buck, so I buy the huge jar of the huge pickles! Saves me a huge buck! Anyway, I save the jars and use them for my homemade brownie mix, biscuit mix, beans, bulk rice, etc. Works great!

Leslie
aka The Menu Maker Mom
http://menumakermom.blogspot.com

I just started using jars for my food storage. I love it. They look so homey. :)

Julie
www.keepersathome.blogspot.com

I thought I had stopped by to let you know we love the bread recipe with the conditioners. I couldn't find it so I'm telling you again maybe LOL YUM!!!
Thank you so much for that tip, I found soy lecithin in liquid and the vital wheat gluten. The soy lecithin said 1 TBSP was equal to 1 1/4 tsp of the granular to I did a little less than 1 TBSP.

Thank you for a wonderful bread making experience.

Hugs!!!!

Jars are of great help when it comes to storage. I've been doing it for a couple of years now. My kitchen looks so clean and organized because of the jars. They don't look that scrumpy because the jars are making it organized. Thanks.

spy-sunglasses

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