Jar All the Things!


Ball, Mason, Knorr.  I don’t discriminate, but Ball Jars are my favorite.  They are cheap at less than a buck a piece, reusable, sanitizable, and simply awesome.  I think they blow plastic tupperware out of the water for their durability, and cleanliness, plus they aren’t plastic which can leach bad things into your food.

They sell them everywhere from the grocery store (I’ve personally seen them at Mars, Giant, and Wegmans), Target, Walmart, and for a little more on Amazon.  They even have labels that stick for months, and come off with water.

If you’re a little low on money, you can literally just buy the jars and they are great for loads of things without investing in a pressure canner, or other canning tools.

Pantry Storage:

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 1.16.27 PM

They are airtight and easy to organize.

Preparing meals for the week:

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 1.13.19 PMThis is my breakfast in a jar.  I prepare mushrooms, peppers, and onions and throw them in the fridge.  This way everything is ready for me to throw in a pan with some fresh eggs and some sautéed spinach.

My new favorite before breakfast boost is chia seeds.  As in Cha-cha-chia pets!  But for your belly.

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 1.13.59 PMIt is coconut water, a splash of juice (in this case some blueberry cranberry juice) and a tablespoon or so of chia seeds.  They sit in the jar at least for a couple hours, but the longer the better so they form their gel-like texture.  Chia seeds are high in fiber, a complete protein, and just all around good for you, so they keep me satisfied until breakfast.

Packing lunch:

I use the little ones for my lunch.  I buy my applesauce in big containers, and some fresh or frozen fruit and divid them into the perfect 4oz portions.  I also use the 8oz ones for portions of plantain chips (seriously the tastiest thing ever from Trader Joe’s); keeps me from eating the whole bag.


Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 1.15.10 PMIf I know I’m gonna eat my leftovers soon, I’ll just throw them in a jar.

Or the freezer if they are gonna be in there longer:

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 1.13.43 PMRight now there is chicken stock, coconut milk, tomato paste, tomato sauce, bacon fat, and frozen fruit in ball jars.  Ben makes a crap-ton (metric) of something and we can just can or freeze the rest.

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 1.15.27 PM

The jars don’t specifically say they are for the freezer, but I’ve been using them without any troubles for months now.  Then, when I need some stock I can just take a jar out of the freezer, take off the metal lid, and toss it in the microwave, or in a pot of hot water if you don’t like the microwave.

They are also quite handy for non food related things and storage.


Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 1.14.18 PM

Since the glass is made to be heated, they are great for candles.  And they have a handy watertight lid if you want to make a bunch in case of a power outage.

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 1.13.05 PMThis one was cinnamon.

Or you could use them as a planter:

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 1.14.37 PMI added stones at the bottom for drainage, and picked up an African violet at the Home Depot for pretty cheap.

There are tons of other projects with them I’ve seen with them: holders for nails and other tools, vases, pencil/crayon/crafts holders, soap dispensers, light fixtures, salad-in-a-jar, pretty blue ones for decoration, and of course using them for their intended purpose of canning, but that is for my next post.


One thought on “Jar All the Things!

  1. Nell

    Yes, freezing is acceptable, no problems. Just make sure you leave head space for liquid expansion. I’m glad that jar said coconut milk, because I thought it said chicken milk. I’m not sure how long you can freeze chicken milk for.

    Also, writing on the lid in sharpie will keep the label from falling off in the freezer, and it will serve as a reminder not to re-use the lids too many times (they can get nasty, even after washing), and it will also allow you to reuse the lids that can’t be used for canning anymore.

    Also good uses —
    Yogurt if you make your own or buy larger containers; and I’ll put granola in a little jar
    Carrying liquids to work (I get my cereal at work because if I eat at 5:30 before I leave the house, I wind up eating again when I get to work),
    Shaker for protein powder shakes — a little bit of ice helps keep it cold and provides extra friction for the powder. The larger jars work for mixing up the single serving powdered drink mixes.

    Up to a pint size jar will fit in the coffee holder in your car.

    Love the jars!

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