Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Thrifty Green Thursday - An alternative to plastic storage containers

I just love Green Baby Guide blog, and decided to try my hand at her Thrifty Green Thursday blog carnival thingy.

About a year ago, I got fed up with all the plastic storage containers. The mixmatched lids, the yucky stains. Not too mention the worry of the possible harmful chemicals leaching into our food.

So, I took the plunge and tossed the majority of them into the recycling bin. What did I replace them with? Certainly not any expensive speciality containers. Just simple canning jars, most of which I acquired for almost nothing via yard sales.

It's so simple, and as a bonus- my cabinets have never been neater!

The lids and rings are in that blue basket. I hand wash those, but the jars can just be tossed in the dishwasher.

You'll notice a lowly stack of plastic containers remaining. Those are for Thomas to take to work, as I still can't convince him to use a jar. He's worried that it'll break in transit, but I have yet to have one break during daily use at home (and I have 2 toddlers who help load/unload the dishwasher!). Oh well.

For larger items, such as cookies or bulk beans and rice, I've been saving gallon-sized pickle jars (we go through a lot of pickles around here, hehe). You can also save smaller glass jars from various pre-packaged foods, such as jelly, salsa, etc. (although, you won't have the convenience of having identical lids for all of them).

I would LOVE to hear if anyone else uses canning jars for storage, or if you have any other ideas for alternatives!


Permission to Mother said...

I'd like to use more glass too. How do you clean the pickle smell and other odors out of the jars?

Courtney said...

great idea. i will have to keep my eyes peeled at yardsales

Anonymous said...

Hi April, Leia here. :) We use random jars - jam, instant coffee, canning jars, etc, but usually for dry goods. We supplement that with Pyrex for leftovers to take to work.

Some of the Pyrex was bought new, but quite a bit we look for at garage and thrift stores. Especially thrift stores. You can usually find large sets of dishes and pyrex, etc, at Salvation Army given the time to look for a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

That is actually a great idea! Thanks for sharing...duh, I can't believe the thought never crossed my mind (and years ago, when hubby made more money, I actually tossed our plastic and bought a bunch of expensive storage containers!!) :( ACK!

Mayet said...

I still use some plastic containers but I have jars for flours,etc. and of course small ones for my baby's veggies.

CanCan said...

I do this, too! Did you know that rats can chew through tupperware, but not glass?
Yep. Found that one out. Awesome!

Rebecca said...

I also use random jars for storage. The best size are peanut butter jars--wide enough to fit stuff in, like apple slices or half a lemon or onion, but not too big and clunky like an applesauce jar. This also makes me seek out products that come in glass instead of plastic.

Permission to Mother--if the lids still smell like salsa or pickles or something after washing it, the best way to get the smell out is to let them sit in the sun for a bit. The jars themselves usually don't smell, as glass is a nonporous material.

Great tip! Thanks for adding it to our wealth of Thrifty Green Thursday ideas!

Joy said...

Great tip! We have a drawer full of plastic containers that irks me every time I open it. Plus, plastic seems to take so much longer to dry than glass and I hate having to hand dry everything before putting it away. Thanks for joining Thrifty Green Thursday this week!

Sara said...

I've been gradually getting rid of our plastic containers but have yet to replace them with something else so I've been finding myself at a loss when it comes to storage. I had never thought to look at a yard sale. I'll be keeping my eyes open now and probably checking out some thrift stores too. I'm also trying to find somthing that would be good for my husband to take his lunch in!

rainbowmummy said...

Doh I neve even thought of it before!! Thanks. Break the platic, I triple dare you!!