Do you reuse empty jars? We do!

In the tripe, lettuce and tomato sandwich post, there is a photo of cooked tripe stored in an ice cream gallon. Reader Ken_L commented, “Is that a recycled ice cream container I see in the second picture? Thank you for reassuring me I am not totally kuripot for re-using plastic containers.” And I replied that, yes, we re-use what we can, plastic and glass.

It’s true. There was a time when I’d buy glass jars and plastic containers in sets (I had every item in the Tupperware catalog, truth be told), store stuff in them and they lined the counters and cabinets in the kitchen. They looked so pretty, all uniform like that! But the thing about sets is that when you lose one, you really don’t feel happy about those that remain. It’s a feeling of incompleteness.

But, in the kitchen, that is inevitable. No matter how careful you are, the constant handling, the washing and re-washing… Everything is breakable — hard plastic, ceramic, glass… After a while, I just got tired of buying jars and containers in sets.

Naturally, the time came when I ran out of containers. And I’d pick up whatever clean container I could get my hands on. Without realizing it, a habit was formed. It wasn’t until I re-arranged the containers on a shelf recently did I realize that, hey, the pasta containers (Folgers coffee jars) match! Not bad.

If you’re like me who likes the visual appeal of uniform containers, here’s a tip. If there are items that you buy regularly (coffee, mayonnaise, olive oil, etc.) and you tend to buy the same brand every time, you can actually accrue enough to create sets.

Update at 10.40 p.m. More photos.

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My homemade mustard sauce is now in an empty bottle of olive oil with a spout.

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The yeast is in an empty peanut butter jar.

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The brown sugar is in an empty jar of mayonnaise.

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Comments

  1. beibei says

    How do you clean them? any special techniques? Sometimes, the mayonnaise jars would still smell like mayonnaise after washing!

  2. Cecille B. says

    Oh dear- and I thought I am the only one who reuse empty bottles!

    At the time when plastic containers were unheard of, my mom would use empty bottles to store just about anything. The habit rubbed into me and I clean and store empty bottles for future use. I would painstakingly remove the label and wash the inside until the smell is gone.

    Besides, it is such a waste throwing all those bottles. The wine bottles I use to decorate the kitchen, lining them up on a shelf- or use them as water bottles. Big bottles with wide opening I use to store sugar, flour, milo,etc. The Lady’s Choice bottle (shaped like an egg) I use to store spices.

    The tall and slender bottles I use for vinegar, soy sauce, patis.

    The plastic containers of ice ream, biscuits- I use to organize the pantry or as container for the clothes pin.

    The tin cans/containers of chocolates and biscuits are resurrected as sewing kits.

    More importantly. we are doing mother earth a great favor by recycling.

  3. Archana says

    :D :D same pinch! I use empty folger containers to hold pasta. I would recognize the contour of the jar and its red lid any where. I describe it to my husband EVERY time my husband offers to make pasta dinner. Elbow and Penne . And then channa dal, nutrela ( soy chunks) , quinoa. And a few more. I guess I drink a lot of coffee. :D

  4. says

    Cecille B., the tins, I don’t reuse because of rust issue. Speedy reuses them though.

    Archana, amen to drinking a lot of coffee and accumulating coffee jars hehehe I should take photos of the mayonnaise jars with the pulses — split peas, lentils, mung beans :-D

  5. says

    There are times when I would pick a certain brand over the other because it’s in a better looking container. Minsan pa nga kahit di ko pa naman kailangan, pag maganda ang garapon bibilhin ko na. hahaha!

  6. Chi says

    Ms. Connie, do you also use this mixture to clean olive oil bottles? I’d like to reuse my olive oil bottles as containers for other (not olive) oil because of the spout ( I find it more economical to buy refill packs for oil). Parang hindi ko matanggal completely yung oil. :-P

    Oh, and a funny story, my sea salt is in an empty container of unsalted Wheat Nuts. I didn’t bother to remove the label. My husband just encircled the word “salt” in the word “unsalted.” Ha ha ha.

    • says

      Chi, because olive oil bottle have a small mouth, I soak them in a soap solution. Then, with the bottle half filled, I screw on the cap and shake vigorously. I pour out the water, refill, repeat. Several times. Then, I rinse.

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