Sunday, November 6, 2011

GLASS JARS IN THE PANTRY

Jars on pantry shelves
One of our favorite storage methods, and one that has been tried and true for a long time, is glass jars.  They sell these "cracker jars" as they are called, at most of the big box stores.  I've also seen them called "biscuit jars".  A couple of weeks ago, I decided that every time I went to either Target or Walmart, I would pick one up with whatever else I purchased.  They are very affordable, usually less than $5.  These particular jars, made by Anchor Hocking, come in three sizes, small, medium and large.  You can find them in smaller sizes as well either online or at other stores.

We use them to store everything in the pantry, flours, sugars, rice, and everything else 2nd Man uses to cook with.  We even have a couple with handles on them that we store cereal in.  Yep, we pour the cereal out of the box and into the jar.  It lasts twice as long in glass.
Glass has always been our "go to" storage method.  No plastic to worry about.  They are easy to clean, never absorb odors or colors, don't put anything back the other way into the food, you know in an instant how much of something you have left, and best of all, they are virtually airtight (with the screw on lids) and keep contents fresh.  Oh, and did I mention, they always just look nice all lined up on the shelves?!

I have only these four plus two others right now, but more to come soon.  We have about 20 or so in the pantry at the city house, but we'll have to have more for out there.  We're still a way off from filling the mudroom pantry shelves with cooking ingredients, but it's better to start now with these so that we can do it when the time comes.


As you can see, we put just about everything in a jar.  I just got this one the other day (at Hobby Lobby) as a way to keep all our instant drink mix packets in.  It looks nice and clean, organized, and keeps them all in one place.

I was reminded today by commenter Robin that canning jars (such as Mason and Ball) make wonderful storage jars as well.  Best of all, they are pretty inexpensive.  Since I'm late to canning, I haven't always had an excess of these jars on hand but now that I'm beginning to have them laying around, we will definitely be using these jars as well.  Thanks Robin!

I'll get some more pics soon of the other jars in our pantry.  We have some really large ones for the large bulk ingredients such as flour, sugar, etc.
2nd Man goes through those ingredients very quickly when he's on a baking marathon.  That's something to remember as you buy pantry jars or storage containers of any kind.  Put the stuff you go through often like flour and sugar in larger jars and use the smaller ones for things you use less often.

9 comments:

Robin said...

I also use glass for storage. You just can't beat it! I use canning jars for some items and also for left overs. I can't believe that you haven't thought of this :)

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Nothing beats a glass jar..I just don't have enough space for as many as I need .

1st Man said...

Robin - Actually, we always had these jars and I never thought of canning jars until recently. I should have mentioned that we use those as well when we need an extra jar but again it's a recent use (once I had extra jars laying around, ha). I'll admit though, as an idea for leftovers, I love that.

1st Man said...

Gingerbreads House - We never seem to have enough space for most of what we need, ha. I think that's a universal problem. My theory is that we fill up our "nest" with as much as it will hold and need more, no matter the nest size, ha. This mudroom is pretty good size for a pantry, we have lots of shelves, but I bet a year from now I'm complaining about not enough space, ha.

Tonya said...

Haha, I also love glass jars! I have them for everything! Noodles, beans, rice, cereal, cereal bars, flour, sugar, coffee, cornmeal, brown sugar, splenda, etc... I even use the large Apothecary type for bags of (human type) snack sized treats, dog treats, and candies.

I have also used a label maker for all the "baking type" goods so as to not mix anything up. I like the jars because I can see at a glance what I need and it is visually interesting. Great minds think alike!

Sue said...

I use the old glass "refrigerator" containers. They're so pretty--there are a lot of patterns to choose from and though they are pricey in antique stores ($8-$25), they are little works of art. I had a post on them a few months ago:
http://thestuffthatkeepsmeawake.blogspot.com/2011/08/post-for-daisy-at-maple-hill-101.html
You might enjoy them---they really give a old-timey look.

dianefaith said...

I love glass jars, too, and would use them extensively except that I have low, open shelves and a frequent 3-year-old visitor. He loves to help himself or at least ask questions about what's in the containers. So, for now, I use plastic.

1st Man said...

Sue - That sounds awesome. I remember those containers, in fact I think I might have a few in storage that were something my Mom found once upon a time. I told 2nd Man about them and he said "that's what we should use in the refrigerator!". I'll check out your blog post.

Dianfaith - I totally understand how that could be an issue. A friend of ours has a young daughter that was constantly going in all the lower cabinets and taking everything out, and asking what was in it or what it was used for. They'd come home and all would be in the middle of the floor. She even figured out the childproof latches! Ha. Maybe in a few years you can your glass! :-)

1st Man said...

Tonya - I should have mentioned that we label ours as well. I used one of those labelmakers with clear labels and put it on each jar. You're so right, a jar of white cake flour looks just like a jar of all purpose or self rising, baking soda looks suspiciously like baking powder and cornstarch too. Then you sometimes get those jars that you go "um, do you remember what this was?". Ooops! Ha. I'll write a post later and take some pics of the city pantry.