thrifty thursday: clean out those Mason jars and put ’em to good use

My favorite!  Mason jars!  Yes, they are my guilty pleasure.  I will admit that the first thing I searched on Pinterest was “Mason jars.”  Ball, Mason, it makes no difference to me–these jars embody summers sitting at the kitchen table watching my mom pickle and winters with fresh blackberry jam made by a colleague of my father’s.   To a Southern gal, glass jars are iced sun tea with fresh mint.  They are flour, sugar, and oatmeal looking for home.  They are preschool projects of sun catchers and stained glass.

preserving our favorite goodies for winter

So what can you do with these versatile and simple items?

  • Drink from them–yes, in this day and age of “going green,” let me tell you that if drinking from glass is eco-sensitive, then we farm girls have been ahead of the trend for years!  Some jars will even fit on the base of a blender and serve as a base in which to mix drinks.  Really!  For your next picnic or tailgate, premix drinks (lemonade, tea, adult beverages), put lids on, then throw in an aluminum tub with ice.
  • Light them up–put candles, glow sticks,  or mini flashlights in them and create your own lanterns.  Wrap wire around them and create and handle then hang them from the rooftops.
  • Grow with them–use the smaller ones to root plants, dampen seeds, or grow sprouts
  • Store with them–I use the tiny 4oz ones for storing paper clips, push pins, dried seeds, etc.  Eight ounce ones hold long nails and screws, rubber bands, etc.  Larger than that, and they become storage units in my kitchen for everything from herbs to dry goods.
  • Decorate with them–what’s prettier than a handful of wildflowers casually placed in a large Mason jar?  Fill the
    http://www.party-ideas-by-a-pro.com /garden-party-decorations.html

    m with marbles, sea glass, gumballs, small stones, etc.  Spray paint or tint and create a colorful vase or container.

  • Bake in them–I do it all the time.  Once I got rid of my microwave, I found that using the 4oz jars let me melt things easily in my toaster oven instead of having to use a giant pot on the stove.

Finally, if your child wants a gold fish and you’re in a pinch, use a large jar.  I say “in a pinch” because it’s all we had when the cat knocked over Dorothy II’s fish bowl late one night.

I’m sure there are many, many more uses for jars so please, feel free to comment.  Honestly, my favorite use?  Jam, lots and lots of jam!

6 thoughts on “thrifty thursday: clean out those Mason jars and put ’em to good use

  1. my huge herb collection is stored in small wide-mouth 4 ounce jelly jars. I love being able to fit the measuring spoon right into the jar. Plus I buy herbs in bulk once a year, and these are easy to refill, and they are stackable….saving space in my tiny kitchen.

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