101 uses for used canning jars

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Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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Posts: 1988
101 uses for used canning jars

Let's have some fun with htis practical topic. I used to be a Ziplock bag junkie. But that's not exactly eco-friendly, post-Peak Oil behavior, so I tried to break the habit.

Enter the lowly canning jar. Here are some of the uses I've found for mine so far (other than canning), and you can re-use used lids for these!

* sugar bowl

* container for leftovers like stew and soup

* container to transfer opened metal cans of things like tomato sauce into (stored in the fridge, food in opened metal cans aquires a metalic taste)

* bug-free candy, snack or flour-storage jar

* store pins or nails

* cut a slot in the lid and you have a piggly bank

Any other ideas?

plato1965's picture
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Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615
Well  I don't have any

Well  I don't have any "proper" canning jars, live in the UK and canning isn't that mainstream... to put it mildly. but I do save glass coffee/peanut butter/jam jars to reuse.

 Storing contents of opened bags of dried beans/pasta.

 Storing saved seeds.

 Saving yeast cake from homebrew..  saves paying £1.50 ($2.50) for a new sachet of dried yeast. (sterilisation important though)

 Sprouting seeds.

 Future plans,

 Intend to try making homemade yoghurt, - almost boil milk, allow to cool, add live yogurt , keep warm for 8 hours.. simples (apparently!)

 and I'll use glass jars to store it.

 oh, and hopefully this year I'll finally manage to make plum Jam, every year we waste about 10Kg of plums because they all arrive within a month or so.






Saffron's picture
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Posts: 250
uses for canning jars

Sprouting ... found this cool lid at amazon that makes the job easier:


Hiding in plain view food storage: many canned foods are colorful and kinda cool looking. If, like me :-) you inherited an old letter sorter with 91 little openings, you can store little jars of colorful jams and jellies and hot pepper salsa right alongside some tea cups and the completed legos that just can't be taken apart ... and they fit right in.

With a gadget that fits on your foodsaver you can vacuum seal food in for longer storage - say freeze-dried fruits and veggies, that you might purchase in a #10 can and not have use for all of it at once. 

Plato: the easiest method I've found for making yogurt involves putting the quarts of yogurt into an ice chest filled with hot tap water ... 3 quarts fit perfect in mine ... and you just let it sit there for the time needed - anywhere from 4 to 12 hours - longer give a more sour yogurt.

~ s

maceves's picture
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Posts: 281
dehydrated food storage

I'm using them with oxygen absorbers for storing dehydrated foods.  They seal well and can be opened and resealed many times with the same absorber.

VeganDB12's picture
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Posts: 757
they are good for anything

they are good for anything that needs to be kept dry-handy for birdseed, dried pet food.

Also good for storing my soymilk or any other liquid I want to keep in a BPA free container (including leftovers). The yogurt recipe sounds good, I hope to try some soy milk version at some point too if I can find the right cultures for fermenting.

they are also handy for storing loose change ( you can see your savings grow!

Happy Memorial Day for those of the US, take care all


robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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they're great for sippin'

they're great for sippin' iced tea or a by product of distillation efforts.



MarkM's picture
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Posts: 856
robie robinson
robie robinson wrote:

they're great for sippin' iced tea or a by product of distillation efforts.




You took the words right out of my mouth. Maybe not a particularly "preparatory" use, but certainly an enjoyable one.

Woodman's picture
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Posts: 1028
When I calculated how much

When I calculated how much more expensive in $/gram of protein yogurt was compared to milk, I started bringing glasses of milk for lunch instead; in used canning jars.  Leak proof, cheap, and and no metal or plastic taste.

I used dozens of jars to store all my dehydrated  tomatoes, corn etc. last year.  Washed re-used lids are okay for that too.    Down to the last jar of dried tomatoes, but have this years crop started in the garden.


Chronic Agitator's picture
Chronic Agitator
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Joined: Sep 5 2009
Posts: 14
Bug container

When I find interesting insects or spiders to show the grandkids, a canning jar (or any other jar) is useful.

Yes, I know, obvoiusly, I did not need mentioning this basic use of jars.

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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Could one of yawl,who

Could one of yawl,who dehydrates, get 5 dried tomato seeds and put in moist paper towel to see if they germinate? We don't dehydrate but might start as I'm aquireing a taste for dehydrated food. Also my seed saving skill are less than perfect(onions were a complete failure)


MarkM, oh but there are a myriad of "post apocapyptic" uses for distilled products(my Super A cultivating tractor runs on it)

Do you know how dry it is? No, how dry is it?  Its so dry our milk cow is giving powdered milk.

tom.'s picture
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Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 345
250 ML Jars

I bought these outdoor rechargeable (battery included) patio lights 3 years ago at home depot - they have been outside ever since, even through the winter - they have the standard rechargeable AA battery (you can also  buy the premium rechargeable} right now EDST they are still lit at dawn - pretty sure I paid under 10.00 for a set of (4) I have the yellow lights also, but thought I would try these (white) for indoors during power outage - you can always buy extra batteries for reserve.

I use plain paper towels inside the ring - they work fine for sprouting & also act as a filter while either germinating or seed saving - this one below has been on top of the basement refrigerator since last august, so you can see the filter idea works.

maceves's picture
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Joined: Aug 23 2010
Posts: 281
made in USA

Ball canning jars say 'made in the USA" right on the box.  

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