by Texas Homesteader ~
Do you hate the hodgepodge pile of stained plastic food storage dishes with their mismatched or missing lids? Me too. Ditch the Plastic! Glass jars are easy to repurpose for food storage. And being able to see the food in your refrigerator may slow down your food waste as well.
(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)
No More Plastic Food Storage Containers
As I was getting items out of my fridge recently I smiled looking at all the glass jars typically stored in my refrigerator. (Have I mentioned how much I hate plastic?? LOL).
Oh yes indeed, I used to have that same tumbling stack of plasticware that many of us are burdened with. They were typically shoved willy/nilly in the cabinet with all their mismatched lids.
Then one day I cried “ENOUGH!” I started using a sturdy and stain-free material that I already had – GLASS!
Switching to using glass containers to store my food in the fridge and pantry has been a game-changer for me. Especially with regard to the reduction of food waste since I can always SEE the food without even opening the container!
Where To Find Free Food Storage Containers!
Now I realize not everyone has the same strong aversion to plastic that I do. But the transition from storing our food in disposables, then in plastic storage bowls, and now in glass has been an easy yet a very positive one for me.
If you don’t already have canning jars just use whatever jars you have! Instead of placing that empty glass jar in the recycling bin, wash it out & use it to store your food. Food storage containers for FREE!
Cheapest Glass Food Containers
To keep from having the same mismatched lid issue I had when I was using plastic food storage containers, I sought jars that had same-sized lids:
Glass Mason Jars (I like these *One-Piece Storage Lids to go on them)
Wide-Mouth Repurposed Food Jars – My sister saves queso and salsa jars, as well as various other products that she often uses which have these same sized wide-mouth lids.
Problems With Plastic Food Storage Containers
There are several problems with using plastic for food storage containers, but the worst two are:
Heating Food In Plastic Containers is unhealthy. I’ve read that toxins can leach out of the plastic and into your food when heated.
Plastic containers stain with tomato products & more.
Every time a plastic storage dish became unusable it also made for more & more mismatched sets every year. More expense to replace, and more & more plastic having to be manufactured for my use, thrown away and repurchased again. Ugh.
How To Deal With Restaurant Leftovers
The environmental side of me has always HATED that awful Styrofoam box they force on you when you take home the uneaten portion of a restaurant meal.
And if the contents are the least bit heavy the container gives enough to pop the lid open. Plus those dang things are so bulky to store in the fridge. (not to mention Styrofoam is an environmental nightmare!)
So several years ago I purchased an inexpensive *small glass bake-ware dish with a snap-on lid.
I just wash the dish and allow it to thoroughly dry, then snap 3 of the 4 corners of the lid onto the dish so it stays clean and I store it in my car.
Since it’s always in the car I have it with me even if we stop for an unscheduled restaurant meal. I just grab this small dish & carry it in with me.
I always end up with leftovers at the restaurant. So all leftovers are quickly transferred to my container. Then I bring it home & place it compactly into the fridge. That way I can enjoy tasty restaurant leftovers for lunch the next day.
Since the glass dish is microwave safe I can heat & eat my restaurant leftovers in the same dish. No extra dirty dishes for me, no extra trash for the planet! Win/win!
Simple Homemade Repurposed Denim Dish Carrier
But it felt awkward walking through a restaurant carrying a casserole dish. So I whipped up this purse-like Dish Carrier for my glass dish.
It was easily made using repurposed denim from RancherMan’s worn jeans. I love everything denim, and I get so many compliments on this cute purse-like carrier!
How To Make Single-Serve Yogurt With No Waste
I also see in this picture several jars of yogurt. You see, many years ago I started making my own homemade yogurt.
And I always make my yogurt in handy single-serving-sized 1/2-pint jelly jars. That way I still enjoy the same grab-n-go convenience that the commercial stuff offers. But my yogurt is healthier and so much less expensive.
But these days I’ve increased my breakfast convenience when I’m making my yogurt. I just plop a tablespoon or so of homemade fruit jam in the bottom of about half of the jars to sweeten it. Grab-n-go breakfast!
Repurposed Jar For Homemade Pickles
I also see a repurposed queso jar filled with homemade pickles. I recently discovered the simplicity of making quick & easy homemade pickles using the pickling cucumbers I grow in my veggie garden.
I sometimes use canning jars for my pickles, but my family also saves small wide-mouth jars for me.
They’re the perfect size to experiment with small batches of various flavors of pickles that I want to try – sweet, dill, garlic, etc. RancherMan loves them and I love the ease of making them!
Of course in that first photo I also see the canning jars from various things I’ve made and canned. There’s homemade applesauce from the apples my aunt shared with me from her backyard tree.
I very much enjoy preserving healthy food. So there is always a supply of shining reusable glass mason jars filled with my home-preserved food in our pantry or fridge.
Store Leftover Food In Repurposed Glass Jars
I repurpose jars to store our leftovers in the fridge as well.
Anything from the leftover veggies from last night’s supper to the leftover raspberry icing I used when I made RancherMan those Lemon Cookies last week.
And I gave up years ago on those tiny plastic disposable squeeze bottles of mustard. Now I just buy a large canister of it and pour the mustard into a pint-sized canning jar. I just use a butter knife to spread my mustard so it’s easy peasy.
Glass jars are super easy to repurpose. And being able to see the food in your fridge may very well slow down your food waste as well. Give it a try!
Other Low-Waste Stories
- Buying Products Used: Good For Your Budget & The Environment
- Closing The Loop In Charitable Giving
- Our Low-Waste Coffee
- No-Waste Citrus Juice For Recipes
- Don’t Waste Those Onion Trimmings
- 5 Zero-Waste Products We Love
- Food Waste in America: What Do Those Dates Mean?
- Zero-Waste Hygiene – Using A Safety Razor
- Eliminate Plastic Produce Bags
- How I Got Cute Gingham Napkins For Only $1
- How To Host A Low-Waste Party
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