Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Free Pantry Organizers

If you buy pickles, jarred spaghetti sauce, or salsa, or really anything in a large glass jar, you have an easy, free pantry fix right under your nose.

I used to buy fancy schmancy food storage containers from The Container Store. I still have those great containers, but I've supplemented by collection with washed out and cleaned old jars like this:

Now when I hit the bulk section at Whole Food or just have a large bag of rice, beans, or pasta, I simply write on the side of the jar with a dry erase marker three things:

1. What's in the jar (unless it's pretty darn obvious).
2. For rice, pasta and quinoa, I write the water to grain ratio, like 2:1 for rice.
3. The cooking time.

I've started using these jars and they have a lot going for them:

1. They're essentially free
2. They're airtight
3. They're reusable and sturdy (if you have young children, you may want to keep the glass jars out of your little ones' reach in case it breaks)

Here's my formerly messy pantry shelf:

Notice the fancy containers in the back; they're still there, but I don't anticipate buying anymore anytime soon.

Life is sweet,


Laura said...

I like this! I have become a bit of a recycling hoarder since we got our new system and I don't keep it in the house very long. I see things in the bin and think it could be used... eventually. I have coffee tins storing my lentils, brown rice and basmati rice. It's perfect!

Anonymous said...

I also quit buying the fancy containers and prefer to recycle large containers from the bulk box stores. Mainly, 1 gallon mayo and pickle type plastic jugs/jars.
I live out in the country, so anything that a mouse, pantry moths, etc can get into will be repackaged and protected these jugs/jars, such as pastas, rice, instant potatoes, cereals and crackers. I've also recently found 1/2 gal mason jars, these I use for nuts, dried fruit, specialty flours, tea bags, and coffee.
If something needs instructions, I cut the side panel from the box and include it in the jar.