Frugal Food Storage

Okay, I know that there are thousands of people in blogland waiting with baited breath for my first project post. Anyone, ANYONE?? Okay, well, here I go anyway.

In the interest of saving money on my food budget, I have been buying more dried beans, lentils and rice. I know what you’re thinking, that must be one gassy family. Well, you’d be right. Even the dog is gassy.

My pantry is full of these:


I hate plastic storage bags.

In the interest of reducing our trash and reusing or reinventing as much as possible (hence, the blog title), I hate to throw away these:




Empty spaghetti sauce and applesauce jars (well, I forgot to take a

picture of the applesauce jar).

They have been washed thoroughly and now they’re soaking in Goo Gone to remove the label residue (LOVE GOO GONE!).

I applied some Expresso Brown spray paint to the lids, and using scrapbook labels and cardstock with my favorite letter stamps, I came up with this:



These would look great on open shelving in the kitchen, for those of you lucky enough to have open shelving. And if you do, I’m jealous.

We also used these jars, decorated with red and green card stock and the words “peace” and “joy”, for Christmas gifts for our neighbors, filled with homemade truffles. They were a big hit. They would also work in the bathroom holding cotton balls, toothpaste or other toiletries. I have my kids’ toothpaste in a jar that used to house roasted red peppers.

Now when I grocery shop I buy the product with the coolest jar!!

Any other ideas for glass food jars? Please add yours in the comments, I’d love to “borrow” them!

Edited to Add: Welcome to Visitors from! Check out other entries in Tightwad Tuesday!

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18 thoughts on “Frugal Food Storage

  1. What a great idea. I too hate plastic bags. I was just thinking the other day I needed to by some glass jars for my powdered sugar, brown sugar, etc. I’m so glad I stopped by here.


  2. What a cute idea! I’m totally stealing this one. I love to store things in glass jars, when I can find them. I was so sad when my favorite mayo started putting things in plastic instead of glass–but at least the lids fit canning jars.
    I don’t mind plastic bags for the freezer because they lay flat, but not for the pantry. I like that you can see exactly what you have, and it’s pretty, too!

  3. Those are so cool! I have tons of plastic bags in my pantry…

    I am going to be thinking about decorating while I go grocery shopping! :D

    I have seen other blogs that went to kitchen stores and spent beaucoup bucks on storage containers that didn’t look nearly as cool as these ones!
    Thanks for sharing a bit of inspiration!

  4. i recently put all our beans, popcorn, rice, etc… into mason jars but i would have to make sure to clip the directions off the package and put it in the jar. I really like the idea of the cardstock tag… and now i can put the direction on the back of the card and not have to accidentally throw away the driections!!! thanks for sharing!

  5. Great idea, the cost of jars is going up and away when recycled jars look so much nicer.
    I save all kinds of jars and add all kinds of things to them
    In addition to using them in the kitchen
    I am organzing my craft room with lot’s of jars
    I use pickle jars for ribbon and smaller jars for assorted color buttons and accessories
    It takes a while to sort everything out but it makes such a difference on the shelves
    I paint the lids and then add a striped contact paper label and fleur de lis cut from scrapbbook paper
    Even my husband was impressed
    Oh and I also recycle boxes too and cover them with the same striped contact (from walmart) with cute labels

  6. I’m visiting from Tip Junkie…

    What a great way to reuse glass jars. I love that you were so resourceful, and you made them look “cute”!! I also love the idea that you spray painted the lids. A lot of the jars I like, I don’t like the color of the lids…seriously, why didn’t I think of that? :)

  7. Genius! I try to re-use as many glass jars as I can, but I’ve never thought to spray paint the lids. It looks SO much better than seeing beans with a Ragu lid on them.

    I love the tags as well – way cuter than the boring labels from the label maker!

  8. I saw these and thought they were a cute idea for baby shower favors. Mini cookies in baby food jars. I wish I could remember which blog but no avail. Anyways it could be done on a bigger scale.

  9. This is such a great idea! Spray painting the lids… I just want to slap myself for never thinking of that! I was thinking if you wanted to be adorable and didn’t mind pulling out the funnel, you could also use wine bottles to store things. Some other ideas for using these jars could include gerbil (or other pet) food, hairbows, office supplies such as rubberbands and thumbtacks, homemade snacks like granola or trailmix, cottonballs or other bathroom stuff, and for small kid toys/accessories. Great tip! I’m considering painting a square of chalkboard paint on them so you could switch the contents! In case you can’t tell by the length of this comment, I’m very excited! :-)

  10. THANK YOU! For the past three years I’ve been collecting and storing glass jars in my garage. I knew at some point I would figure out how to repurpose these pefectly good storage contianers. My boyfriend will be so glad to know that I’ve figured out what to do with all of them.

  11. What an awesome idea! They look adorable. I’m going to be checking out the jars in the grocery this week! Thanks for sharing this fun idea. Just stumbled across your blog. Can’t wait to see more. = )


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