10 Uses for Old Canning Jars
For the past seven years or so I have been a canner. I have my grandmother's old canner and every year I can a hundred or so jars of food for my family to eat. Every chance I get I buy more canning jars. I have them all over my house, and no I don't keep food all over my house. Even if you are not a canner you can benefit from canning jars. They come in various sizes, are easy to use and wash, don't contain any harmful chemicals like plastic containers, and can be quite decorative as well. Here are some of my favorite uses for canning jars other than preserving food.
- Grow food. Sprouts and sour dough grow great in canning jars. The quart size works the best.
- Store things. You can store just about anything in canning jars. Buttons, nails, money, balls, candy, etc. You can even get decorative and store fancy oils and foods in them and line them on your counter.
- A vase. I love having fresh flowers in a canning jar vase. It doesn't get much more rustic than that. I have some very old blue canning jars that look amazing with water and flowers in them.
- As a drinking glass. You can even find pint jars with handles for drinking, but the jars don't have to have a handle to be used as a drinking glass. This is a very frugal way to get multiple uses out of one item. Rather than buying a large number of drinking glasses for the couple of times a year that you have a lot of people over, just use your canning jars.
- Store spices or other dry foods. Most people think fruits, vegetables and jam when they think about canning jars, but you can store all sorts of foods in them.
- As a fish bowl. My daughter won a goldfish at a county fair. We didn't have a fish bowl so I grabbed a gallon sized canning jar and we used that. It also doubled as our centerpiece on the table until we could get a real fish bowl.
- Leftovers. Most people think Tupperware when they think of leftovers, but canning jars work better. Have you heard of BPA? That nasty chemical in almost all plastics? Companies are working hard to do away with it, but I am sure they will then come up with something else we should avoid. Glass canning jars work as well if not better. They are microwave safe as well as dishwasher safe and come in a variety of sizes - just like Tupperware.
- Give a gift. Have you ever received a cookie mix in a jar or something similar? Fill a canning jar with whatever the recipient likes and you have an instant gift in a cute reusable package.
- Candle holder. If you make your own candles, a canning jar is a great container for homemade candles.
- Bug catcher or even temporary bug home. We use these in the summer to catch fire flies. The kids have a blast and I can just wash and reuse when we are done.