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Recycle those bigger shaker bottles that spices come in. I reuse them and fill with cinnamon sugar or flour (for that quick shot you need to make great gravy).
It is so much handier to have one bottle to grab while I'm cooking than having to go to the pantry for the canister of flour. I also like to use them to make my own spice blends. This saves so much time when you're putting dinner together.
By aloham58 from Onalaska, WA
When I cook, I use salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in everything! So I decided about two years ago to combine them all in an empty shaker. I just kind of eyeball it; shake it all up and then taste to see if I need to make any adjustments. It is so much easier using one shaker instead of four!
I like to start small cuttings of plants. Leave the shaker top on it and stick the cutting through the hole.
This is a fabulous idea. I do not cook much with flour (bake) because of dragging the flour out from the frig I keep the flour in the refrigerator nothing ever happens to it and never spoils. It is much easier to have a small spice container. I will be cooking with flour much more often now.
Save those spice containers and buy more from the bulk section instead of an entire new jar. It's usually much cheaper and you can buy a smaller amount so your spices are fresher. In my area, Sprouts markets have dozens of bulk spices sold by weight. It's a great way to try a new spice without having to invest in a large jar as well! I save those little glass jam jars from hotels and put spices in those too.
I feel so stupid that I didn't think of that! Thank you so much.
Trader Joe's has the best spice jars now that they are square! When they are empty, I soak the labels off, then wash, rinse and dry and fill with other spices that I've purchased from the bulk aisle. I label the new spices with my trusty label maker so I won't forget what they are. It is so much better with the square bottles. They fit in my cupboard so well with no wasted space.
I use empty plastic spice containers to hold baby powder. Works great.
By Bon from Northfield, NH
I keep bandaids in mine. They don't dry out the way they will in the box. We have a weekend home so I keep extra spice jars for decanting smaller amounts of my spices to use there. Also good to have a second set if you RV. My friend is a great gardener so I dry the spices she gives me and put then in the extra bottles. In fact, I just filled 2 bottles with dried rosemary today. I also make homemade salts. Sriracha salt, lemon rosemary salt. The extra bottles come in handy for that also.
When spice bottles are empty, the plastic ones you get, wash them out with hot water and soap, remove labels and let air dry. When dry, you can store sewing pins, needles, buttons, small nails, tacks, anything small.
By Barbara from Meeker, OK
Great ideal. I use old prescription bottles to keep my sewing machine bobbins in. They fit perfect like coin in a roll. Helps keeps the thread from pulling off the bobbin.
They work great for the little seed beads too.
Also for saving seeds and then shake them directly into the garden.Just make sure they have dried first.And you can add sand to the jar with the seeds if they are very small, like Ca.Poppys.
I found another tip that compliments this one well! Instead of taking up prime real estate space in the kitchen cabinet, you can label the tops of the lids and store them in a drawer so that you can look down and read them. Frees up the cabinet space and you don't have to pull them all out just to find the one jar your searching for!
I like to use one of these jars for a mix of cinnamon and sugar to shake on toast. That way you always get the right amount. Cinnamon toast is a cheaper substitute for donuts... and a healthier one at that.
When I'm cooking, I found that getting black pepper out of a paprika container is much easier than using the little glass pepper shaker I keep on the stove top. Instead of going shake - shake - shake - shake - shake - shake, I just go sprinkle - sprinkle, and I'm done. I keep it handy in the cabinet above the stove.
I accidentally left the first one on the stove top while cooking and the heat warped it. It leaned a little but was still usable. I don't use much paprika so I had to wait a long time to get a new container with the larger holes.
If you decide to try this, don't leave it on the stove top when cooking.
Save your empty spice bottles (the ones with the holes in the top). They are perfect for holding kids' small paint brushes or the fine paint brushes you use for arts and crafts. To weight the bottom of the jar, just fill 1/4 full with raw rice.
By SheilaMay from Bronx, NY
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I make jewelry. While at the craft store the other day I checked out the bead storage section. The bottles, etc. were very expensive. So I decided to improvise. I cleaned out my spice rack of old spices to reuse the plastic clear and semi-clear bottles for bead storage. It works great, except I don't know how to get the smell of some of the spices out of the plastic bottles and how to get the labels off! Any suggestions? Help!
By Maw-Maw from Athens, GA
I use vinegar for the smell. Just put the vinegar in the bottle, and leave it for the day, and then wash with your dishes. I use a product called "goo gone" for the labels.
Hey, I'm a beader too! If you half-fill the bottle with bicarb soda, close the lid and leave for a few days it should absob the odours, simply empty the bottle and rinse. Guaranteed method to remove sticky labels is to soak a cotton ball with Eucalyptus Oil and dab over the label, allow a few minutes for it to soak in and you should be able to gently remove the label. If the label is thick then gently score it with a knife to allow the oil to penetrate. Lightly rubbing the sticky residue with the cotton ball will dissolve it. This method works on both plastic and glass surfaces.
Soak in a sink of hot bleach water. If stickers dont come all the way off which they should and they do leave a sticky residue use funiture polish believe it or not. The oils from the polish remove the sticky feeling on just about everything non porous that has sticker residue.
Any of those ideas will work for the spice odors. For labels I can usually peel off the top layer of the paper, then I soak it in water until I have only glue. A spray with Pam spray and a sit over night will melt the glue right off.
Goo Gone will remove labels. Fill with vinegar or baking soda until odor is gone
Does anyone have any ideas for reusing glass spice jars? Thank you.
You can refill them with spices bought in the bulk section.
Or make your own spice blends by mixing from your other spices...like pumpkin pie blend or taco blend or even a cinnamon/sugar blend for toast.
You can etch the bottles:
Or google 'free printable spice labels' and print out new labels.
Put sugar or cocoa powder or flour in for sprinkling on foods or to flour the cutting board when rolling dough etc.
Keep Parmesan cheese in for a smaller table version.
Use as a small bud vase or flower vase.
Use for any kind of small storage like bobby pins, safety pins, paper clips, push pins, toothpicks, hardware like nails, nuts, bolts, screws, sewing notions like pins, needles, bobbins, buttons, snaps, beads, etc.
Also any kind of collection of small things like small toys, dice, marbles., coins..
Make small snow globes.
Make little banks out of them:
I saw on a blog where they filled them with cake & candy sprinkles of various shapes and colors. You could prob do the same thing with small candies. (She also saved beach sand from various vacations in small bottles & labeled them.)
Fill them with layers of colored sand:
A few more ideas:
Maybe use to store buttons, needles, safety pins, paper clips, or for food like those small amounts of extra tomato paste, chopped chives etc in the fridge?
Great for packing things in for lunch (salad dressing, peanut butter, etc.).
I used spice bottles and baby food jars as well as storage for washers nuts bolts nails screws etc. I use a 1/2" x #3 screw to fasten the lids to the bottom of a cabinet above my work bench. (I have 20 spice and 16 baby food jars in my layout) Once attached I simply twist the jar onto the lid and I have the perfect out-of-the-way place for all those little odds and ends. I bought color coded labels for mine (red for nails blue for screws etc.)
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To keep salt and pepper (or other spices) from spilling when traveling, camping, or picnicking re-use the smaller spice containers with lids. They're usually plastic, they have the shaker tops plus lids to keep the salt/pepper/spices from falling out all over everything.
Editor's Note: Small spice containers are also great for putting your bulk spices in. For example, if you buy a large quanity of Cumin, just transfer it to your small Cumin spice container. It's easier to handle and already has the proper label on it.
You can also unscrew the tops off your shakers and place a small piece of plastic wrap over the opening and replace the tops. This will prevent spilling in transport. Just remove the plastic wrap before using and replace before transporting again.
By Renee in TN
I have often saved spice containers over the years, both glass and plastic and they are handy for many purposes. Besides using for bulk spices, they can be used for spices you grow and dry yourself. If you have one with the shaker top insert, it could be filled with baking soda to use for cleaning purposes. Last year I made up a real nice meat rub and put in a recycled spice jar and gave that to hubby on father's Day along with some BBQ recipes and such I printed from the internet. I have also used an empty plastic spice bottle for powdered laundry detergent to take on vacation. The uses are endless! (01/15/2006)