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.
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.
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.
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Here are questions related to Reusing Spice Bottles.
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!
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.
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Reusing Spice Containers
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.
RE: Reusing Spice Containers
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.
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)