After I get done with my spaghetti sauce jars, I clean them and use them for canning. It saves money on buying mason jars. These are the spaghetti sauce jars that are the heavy canning jar type.
Make sure to test any jars you plan to reuse by sterilizing them in a canner and then inspect them carefully for cracks or chips. If they can withstand the heat, they will probably work fine for canning. Make sure you always use new lids. The rings that hold down the lids can be reused also.
Containers that are great to save and reuse are olive oil bottles. Just remove the labels and clean thoroughly. They work great for salad dressing or any liquid that you don't want to pour quickly. Be sure to save the the little plastic piece that impedes the flow of olive oil.
Quart sized jars make nice storage containers for many items, packs of Kool Aid, tea bags, spice packets, sweeteners, any little packets that get lost in the cupboard. Any clear plastic containers and jars can be useful to use for food items you buy in bulk (peanut butter, oil, honey, syrup, beans, or dried peas). The bulk bottles can be quite heavy. Just keep refilling the smaller containers as needed.
My Mother always reused the Miracle Whip jars for canning. She never had any problems with them. I can't remember if she tested them first, but she definitely reused them and I did too.
I was advised by the Home Extension that any glass jar which was not designed to be a canning jar i.e. Mason Jars,etc were not to be used as canning jars. The glass is not as thick and taking it out of the hot water or pressure cooker could be dangerous or it could break while processing and you could loose your produce. I know my Mom used them too but I don't. I guess she was lucky. I stick with the Masons.
The problem with canning jars when I was young and now is that the store bought jars aren't made to can with and too thin. When making pepper sauce I do use the spaghetti jars for that and they do reseal well but doesn't need the extra heat to keep them. There are a lot of folks out there who don't can anymore and will give you their jars if you put an add in paper etc.
I don't can, but was pleased to read your post, Susan. Today I am cleaning my cupboards and found macaroni spilling out of the opened box. I'm going to keep my eyes open for bottles I an repurpose. I especially liked your comment about home-made salad dressing. I don't like buying it in the store, because of all the chemicals/preservatives/salt, etc. I've not found anything I liked to keep it in once it was made. From now on, I'm saving my olive oil bottle. They're so expensive, I might was well have something from it! lol... I wonder if the olive oil bottle would work as a pretty decanter for by the sink to dispense dish washing liquid? I have a vinegar cruet and thought I might use that, but now you have me thinking. I have a dishwasher, but love Palmolive dish liquid... old kind. It only takes a pea sized amount to wash anything needed. My skin is very sensitive. Thanks for your good suggestions.
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