Mason jars are still pretty trendy to use around the home right now. And even if you think going to your neighborhood beer shop and sipping a local craft microbrew from a mason jar is the most pretentious thing in the world (certainly I have never done such a thing, especially not every Friday around noon with friends, nope), the truth is, you probably have a few hanging around your home; leftover gifts or an inheritance from grandparents. Are your mason jars sitting around, sad and unused? Let’s fix that! What can we use them for?
Canning. Mason jars were designed for, and thus are perfect for, home canning of fruits and vegetables. If you’ve never canned before, you’re in luck, as we live in an era where learning how to can is as simple as getting a starter kit for under $15 and using books, the internet, or friends as a learning tool. You don’t have to store a whole winter’s worth of food, either—a couple of jars of homemade jam is a wonderful treat or gift.
Drinking glasses. If you have a bunch of jars sitting around but you’re short on drinking glasses, why not just drink out of a jar? This idea is so trendy that stores even sell plastic “mason jars” complete with handles and straws, often in their summer-items sections. But if you already have some jars sitting around, no need to buy a cheap imitation—use what you have!
Flower vases. I never really use flowers to decorate, so I don’t actually own any flower vases. However, when my preschooler comes home with a fistful of dandelions or wildflowers for me, I feel obliged to stick them in water and display them for a few days. Mason jars fill this role nicely!
“Stuff” holders. Need a quick holder to shove all your pens and pencils into? Found a ton of buttons you use for crafts that need a home? Mason jars are clear and perfect for being able to see what’s stored inside. The glass is also fairly thick so they are less breakable than they seem!
How else do you use mason jars around your home?
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I just finished canning 9 pints of cherry pie filling. Where we live in Northwest Montana is very famous for its cherries. They truly are the most amazing fruit here! Plus, I absolutely LOVE canning. I mean LOVE it. I don’t have a lot of diversity to my canning, but I make a lot of what I do. Pickles is a huge favorite around here.
There is something very fulfilling about canning. I love that I have about 20 jars of pickles in my garage that we can enjoy all year long and they are better than anything you’d ever buy in a store.
Since so many of you may be canning, I thought I would outline some of the pros and cons. Hopefully this comes in handy for those of you who haven’t tried it yet.
It tastes better. It really does. You WILL not be able to compete with my cherry pie filling or pickles unless maybe you make it yourself.
You know exactly what you are eating. I know the exact ingredients to the items I can. There are no yucky preservatives or things I can’t pronounce. As a matter of fact, my cherries have 6 ingredients and they are all natural.
You have use of the items in your garden. If you grow a garden every year you may not know what to do with all your produce. Canning is perfect for all those wonderful fresh veggies!
And with canning you can enjoy the fruit of your labor all year long. When you can NOTHING is out of season! You can eat the things you canned in the winter. I’ll be enjoying my cherries at Christmas time with a cherry pie.
It’s usually healthier. Yes, some stuff has tons of sugar in it, but the produce you are using is healthy and so good for you!
It’s hard work. I won’t lie to you. It’s not really really hard, but it’s a lot of work. It will take me 2 hours from start to finish to do my cherries and my pickles are easily a 8-12 hour ordeal because of all the cutting, soaking, etc. It’s crazy.
It’s messy. Maybe I am just a messy canner, but my kitchen is destroyed every time.
You have to time everything perfectly. One wrong thing done or wrong timing and you’ve ruined it. Which is also why I think it’s messy. You don’t have time while something simmers to clean up the mess you just made. You just have to get it done and go.
You burn yourself. Maybe this is just me, but I always burn myself.
And the last con is that everyone wants to take your cans leaving you empty handed. I’ve started hiding my pickles.
Do you can? What do you think?
Every so often I think about how nice it would be to have a vacuum sealing system. It could help save so much food. Well, I haven’t done anything about that thought until tonight. I’m searching for a Target that has one of these in stock! No better deal than free! Here’s how it works:
FoodSaver Handheld Vacuum Sealing System $19.99, Regular Price
Use $10.00/1 – FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System, any – (coupons.com)
And use $10.00/1 – FoodSaver Appliance, Target Coupon – (target.com)
Final Price: Free
Kitchen Gadget Guaranteed Mystery Box at Graveyard Mall.
Only $22.99 + $6.99 Shipping (basically $30)
Best of all, if you don’t like what you get, you can return it and get all of your money back, including shipping both ways! That’s what they mean by guaranteed.
Read the reviews on Graveyard Mall on this mystery box. Previous customer have overall been pleased.
I wonder what will be in the mystery box this time?
Have you checked out the Home & Kitchen section of Amazon.com lately? I’m seeing deep discounts all over the place!
Cuisinart CPB-300 SmartPower 15-Piece Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System
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My sister has the Cuisinart system above and I’ve been wanting it. At this price, now I can buy it. 😉 She showed me you can make smoothies in a snap right in their to-go cups. Cool!
Black & Decker FP1600B 8-Cup Food Processor, Black
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Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker
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Let us know what other hot deals you find on Amazon!
It’s a new year and I am all about getting organized. I love the idea of labeling everything and with this awesome deal, someone else is doing the work for me! You can buy these HERE, but you may have to sign up for these GroopDealz first.
We have an air popcorn popper at home and use it all of the time! So much tastier than microwave popcorn, plus much cheaper too. I paid $15 Black Friday two years ago, so this is an awesome deal!
Presto PopLite Hot Air Corn Popper
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