Canning Jars are Your Friend

After spending hundreds of dollars throughout the years on Rubbermaid, Gladware and Tupperware, it finally dawned on me to use canning jars for storing and freezing foods. I’m basically lazy, so I find the most efficient way to do everything. I like to cook once and eat many times. I make a big pot, 6-8 qts. of chili or soup, then freeze the rest. If it’s been one of those days, I take out a pint or two of soup and make cornbread or baking powder biscuits for a quick and easy supper.

My favorite size for freezing is the wide mouth pint. This size thaws quickly in the microwave and is about right to allow a pint per person. I freeze broth, soup and cowboy beans. Be sure to leave at least 1″ head space to allow for expansion when freezing. A while back, I worked too far away to eat lunch at home. I used the smaller 8 oz. size for a perfect lunch portion. The soup would be pretty well thawed by lunchtime, so heating in the microwave was a breeze. Be sure to remove the cap and band before nuking.

I use the half gallon size to store dry beans, rice, noodles, peanuts, everything else. My Foodsaver has the attachment that vacuum seals the canning jars. It’s quick and easy, but my Foodsaver is a subject for another day.

I use the regular mouth pint size for drinking glasses. I bought some of the blue ones a couple years ago. Last year green was the color. This year, I’ve seen purple, too. I bought the lid/straw sets, too. They make an instant skippy cup for the young ones you don’t quite trust with an open glass and ideal for the patio since they keep the flies out. Check out the links below to get yours.