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Mason Jar Uses for Your Kitchen

Mason jars are all the rage right now. Their comfortingly classic shape can add a shabby chic vibe to any home, whether you’re using the jars as toothbrush holders or flower vases. In their natural habitat — the kitchen — mason jars are famed for canning, and they also make handy drinking glasses. But did you know that in addition to these common uses, there are several more practical ways in which you can make these magic vessels work for you?

Learn seven mason jar uses that can make your life a little easier.

1. Leftover Storage

Wondering how to use a mason jar for your leftovers? Well, the containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which means you can pick and choose when it comes to packing away the remains of your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Fill them with everything from leftover zoodles to uneaten beans and rice.

2. Snack Packs

Smaller half-pint mason jars are great for portioning out healthy work snacks for you or after-school snacks for the kids. Make sure you and yours are nutritiously noshing by packing up servings of homemade hummus or granola in these reusable containers.

3. Dry Good Containers

Ensure that your pantry stays orderly by storing pastas, flours, sugars, beans and rice in larger quart or half-gallon mason jars. Just make sure you label the jars and tape any cooking instructions to the front of your containers. Small jars are perfect for storing active dry yeast or make-it-yourself spice blends, like garam masala and dry rubs for barbecue.

4. DIY Recipe Receptacles

Mason jars are perfect for those nights and weekends when you have enough spare time to get your kitchen DIY on. Use them to mix preservative-free salad dressings or soak nuts for making dairy-free milks. You can also sprout seeds in mason jars, store sourdough starters in them and even fill them with homemade nut butters.

5. Herb Holders

If you love cooking with fresh herbs, you’re no stranger to the frustration of finding them wilted a day after you’ve brought them home. Add water to a mason jar until it’s one-half to three-fourths of the way full, and place the stems of your herbs in the water, like you would a bouquet of flowers. Just be sure to freshen the water daily. Better yet, fill the jars with potting soil and make some window planters for growing your own basil or oregano.

6. Meal Prep

Mason jar salads are some of the hippest lunches on the block right now. Just make sure you layer them properly, so they don’t get soggy: dressing on the bottom, followed by heartier ingredients like beans, carrots and cucumbers. Top that off with tomatoes, corn, onions, sprouts or grains and finish the whole shebang with leafy greens. Overnight oats are another popular mason jar meal, especially if you need a quick on-the-go breakfast option. You can find numerous recipes online.

7. Baking Storage

Tired of having cupcake liners spill all over the kitchen floor when you’re baking muffins? Stow them in a mason jar! You can also use these containers to DIY baking twine dispensers (There are plenty of instructions online.) or to hold toothpicks, sprinkles or icing piping bag nozzles. The list doesn’t stop there; larger jars can keep whisks, spatulas, tongs and wooden spoons orderly.

Now you know how to use a mason jar to add some organization to your kitchen. Looking for more inspired housekeeping tips? Check out these household uses for lemons, and then pick up some new kitchen cleaning hacks.