Don’t Throw that Container Away Just Yet…

coin containers

I have a problem: I like to save everything, especially the plastic and glass containers that peanut butter, jelly, salsa, etc, come in. “Hey I *paid * for those! There has to be another use! Surely I can *make* something from this…” are thoughts that race through my head as I start to throw something out. I also think it might be genetic, but we won’t get into that here… Don’t worry. If you visit our house, you won’t see myriad peanut butter jars lining the halls or anything. I do keep my habit in check, though not as much as David might like. I have a bin, once it is full, I have to either use them, or lose them. Cleaning is pretty easy, as I let them soak for a day or 2, rinse, remove the labels and then toss them in the dishwasher (top rack of course).


But why do I save them? Well, besides the fact you pay for packaging, it is a great way to recycle, and they satisfy quick and simple storage needs. I currently use old peanut butter jars to store various grains (like bulk quinoa, etc). I have my knitting notions in a small honey jar. But my favorite use is for coins.

David hates having loose change in his pockets, and there is only so much one girl can carry in her purse, so the coins seem to always end up lying around the house. And in our house, only paper seems to pile up faster than the coins! Something had to be done. I know many people have coin jars. As a matter of fact, when I was young, I remember my parents’ closet being lined with bottles of pennies. Having worked in a bank, I know it is faster to have your coins separated by type when you cash them in. I have 4 glass bottles, all left over from kitchen staples, that I place excess coins in once a month. It works like a charm and provides a nice bonus when you cash them in. I have friends who pay for vacations just using the money they have in change!

Below are a few other ways I use previously-used containers:

1. Fruit fly trap
2. Compost storage (until you can carry it out to the heap)
3. Storage for homemade bath products
4. Storage for homemade cleaners
5. Storing leftovers, or as to-go containers for guests
6. To prevent rust rings in the shower (using plastic lids as coasters)

What are your favorite uses for old containers?