My Thrifty Secret Weapon

Lately I’ve been thinking about all the things I do to save money. Homemade glass cleaner? Covered. Checking out books from the library instead of buying them? Covered. Making my own liquid soap? Covered. Refurbishing thrift store furniture? Covered. What haven’t we talked about yet? Oh yeah! The single biggest change to running my kitchen I’ve ever made.

Mason jars. Humble, cheap mason jars. I bought about 3 dozen mason jars a year ago and I’m still finding new uses for them. I use them as drinking glasses, vases, spice holders, and for food storage. I use them in the pantry to keep my dry goods organized — it’s so much easier to keep track of food neatly arranged in glass jars than to find plastic bags that flop over and hide themselves in the depths of the cabinet.

There are some fabulous recipes out there for mason jars that encourage buying in bulk and making several meals at once. My favorite breakfast right now is the summer porridge from a blog called The Yummy Life. I also make the Super Simple Creamy Chicken Curry from The Big Red Kitchen. I portion all my food into jars because it’s easier to keep organized in my small kitchen and once the food is in the jar, it looks so pretty!

Why does it matter that the food is pretty? Why should I care? If the food I have at home is not visually appealing, I simply won’t eat it. I have wasted so much money letting fruit rot and meat spoil because it doesn’t just doesn’t look nice. I’ll waste money by eating at restaurants or even hitting a drive-thru at a fast food joint if I don’t like the looks of the fridge. Preparing food in advance and storing it in mason jars helps keep my budget on track.