Stretching Your Grocery Budget: How Food Jars and Canisters Can Save You Money

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It’s an expensive world we live in. Everything from housing to health care to groceries and entertainment costs a lot for hard-working individuals and families nowadays. No doubt you’re always looking for ways to stretch your grocery budget further, without compromising on high-quality, nutritious meals. One effective way to make groceries last longer is using food jars to keep items fresh for longer, whether they’re stored on your pantry shelf, kitchen counter, or in the fridge.

In this post, we do a deep dive into how canisters and food jars help you economize, reducing waste and making your kitchen storage space efficient and organized.

The Rising Cost of Living and Food Waste

Shedding light on food waste and high costs is key to understanding how canisters and food jars can help. No doubt a major portion of your household budget is devoted to groceries, right? However, too much food is tossed out and wasted because it’s not stored correctly. That’s where containers and food jars come in.

According to the USDA, as much as 40 percent of food from the average family’s kitchen goes to waste each week. If your family throws out even half of that amount each week, including items like rotten fruit and veggies and stale bread, that amounts to a whole lot of waste annually. That’s not just bad for your budget – it’s bad for the environment, too.

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Benefits of Food Jars and Canisters

Food jars and other containers have plenty of upsides, so let’s take a look at them one by one.


Because you can check at a glance how much of a product is in a clear food jar, you won’t accidentally purchase another supply before you run out. Let’s use flour as an example. A clear, attractive food jar for flour looks great on a kitchen counter or pantry shelf. You can tell instantly whether you need to add flour to your weekly shopping list. Clear food jars have the opposite benefit, too. You can see when an ingredient for a favorite family meal is running low, so you won’t be caught unprepared when you start cooking at suppertime.

Food jars and containers last a long time

Durability is a key benefit of these kitchen space savers. Even if a container – made of durable & food-grade plastic – is knocked off a shelf accidentally by a playful child, they can handle these bumps without breaking. And having lids that seal securely ensures freshness, so whatever you’ve got stored stays germ-free and lasts well. Over time, that means more savings.

Efficient organization of space

Kitchen containers and food jars come in many shapes and sizes. That means you can find ones that suit the available space in your kitchen, even if that space is limited.

Extending the life of foods

Airtight lids help your food last, which is a huge benefit of containers and food jars. No more poorly wrapped bags left half open on a pantry shelf! Food jars reduce waste and increase savings by ensuring that the food stored within them stays fresh.

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Practical Tips for Using Food Jars and Canisters to Save Money

We outlined the benefits of food jars, but now let’s talk about how to use these essential kitchen tools to maximize your savings.

Buy in bulk and store food correctly

Often you can save money by purchasing a larger amount of any given food. Food jars and canisters are great when you do this. A food jar that holds a large amount of flour, for example, accomplishes two things: you can buy a bigger bag and thereby save money, and you’ll have this ingredient on hand for a while so you don’t run out every week. Voila! Both saving and convenience are accomplished at once!

Control your potions

Single servings of foods like cereal and snacks aren’t just more costly – they’re not great for the environment because of all the extra packaging. Storing cereal, for example, in a clear food jar allows you to control portion size yourself. And you’ll be able to see when you’re running low, so once again the food jar helps you know what you need to buy, and when.

Food jars and containers reduce food waste

This is no small matter, as we noted because food waste causes grocery budgets to balloon. These storage essentials let you know when you need to replenish your supply of something, rather than relying on memory once you’re at the grocery store. Food jars and containers are even good in the fridge, as fruits and vegetables can be stored without getting lost in the crisper or back of the fridge, only to spoil because you forgot they were there.

Planning and preparation of meals

Planning what you’re going to serve for supper is a well-known strategy for saving money and reducing waste. If your grocery list contains only those foods you need to prepare meals, you’re less prone to buying unnecessary things impulsively. Food jars can help enormously with meal planning. Seeing all your ingredients lined up, ready for making a favorite family meal, means you’ll be less likely to give in and order takeout because you’re not sure what to make or whether you’ve got the ingredients on hand. Seeing the ingredients in food jars helps you strengthen your resolve to cook healthy and nutritious meals.

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Things to Avoid When Using Food Jars and Canisters

While it’s true that these storage essentials can bring organization and calm into a messy or unkempt kitchen, there are a few caveats to bear in mind when you start using canisters and food jars.

Using non-airtight food jars

Most importantly, remember that not all food jars and containers are made the same. There are those without airtight lids, for example, and not having those can make food spoil at an even faster pace. Buy containers and food jars with vacuum seal lids, or another locking style that keeps air out and freshness in.

Not clean them thoroughly

If you use a food jar to store something one month and then want to store something different in it the following month, it’s vital that you wash, dry, and disinfect it thoroughly before doing so. Use a gentle dish soap and let the food jar air dry completely before refilling it. That lengthens the container’s lifespan and also ensures that your food is safe and free of germs.

Forget to label the containers

Noting the date of purchase and the expiration date, when one is applicable, reminds you to use a product up before it goes stale. Doing this means you’ll use it up before it’s out of date, and that means less waste and more savings.

Expose food jars to light and heat

Where you store your containers is just as important as what you fill them with! If you want to leave them on a counter because they add to your kitchen decor, make sure they’re away from the heat of the oven or the light coming through a window. Both of these can negatively affect the durability of the containers, so think carefully about where you’re placing them after you’ve filled them. A dark, cool shelf is always your best bet.

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Case Study: A Real-Life Example

Here we offer an actual case of how using containers and food jars can make such a major difference to your grocery budget by getting you on the path to saving money and reducing food waste.

Barbara, a mother of three, realized she was spending far more on groceries than she planned to each week. She also found she was tossing a lot of food waste into the trash – too much for her own comfort. She made the decision to invest in high-quality food jars and containers, in the hope of changing both those outcomes.

Buying in bulk. First, Barbara bought dry goods like pasta, sugar, cereal, and rice for her containers. Once she realized how tidy these storage items made her kitchen and how handy her ingredients were when dinnertime rolled around, she was ready to dive in more!

Managing leftovers. Next, Barbara bought containers that fit in the fridge easily, in which she stored leftovers from family meals, as she always had plenty of those and was shocked at how much she threw away. She labeled each container with a note saying something like, “Finish this by Tuesday!” Immediately, she cut her family’s food waste down by more than half.

Organizing snacks for her kids. No longer did Barbara buy small numbers of snacks like granola bars. She bought only one large box or in bulk, then transferred the bars into a large glass container that fit on her pantry shelf. Suddenly, she could allow her children to go grab a snack themselves and she wasn’t replenishing their supply of granola bars every few days. She always had enough on hand for a few weeks.

Preparing family meals. At the beginning of each week, Barbara planned meals to serve her family and made sure she had the ingredients on hand for each one. Her containers and food jars let her easily track what did and didn’t need replacing. This saved her time and money.

After tracking her spending and waste reduction for several months, Barbara realized a few key things. First of all, she was saving a lot of money, as much as $100 per month. Secondly, she knew she was throwing out a lot less food because so much less went into the compost bin each day. She also saved time, as she wasn’t constantly running to the grocery store to buy something she needed for dinner that night. Even after deducting the cost of the canisters and food jars, Barbara saved hundreds of dollars over a short time.

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In Summary

The cost of living keeps going up, so it’s important that you employ as many money-saving strategies as you can in order to lessen the impact of surging prices on the quality of the meals you serve your family. Choosing canisters and food jars that are clear and durable helps you plan meals, keep food fresh, and see what you need to restock instantaneously. These benefits mean your kitchen is better organized and more efficient, so you spend less time shopping and cooking, and more time with your family. It also means your weekly grocery budget goes further, and you toss out a whole lot less food waste.

That’s a winning strategy for both you and your family, and the environment!

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