Containers can be expensive, particularly glass ones. Regardless, people fork out loads of money on glassware made to look like spaghetti jars while filling their recycling bins with the real thing.
Instead, make a habit out of keeping those glass containers, like salsa jars and liquor bottles. You can use them throughout your house for storage, which will not only save you money, but it will also add some color to your kitchen compartments.
While some containers have paper labels that take some elbow grease and steel wool to remove, other bottles and jars, like those from higher-end products, have well designed labels, which are often painted onto the glass. This can look even better than a blank bottle because it gives you the opportunity to color coordinate the food being stored with its packaging, or to purposely clash colors to draw more attention to the objects.
Bottleneck containers, particularly wine bottles, are excellent for dry goods that you will need to pour, such as rice or popcorn kernels. Although it would be a good idea to invest in a funnel to put the foodstuff into the containers, the bottle's design allows for slow, easy to control release.
And you can alos use old, label-free bottles for serving purposes. A wine bottle is a classy container for water, and an old Jack Daniels bottle can shift the image of your discount barbeque sauce from cheap to chic in no time.
This story originally appeared in the Abode section of BostonNOW on September 6, 2007.