How do you repurpose those dried herb/spice containers?

Another thread about store-bought grinders reminded me of how much I hate throwing out perfectly nice glass containers (like McCormick’s or Spice Island) once they’re empty.

It seems wasteful, but since I don’t by spices/herbs in bulk… anything youse guys do with them?

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My WF and one other store sell some of their spices by the ounce. We travel a fair amount and I’ve put small amounts of oils and vinegars in them. Flour, sugar, etc.

You can always make your own seasoning blends more cheaply than buying stuff like
“sazon”, even if you buy the components pre-ground. Put them in empty shaker-capped spice jars. Use for cinnamon sugar, vanilla sugar, powdered sugar when topping cookies;
as a flour shaker for bench flour when rolling dough; use to sprinkle seasoned flour on
raw chops, chicken, fish before sauteeing them. Shaker tops give me more control decorating cookies with nonpareils than pouring them straight from the plain container they come in. I buy MSG, garlic powder, etc., i9 large containers from which I refill smaller ones which fit my spice carousel.

I don’t generally buy seasoning blends (nor do I bake), but you’re right. I suppose I could throw my blackening blend in one of them containers next time I make it.

That, of course, still leaves me with plenty more empty containers (basil, thyme, rosemary, etc. etc. etc.)… le sigh.

Well dependent on the shape… before Gold Bond Ultimate came along, I relied on udder cream (Ken-Ag brand) as hand cream. I used to work outdoors in winter. I always kept some with me, in the little squat McCormick plastic jar in which they sell stuff like mustard powder. Same type jar for a spare dose of my daily meds, carried in my purse in case of emergency. Ditto for a dozen almonds, to stave off the temptation of a drive-thru. And there’s one for the silver rings I wear sporadically, because stopping air circulation slows tarnishing. Bobbie pins, safety pins, nails, tacks…

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These are run-of-the-mill, slender round upright containers.

I use them to store this sort of thing all the time - very handy. If you have a drawer where they can stand upright and you can write the contents on the lid, so much the better!

as a flour shaker for bench flour

Genius idea!


I use them for seed storage.

I use them to make/shake up quick salad dressings. All ingredients into the pool, lid on, shake. Makes enough for two of us for a few nights.

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What do you all do about repurposing jars that have held strongly scented things? Like pasta sauce with oregano, curry mixtures, etc. Generally you can clean out the jars - but the lids still retain the scent.

Just today I transferred my new batch of green cardomom pods to a larger jar - and now that jar smells SO strongly of cardamom, when i was hoping to move my maras pepper to it. And not just the lid, but the actual glass jar itself smells like cardamom - a delightful smell but how would you go about neutralizing it?

I don’t reuse jars with odiferous lids but suggest you try sealing the lid in a bag/container of baking soda or activated charcoal for several days. The former is more readily available.

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We actually do have activated charcoal but baking soda is cheaper. thanks for the suggestion.

I grow a ton of seasoning peppers (Aleppo, maras, urfa biber, various paprikas, various Mexican peppers used as powders, tap de corti, piment d’espelette, etc.) so I’m saving all of my good spice grinders and glass shaker jars for those.

I’ve also learned that I can grow cardamom and capers here… so those will be needing jars too…

I’ve seen people make candles with the glass containers.

I usually keep mine, and buy the spices in bags, or buy in bulk at a spice store or Costco/Sam’s Club and refill the container. Use a piece of tape to write the date. It’s cheaper than buying new $6 spices every few months. It’s best when you can share with someone too so you don’t have the spice go weak due to age.

I buy “bulk”, but mostly in small quantities that I use to refill the old round bottles. The most-used stuff that has longer shelf life I keep in their larger resto-sized plastic bins and then toss when empty.

A big set of the Spice Island or Penzeys bottles is nice to have, because everything matches and looks good in a rack or on a shelf.