Repurposing your Mason jars

I am a great believer in repurposing. I cut forlorn sweaters up to make mittens and I hoard old shoeboxes in my basement in the hopes of identifying future uses.

I am also a big believer in canning, but it is a skill I have failed to nurture in myself. I make delicious tomato chutney every summer and, very occasionally, jam. But wrestling bushels of vegetables into neat glass jars is beyond me.

Nonetheless, I delight in all the Mason jars and canning accessories that appear in the stores late summer, marking the fleeting weeks of abundance here in Canada.

I use large Mason jars to store my dry ingredients (sugar, rice, nuts, etc.) and have designed my kitchen drawers with this in mind. I love the wide mouths and the easy access of the jars, not to mention the uniformity, the low cost and the squeaky clean-ness when they come out of the dishwasher.
(NB. It seems I am not alone in my love of Mason jars: see here for 31 ways to use a Mason jar in your kitchen.)

I was thrilled, the other day, to find two clever new Mason jar add-ons that substantially increase the range of possible uses for my smaller jars.

The first is the cuppow. This is a slightly raised plastic (BPA free) insert that replaces the disc lid of your Mason jar and turns it into a drinking cup. Just screw it on and you have a convenient on-the-go cup.

The cuppow comes in two sizes to fit widemouth (76mm) or regular (60mm) Mason jars. It does not close completely so cannot withstand really bumpy rides, but does a great job if you want to sip a drink in the car, for example.

I don’t love the feel of the drinking rim/spout, but I am very fussy in that regard and like really thin edges to my mugs (see my earlier recommendation for vacuum mugs). It retails for $8. The price seems a little steep as there is not a lot to the product, but it is US-made and claims to be recyclable plastic.

The second option is the reCAP, which entirely replaces your Mason lid, both disc and screw collar. It is a fully close-able pouring/drinking spout for your jars. I prefer the way this feels on my lips, but it does present a large (about quarter-sized) round hole which might be a bit abrupt for hot drinks on the go (though great for gloopy things like smoothies if you want to grab these as you head out of the house).

It could also be used to turn a Mason jar of any size into a pouring dispenser, for example for sugar, rice or liquid honey. Its founding purpose, according to the website, was to turn a jar into a salad dressing dispenser. You can shake away and still pour with ease.

The reCAP is also BPA free and made in the US. It retails for $7-$7.50.

Both are available in Canada from a neat eco product site called Greenmunch (I should mention that they did send me free samples of both products after I enquired about them). Greenmunch also specializes in hard-to-find paper straws, another alternative to the glass straws I wrote about in the early days of my site.

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9 comments

  1. Janet says:

    You can find paper straws at Chapters in Toronto.

  2. Carrie Hiscock says:

    I have these fantastic wood turned mason jar lids that I picked up in the maritimes a few years ago. The woodturner’s website seems not to be up and running, but I have emailed the wood turner himself to see what is up and will repost when I get some info (Diana maybe you can post my pictures if you like?)

  3. Diana says:

    I am not quite sure how to post pictures in the comments section…but look at this Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/EverAutumnDesigns?ref=seller_info) for something similar.

  4. SalishSeaSam says:

    You forgot to mention the bog-standard plastic lids from Bernardin that I’ve been using for years for everything from fridge storage of leftovers to dry storage of grains, etc in the pantry. http://www.amazon.ca/Bernardin-Mason-Jar-Caps-Standard/dp/B000FRUO0Y

  5. Pamela says:

    We have the Cuppow and Glass Dharma straws available locally at terra20.

  6. Laurie says:

    I happen to have a whole box full of mason jars that I add to weekly given my penchant for soups. Does anyone have any suggestions on who might like these jars and how I can give them away? The store where I buy the soups will not take them back.

  7. re.pur.pose says:

    Post on craigslist. Mason jars are very IN now and serve a multitude of uses aside from canning.
    where are you located, I may be interested in them

  8. Laurie says:

    I live in Toronto. I’ll be driving to Ottawa in a couple of weeks and could bring them with me if you live there.

    • re.pur.pose says:

      Hello Laurie

      I am actually located in Toronto. Glad to hear that you along with many others find creative uses of items that normally find their way to landfills etc.
      I am committed to always try and extend the life of items as much as possible.
      As for your mason jars where are you located in Toronto.
      I am amassing as I do some workshops in the spring and mostly summer months regarding mason jars for instance.
      can you reach me direct via re.pur.pose101@gmail.com
      Thanks
      S

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