Thursday, April 7, 2016

The gigantic oil jug became a pantry storage container



I buy cooking oil in these 35-lb jugs, at the restaurant supply. One jug lasts about 9-10 months. They come packaged in an outer cardboard box. In the past, I've tossed the cardboard and the plastic jug into the recycling bin.

Last week, I had one of those "silly me" moments, "why haven't I used these jugs for storage before now?" At the very least, they would make good surplus rain water storage, or a large container for storing compost tea, both for the garden.

And I then I thought of all of the foods that I buy in large sacks that make the pantry look untidy. I recently bought a 50-lb sack of brown rice. Hmmmm

side by side with a 1-gallon vinegar jug, to give you an idea of the size

So I cleaned out the jug with hot soapy water and white vinegar. Several rinses later and it felt clean-enough inside. I allowed it to air dry for a day and then filled it up.


About 30 lbs of long-grain rice fit inside, and now my brown rice looks neat, tidy and is in an airtight storage container.

I can hardly wait for my new oil jug to be used up and empty!

I am working my frugal muscles, these days. I had a coupon for Storables for 20% off any purchase. I had thought to go there and buy a container or two for the pantry. This one was free! I may still use that coupon for shelving for the pantry. But at least I saved on the container.

20 comments:

  1. What a brilliant idea! It is a wonderful feeling when we discover new ways to save money and re-use things.

    Hope you enjoy your day!

    Angie

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    1. Thank you, Angie! Have a wonderful day!

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  2. That looks heavy. Is it? I love both repurposing and neatening up. A win-win situation.

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      when full of oil it weighed 35 lbs.(which is over 4 gallons) -- heavy and awkward to decant the first couple of times, easier after that (but never just a breeze to use, however it saves me several dollars per gallon on vegetable oil). Filled with rice it isn't as heavy, about 30 lbs. And using it for the rice really did neaten up that corner of the pantry.

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  3. Great idea! I also really like to store my dry goods in food grade buckets that I pick up for free from the grocery store bakeries (you just have to ask--they're usually happy to have you take them off your hands). Over the years, I slowly replaced the hard-to-take-off lids with Gamma lids, which I pick up at WinCo for $5.84 a piece. Thanks to you, Lili, I do think about things I could reuse or repurpose before I throw them away. Melissa

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    1. I have gotten buckets from the grocery store bakery and used them for storage as well as container gardening.

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    2. I will have to summon the courage to ask for a bucket at the in-store bakery. I don't know why I would be shy about that, but I am.

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    3. It bothered me, too, the first time I asked. But I really do think they're used to being asked. Our Fred Meyer bakery actually has a waiting list for the buckets. Once I saw a bunch of buckets outside of a Dairy Queen near the garbage cans. I went inside and asked. Sure enough, they were destined for the trash. They couldn't understand why I'd want them. I usually start the conversation at the bakery by asking if they sell their used frosting buckets, etc. They have always said they are free. I know my local Walmart only gives them away fairly early in the morning, before they throw them out.

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  4. I've seen "rice storage bin with pour spout" (thst's what it is called) sold at Amazon for $14 that looks so much like your recycled oil jug. Way to go!! I'm sure there are lots of uses around the home for this sized container with a spout. We saved our leftover paints in laundry detergent jugs. It was easy to shake and pour, and I didn't have to worry about lids that rusted and couldn't shut tight. Frankly, paints should be sold this way.

    I like to keep all disposable containers that have possible reusefulness and hate to spend money on storage containers, except I buy those 18 gal sized storage bins when
    ver I need a filler item to meet a certain purchase total requirement for a coupon. These always come in handy to sort and store. I know...signs of a pack rat....

    Have a beautiful day :) Hope the good weather continues!!

    YHF

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    1. YHF, I appreciate your tip about saving laundry detergent jugs for leftover paints! We painted our entire house before we moved in a few years ago, and still have the leftover paints. As we have touched up nicks and scuffs, my husband has had trouble prying the lids off of the paint cans. On two of the paint colors, we have poured what was left into very large glass jars with lids (saved from food purchases). The laundry detergent jugs will work so much better, though! I'm going to start cleaning out my empty laundry detergent jugs for this. Thanks again.

      Angie

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    2. YVW, Angie :)

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    3. However, do save the paint can label as much as possible (maybe tape it to the jug) because when you need more paint, it will be easier to zero in on the correct sheen when you know the brand (sheens are not standard and very specific to the brand). Not so much the color codes, because they are specific to the store/paint colorant dispenser.

      YHF

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    4. Hi YHF,
      Oh how funny -- someone actually makes a rice storage bin with a pour spout! I'll have to google that, just for satisfaction's sake.

      I love your way of saving paint. Not only are old paint cans hard to reopen, but once you get pain on the edge of the paint can, they're hard to do a good job resealing enough to keep it from drying out. I've lost a lot of leftover paint, due to it drying up. I don't buy liquid laundry detergent, but I'm sure I can find another suitable container with lid for paint storage -- so big thanks to you!

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  5. Great idea!! I don't have anything that big, except large buckets that I use for oats as Melissa mentioned. However, I do purchase kalamata olives in large jars which I then reuse to store bread crumbs and chopped nuts and other things in the freezer. So much neater than floppy, crinkled bags!

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    1. Hi Laura,
      I've never stored foods in glass jars in the freezer. I know a lot of people do. I'm always afraid they'll break. But that's not the case, right?

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    2. Mine have never broken. I am very leery of putting liquids in glass jars and then freezing them -- the expansion and contraction just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. But I have been very pleased with using the jars for prolong storage of dried goods. I worry about nuts, whole grain flours and things like dry milk spoiling in our humid climate, so these are very helpful for making those things tidy in my freezer.

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  6. I love it when I have "aha" moments like that. Great idea to reuse the oil container. Now you have me looking at mine differently. :-)

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    1. Hi Busy Bee,
      I know! But I am kicking myself for not using those other large oil jugs before now!

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I'm so glad that you stopped by today. Please comment, and let me know what you're thinking.