Since we are not much in the way of consumers this is something that I have been doing for quite sometime in order to obtain my expansive collection. I have everything from condiment and herb containers, to pill bottles, coffee containers, onion bags and oil bottles. If I have bought it in the last few years and it has a reusable container, with the exception of peanut butter, I wash it and it goes to my collection in the giant box in the living room.
Because we grow about 85-90% of our own food here on the land we actually do use most of these containers over the course of a year. The box is set to overflow because we are nearing the end of winter and as we use our stocks the containers get washed and so the cycle goes. I keep collecting because eventually they do wear out and we will need replacements. And hey if the SHTF one day, I will be the one with the seed and container carrying goat drawn wagon when all the other containers have ceased to exist.
One of the things we buy consistently is non dairy creamer. Don't look at me that way! My old boss on the dairy farm looked at me that way too n then asked "why oh why do you choose the chemicals when you have 50 thousand pounds of fresh milk and all the cream you could ever want right here?" I just like it and I can't answer why. Any way, all those containers make good dry good storage. Here in the
Oil, condiment and herb containers are all generally used for the same purposes once there original product is gone .Medicinal oils and tinctures are generally made in glass olive oil bottles. Pill containers become seed containers that are pretty water proof compared to paper packets.Old water or soda bottles are saved for soda that we make here. Sour creme and other mid size containers are used for freezing eggs. 16 oz containers hold 8 of our smaller eggs while the 24 oz containers hold a dozen larger eggs. Old onion or potato bags are used for onions, garlic or potatoes here.
We dry a lot of our summer veggies here.Unlike some, we don't store the majority of our food for long term storage. The bulk of it is meant to go simply from one season to the next and then we begin again. Because of this most any container that seals tightly can be used for storage purposes.Yes, I know, mason jars are nice because we can see the contents but around here they are also at a premium. That though is a a whole other addiction.
Often times if a used container can serve no other purpose for anything that you can see, there is still a purpose, you just haven't seen it yet. Here, the "I dunno's" generally get used for feed or water dishes, planters, or seed starters. Very few containers of any sort get thrown out.
Believe it or not I was once a neat freak. Everything had its place and clutter was something I abhorred. When we first gravitated to a more sustaining life style of growing , preserving and preparing the majority of our food here on the land I still despised clutter and tossed everything in the trash. Manthing who is a saver of all things was forever on me about throwing things out as I was on him about keeping things. Over several years I have learned that many many vessels are needed to store stuff and things in and since our consumption of bought things has gone down considerably, I have realized the importance of saving the containers of the few things that we do buy and I have learned that there is very little true garbage out there after just one use.