I use Tupperware containers to store most of my dry goods, and I want to gradually change them over to glass. Some things can go in the small glass canisters I bought in April and some can go in mason jars. However, I get picky when it comes to baking staples like flour and sugar. I want to be able to scoop out of the containers for these things - I remember one set of canisters my Mom had, where she could only fit a very small measuring cup in the flour canister. Needless to say, those didn't last long! Who wants that extra grief when it comes to baking??
So, when I spied these, I picked up the two largest sizes - one for flour, and one for sugar.
2 glass canisters: $30.90 + $4.02 tax
Since beginning this challenge last January, one of the major hurdles has been cold food storage - both fridge and freezer. I still have no good alternative to plastic bags for freezer storage, and in the last two months, have lost FOUR mason jars to breakage in the freezer. No, they were not overfilled, but were old jars, and I think that the temperature fluctuations were too much for them. I'm not too happy about losing the jars, never mind the contents! So these came on sale at just the right time:
I bought one round set, and one rectangular set. I already have some, but not enough, so these will come in handy. Yes, I know they have plastic lids, but I've yet to come up with a way to store food long term without plastic, and at least this is a minimal and reusable amount.
2 glass food storage sets: $16.90 + $2.20 tax
With less than $25 left for the challenge, I was trying hard to come up with something to finish off the year in style. I still needed to replace a few plastic cooking utensils, and I still need to source small pie plates, but I ended up with something completely different.
And I blew the budget in the process :)
But when I found out a good quality pressure canner was on sale for almost half off, it was too good to pass up. How does a pressure canner fit the challenge?
Well, I can use it to store things, like stock, in glass that would otherwise be in the freezer. It allows me to reduce my use of plastics and frees up freezer space at the same time. Soup, stew, sauces, juices - low-acid food of all sorts can now be safely stored at room temperature.
And once again, it's my challenge and I get to change the rules :)
Pressure canner: $79.95 + $10.39 tax
Balance: -$66.33 OOOPS!
All in all, I'm glad I did this. Even though I went over budget, and I found it next to impossible to source items made in North America, it was an interesting process. By spreading it out over a year, I had time to think about each purchase and determine what would be the best use of the money. I think by setting aside a fixed amount, it allowed me to spend "guilt-free" :)
My favourite purchases are the cast iron cookware. This is something I use all the time, and I'm loving it. My second favourite is the pour-over coffee "maker" - again, something I use daily. The most disappointing has to be the bakeware, simply because of the deception in the name and where it was made. The other items, while functional, simply aren't all that exciting!
I still have plastic in the kitchen, so this isn't the end of the quest. I need to get rid of the final few plastic cooking utensils, and I need to find and buy small pie plates (I like them for individually sized pot pies, which are kept in the freezer for a quick meals!). Once the new kitchen is in, I need to figure out all my storage needs, so more containers for staples may be on the wish list as well.
Thus endth the $500 challenge.
Now, I wonder what's in store for 2012....