Hi all. Could someone tell me what kind of reusable containers you use for purchasing edible bulk liquids, like olive oil, vinegar and honey?
I'm just starting to shop in bulk. I've purchased Le Parfait jars, which I love for dry goods, but it seems their wide mouths could be hard to pour from when I want to move oil or vinegar into a smaller container for routine use in the kitchen. (I don't want to just shop with my kitchen containers since I'd be having to refill them pretty frequently and they have pour spouts that don't really seal for transport... I can just imagine the mess of an olive oil spill in the car, ugh....)
For honey, a wide-mouth jar just seems odd to me (maybe I should just get over it?); but too narrow a jar would be hard to clean.
I'm so glad to have the option of shopping in bulk for these things, but I'm flummoxed on exactly how to take advantage. Sorry if this question has been asked before and I missed it in my searching.
This may be obvious, but:
If you like the ease of filling your jars at the store, a funnel might help when transferring at home.
Otherwise, what I have done is saved some of my old [glass] olive oil bottles, bought before going ZW, and use those to refill oils. Drip spouts usually pop out easily, and can be reused as long as you've not torn them. You could also use any old narrow neck bottle with a screw top, or latch top, as long as you feel comfortable with filling it, with any cleaning issues and it has a top that tightens well. My bulk tamari, vinegar, etc. go in an unmatched collection of bottles acquired from purchases of wine, sauces, etc., the main criteria was to be glass with a great cap and to have been able to eliminate any odor from what was originally in them. BTW, Lorina (available at BevMo, etc) sodas come in great, reusable glass bottles with a latch top. Sur la Table, Amazon, even some Ace hardwares, etc. sell empty latch top bottles. Latch tops (Le Parfait jar lids are latch top) are extremely durable, and you won't lose the lid. I think an example of the bottle is listed in the ZW "store". Another light weight, but expensive, option would be purchasing something like a Kleen Kanteen, and dedicating it for a specific liquid.
Honey=whatever works-- I have a regular mouth mason jar that I use. It IS messy, though. Haven't tried, but maybe an old OO bottle would work for that as well. Maybe someone else will have a suggestion??
I hadn't thought about this earlier, but another option would be to use Mason jars with lid to fill at the store then at home just put something like these pour spouts on as a lid. Not dripless, has plastic, but relatively simple.
Found this, too, and is stainless steel. I think only fits regular mouth mason jars.
Thank you for all the great ideas and friendly advice, Jay! A funnel, yes! It's funny that I didn't think of that. I saw after you wrote that Bea has a good metal one in her store. I got to go to a major bulk food store today about an hour from home, where I may be doing a lot of bulk shopping in the future, and they also carry gallon-size glass jars with secure lids that seem ideal for carrying oil. (Always kind of ironic to buy new containers in this whole endeavor, but sometimes you find just the perfect thing...) That way I'd be able to buy a lot, pour it easily and also avoid plastic.
As for honey I think I just need to get over the idea that it's weird to have it in a wide-mouth jar. Not sure why that seemed so hard to accept.
Would be interested in how it works out for you. You're right in that a sometimes unfortunate side effect of this quest is purchasing *new* stuff, although Mason jars are particularly multi-functional :))
A minor side benefit of a standardized jar is that once you (and the cashiers at some markets [Rainbow, ??]) know the tare, you needn't redo each time. Similar to what Bea says about her Le Parfait jars.
Remember that a gallon/half gallon of oil is heavy.
If you get a funnel, make sure the neck fits into the bottles you use.
Let us know! We learn from each other.
If you're looking to store a smaller quantity in your pourable container and uniformity...my kiddo loves the Starbucks Frappuccino sold in four pack at grocery stores. So after consuming the contents, wash bottles well, remove labels (yuck that film plastic stuff) and let dry thoroughly. You can even reuse the cardboard carrier box to transport/corral them in your shopping bag! Great way to get 'sample' of new bulk liquid items to try, too. Bonus points for covering the cap with contact paper or other label.
Yay, it's summer, and one of the few items I buy at Aldi's is available: carbonated lemonade in liter glass bottles with hinge type cap (not ceramic though). $2.49 each. Very sturdy. In case you're still looking for clear glass bottles for bulk liquid purchases.