Friday, November 28, 2014

Confessions of a Quirky Shopper

Sometimes a product's container influences me to buy the product that's in it.  There are a few different reasons for this.

On the practical end of the spectrum, a certain container might be easier to grip, operate or store.  One example is stick deodorant.  I prefer containers whose covers are flat on top so that I can store them upside-down on the shelf.  When there's only a small amount of deodorant left, the upside-down orientation has a lower center of gravity, so it is less prone to toppling over.  Mennen Speed Stick gets this.  Secondarily, the mechanism to advance the deodorant needs to be easy to turn.  Most containers provide a round knob that's shrouded by the base of the container.  However, a few, such as Degree or Dove for men, are set up so that the entire base can be turned to advance the deodorant.

More quirky is my habit of buying things in order to get a container to reuse for another purpose.  I prefer to buy food that comes in glass jars whose openings are as wide as the jar itself.  It's easy to fill jars like this with leftovers or homemade ghee, or to use them as vases.  The Bonne Maman fruit preserve jars (see picture) are ideal.  There are sauerkraut jars that are just as wide on top yet twice as tall to hold more.  (In fact, the lids are interchangeable.)  The jars for almond butter are pretty good, too.  They are just large enough for a batch of ghee made from one pound of butter.  So I keep on hand a small collection of empty jars from jam, sauerkraut and almond butter.

Empty soda bottles are easy to "repurpose," too.  You can cut one in half and use the top as a funnel, and the bottom can be used under a small houseplant to catch excess water.  Make the cut angled, and the bottom becomes a scoop.  An even better scoop can be fashioned from an empty gallon (or half-gallon) jug from milk, water or bleach.  Here's how: Hold it upside-down by the handle. Then lower it as you would a clothes iron so it's horizontal.  Cut away the part that's now the top.  The Instructables website shows many ways to repurpose ordinary throw-away items.  Altoid mint tins seem to be favorite boxes for projects -- they're the ideal size for a set of AA or AAA batteries plus some small electrical components.

Even those annoying blister packs can be useful.  The frustrating slipperiness and seeming indestructibility of of the material can be exploited for use as shims, drawer slides or furniture glides.

What are your favorite containers and what do you use them for?


Zazzy said...

I have a glass milk bottle that I paid an extra $3-4 deposit for with the intention of doing something with it. And I will, someday.

Happy NaBloPoMo. I found you via Snoskred's more manageable list.

Square Peg Guy said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting, Zazzy. Yes, there's something irresistible about those old milk bottles. I remember collecting the caps from them when I was a boy.

All the best!