Is the jar half empty or...?

Published March 10, 2023

A photo of two shelves filled with rows of empty jars

As part of the efforts to reduce waste and combined with a need to try and reduce grocery costs due to the wider economy challenges, I’ve been quite focused on the kitchen recently. It means considering how best to cook things in which devices, whether to bulk up and batch cook, and how much time is too much time to spend meal planning.

I’ve been doing my best to use every inch of the food that comes into the kitchen that I can, but I will admit that one of the problems I’ve had is addressed by this BBC Food post: How to use up half empty jars

It’s a long-standing problem, when you only need a spoonful or two of some paste or mustard or sauce or pesto to go in a meal and then the rest goes in the fridge only to get forgotten about. The jars get pushed to the back and then it’s only when you’re doing a refrigerator deep clean that you find them again.

This is a useful post to try and remedy that, by coming up with ideas to use up those sauces and pastes that would otherwise get forgotten. I’ve already managed to find a use for leftover pesto with this super simple and stupidly delicious pinwheel recipe but I’m very interested in the spicy roast potatoes and sauces as glazes ideas.

Plus this which hadn’t occurred to me:

When you open a jar of sauce or paste, you might be able to freeze what you’re not immediately using, so it’ll keep for longer. Curry paste, pesto, passata and lots of other sauces are usually suitable for decanting into containers and freezing – just check the label.

Sometimes the answer is so obvious!

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