EXTRA! EXTRA! This is a new regular post from skgr.
My kitchen is implausibly small, so every bit of extra space and beauty helps.
I begrudge having to fit packages of food designed for suburban kitchen pantries onto my minuscule Manhattan-size kitchen shelves. And since my little shelves have no doors, whatever sits on them is visible at all times – who wants to look at all that packaging? I'd rather put the beauty of the food out to see than hide it away in a cabinet.
So I store all my pastas, cereals, rice, flours, beans and even some spices in glass jars. If there is an important set of instructions from the original packaging, I slip them out and tape to the inside of the lid. Another advantage of using jars for your dried foods is that it keeps out the grain moths, those annoying little white critters that take over the pantry, ruining your food. To prevent slipping between stacked jars, stick three or four adhesive rubber dots (sold at framing supply stores) to the bottom of each top jar.
Here are four good sources for Jars. My favorite might be the ones from Kmart, although you can only buy them in the stores. The budget option is to begin saving jars from peanut butter and pickles, for example. Soak off the labels with soap and hot water.
Martha Stewart Jars from Kmart come in three sizes
Ikea Burken Jars – (41oz size is most useful)
Ball Canning Jars (hardware stores, Broadway panhandler) half gallon and quart are best for grains, half-pint for spices.
For spices, the Container Store has a very nice series of small glass jars with white metal tops.