From The Tips Box: Jar Lids, Mirror Notes, Pre-Mixed Ingredients

From The Tips Box: Jar Lids, Mirror Notes, Pre-Mixed Ingredients

Readers offer their best tips for preventing stuck jar lids, making dry-erase notes without a whiteboard, and pre-mixing ingredients to save time.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in — the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Keep Jar Lids Loose to Avoid Sticking

Photo by Listener42.

Rhys Moses lets us know that loose jars will still seal without the trouble of opening them:

Want to make sure the lids on your glass jars don’t stick when you put them in the fridge? When you put on the lid, make sure to tighten it just a little, so it feels almost too loose. The cold air in the fridge will seal it shut just fine, but not too much. When you go to open it, you’ll be surprised how easy it is.

Use a Mirror Instead of a Whiteboard for Quick Notes

Photo by Jonathan Goforth.

mrsayao shares a dry-erase surface that works just as well as a whiteboard:

To keep from forgetting things and to avoid the need of a whiteboard, I usually scribble a quick note on either the bathroom mirror or the one near the door to my house with dry erase markers…

Not only are mirrors more sturdy than cheap whiteboards, they also look a bit nicer and are easier to put in plain sight by the door—even if does say “Get Milk” in big letters on it.

Pre-Mix Powdered Ingredients for Quick Hot Chocolate

Photo by Anne Norman.

Nicholas shows us how to conserve time when using powdered ingredients:

I have a container of unsweetened cocoa powder. It’s tedious to mix in sugar every time I make it, so I just mixed the appropriate amount of sugar right into the container. It’s the same principle behind pre-mixed pancake mix. I follow the suggestion on the container to know how much sugar to mix in. Now it’s just as easy as instant hot chocolate packets!

And of course, seeing as the idea was borrowed from pancake mix, this will work with pretty much anything that uses powdered ingredients. Don’t forget to label your containers with the instructions too, for really efficient hot-chocolate making.


  • I have my doubts if not closing jars is the best idea, one little knock and you could have the contents all over the fridge, its not that hard to run it under hot water for a few seconds to loosen the lid, or to use something to aid grip.

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