I have a teesy obsession. Well, not-so-teensy. Do you remember my Gimme S’mores Bars a few weeks ago, where I used Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits? I had picked them up on a whim thinking that they would be an easy way to add those hot chocolate marshmallows everyone loves, without having to pick through a hot cocoa packet to get them.
Buying that container of Mallow Bits was great for the recipe, but I didn’t realize then how much I would use Mallow Bits in my every day life. Those things are amazing. I may have had 1, 2… 20 bowls… of Golden Grahams topped with Mallow Bits and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips in the past few weeks. I may have also topped hot cocoa, coffee, iced coffee, and cookies with the Mallow Bits. And there may have been a few (lot) of handfuls that I ate straight out of the jar.
I’m not kidding you, these things are GOOD. One of the best parts of childhood, in a little container (am I the only person who would sometimes eat the marshmallows before I finished making my hot chocolate? I can’t be, right?)
Anyway, I shared my love of Mallow Bits with JET-PUFFED, and they tasked me with coming up with ways to re-use the containers from all of those Mallow Bits I had been eating. At the bottom, you’ll find a shortlist of ideas we came up with as a family, but first, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite ways that we settled on.
Oh, and if you don’t have any Mallow Bits, first, shame on you- go buy some now, but second, you can substitute that container with a Kraft Parmesan Cheese container. They’re the same thing (literally! The same container, different color and wrapper, because the people at Kraft are supersmart and know that it takes less time and environmental energy to make the same container do double duty, than to come up with a whole new one).
When coming up with ideas, I first thought of one of my biggest problems as a parent, and as a sister of a precocious eleven-year-old boy. You’re a parent. It’s a long trip/summer day/what have you. Two words come out of your child’s mouth, and with these two little words, a hair on your head turns grey, or you pull it out, or… something. It has some effect on your aging process, is what I’m saying.
Ugh. I swear those words are the bane of a parent’s existence.
Well, I found a solution for at least staving off repetitions of that word for awhile.
I took my Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits container, and I grabbed some trinkets from around the house. A small spool of thread, a paperclip, a cheerio, a flinstones vitamin, a peppermint, a nerf dart, some silk flowers, a butterfly cookie cutter (teesy size), a penny, and more. In total, I found 25 things to put in my jar. I placed about 5 in the jar, then covered that with a layer of beans. Then 5 more, then more beans, then 5 more, and more beans, until I was out of objects. I left a little space at the top for shaking. Then, I glued the lid shut.
The next day, my brother told my mom “I’m bored.” I handed him the jar and said “Here’s a list of items in that jar. You can’t say ‘I’m bored’ again until you’ve found every object in the jar.
He shaked, he spun, he twisted, and he looked. And, after about 30 minutes, he had finally found every object in the jar. Seriously, this thing entertained him for 30 minutes. He handed it back to me, I gave it a good shake, and when he said “I’m bored” again later, I told him he could repeat the challenge. He said “Easy. I know where it all is.” Then he took the jar, went to look and said “HEY! You moved it all.” And a new challenge was presented…
This “I’m bored” jar would work pretty well on a trip. It takes up very little space (it fits in a cupholder. Not that I know that you can stick a container of mallow bits in a cupholder or anything…. FINE! The mallow bits may be a slight addiction of mine. So what?). The jar is entertaining. It’s easy to make. You can put it in your bag to entertain at the grocery store, in the car, whatever.
And, once you shake it, it’s a whole new challenge.
Don’t have kids? Want some other ideas instead? Here’s my short list of ways to re-use your JET-PUFFED Mallow Bits containers. You’ll have a lot of them, especially if you go through a couple jars a week like my family does.
The Short List of Ways to Reuse a Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits container
Put seed beads in it. I used to make beaded bracelets and I have about a billion seed beads. I poured a whole bunch of them into the jar, and when it’s jewelry making time, I just pour some into a bowl, work on jewelry, and then the rest are safe and sound in my un-spillable container.
Travel container for sunflower seeds or other snacks. My dad is a huge fan of sunflower seeds when driving, but there have been a few occasions where the entire bag has spilled in the floorboard of our car. With this, he can shake some into his mouth, close the lid, and not have to worry about it. Plus, like I said, it fits in our cupholders. It also works as a snack container for my 9 month old.
Travel wipe container. Do you wipe down your carts before you use them? My family is very OCD about it because honestly, my 9 month old likes to chew on the cart and you don’t know what’s been there. I’ve found that there are many occasions where there are ZERO wipes there, so I like to put anti-bacterial wipes into one of these jars so I can wipe my cart down. It works really well, and the container is small enough for me to throw in my diaper bag. Plus, they don’t dry out in these containers- seriously!
Tech Deck Storage: because who doesn’t have 20 Tech Decks to carry on a bike ride to a friends’ house. Do you have a water-bottle holder on your bike? Then you have a place to put your Tech Decks, in this container.
Sprinkle storage: We like to bake around here, and we have an out-of-control amount of mixed sprinkles in various plastic baggies. Easy: pour them all in here. Less baggies to worry about.
Dead Wax storage: I have to explain: as a Scentsy Independent Consultant (it’s my other addiction aside from marshmallows), I have a lot of warmers. Each day, when I change my wax, it’s easier to pour it into a container than to just pour it into a trashbag, so I just carry a container around with me room-to-room to pour the wax in. I just pour mine into this container, and when it’s full, I toss it. It holds enough wax, and it’s cool to see the wax pool in layers.
For Sugar: The little holes on one side are a good way to pour some sugar into coffee or something, but the big hole on the other side fits a measuring spoon so you can use it for cooking.
Shaking Drinks: This one seems silly, but it works. We load it up with water, a little single-serve packet of Kool Aid or Crystal Light or a few squirts of Mio, and some ice, and we shake shake shake until it’s well mixed, then pour it into a cup. It’s fun, and it seems to mix it better than stirring (or maybe we just like our Kool Aid shaken, not stirred).
Nails or Screws storage: Growing up, my dad always had odd-sized boxes or buckets holding nails and screws. We’ve streamlined the process now by putting all of the screws and nails in containers, sorted by size or type, and put a label with the type on them. It fits on a shelf, and looks MUCH more organized.
Piggy Bank: Take a Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits container and wrap some pretty paper around it, or decorate it with stickers, or whatever. Now put your spare change in it. Do it every day until it’s filled to the brim, and then take it to the bank and get it counted and turned into cold, hard cash.
For Marshmallows. I’m not kidding. Yum. The best use I can find for JET-PUFFED Mallow Bits containers is to actually hold Jet-Puffed products. Because, duh, they’re yummy.
I know, my ideas ranged from the silly to the obvious, and back to the very practical. I think you’re going to find a ton of ways to re-use these containers. And trust me, you’ll need the ideas, because once you try the Jet-Puffed mallow bits, you’ll be as hooked as I am.