Video: How to Make Portable Meals with Mason Jars (Healthy & Frugal!)

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In this new video, I will show you how easy and fun it is to make Portable Meals with Mason Jars specifically Mason Jar Salads, Mason Jar Yogurt Parfaits and Mason Jar Steel Cut Oats. Yum! If you are focused on eating healthy meals and really like to have nutritious foods prepared when you are in a time crunch, then Mason Jar Meals are a great option for you.


* Go here to watch the video.

 Here are the recipes I discuss in the video:

Mason Jar Salads

The biggest tip for making mason jar salads is the order in which you layer your salad ingredients!  Make sure to put salad ingredients in the following order when adding to your mason jars…

* Always and I mean, ALWAYS add you dressing first. Add enough dressing so that when shaken up it will coat your entire jar of salad. Make sure to slowly pour your dressing in so that it does not get on the sides of the jar and stays at the bottom. This will keep the lettuce and other salad greens (that will be added at the end) from wilting.

* Next add any hard veggies that you’d like to put in your salad, such as carrots, cucumbers, onions, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms etc These veggies will soak up the dressing and marinate. Yum!

* Then feel free to add in your grains, cheeses and/or other protein sources such as chicken etc

* Finally add in your salad greens which you can fill to the brim of the jar. Seal your lid and stick in the fridge until you are ready to eat. When ready, just shake up the jar to coat your salad! That’s it! πŸ™‚

These jars of salad seem to stay fresh for 4 to 5 days (possibly longer!).

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 1.59.45 PM

Mason Jar Parfait

These are super simple to make and super yummy, too! I also love having these on hand for quick snacks on the go…. especially since the kiddos also enjoy them!

Just put your favorite yogurt at the bottom of a 1/2 pint-sized mason jar – my favorite picks are either Chobani or Fage greek yogurt! Next add your favorite sweetener… I opted for honey! Now add your favorite fruits – I chose to throw in blueberries and raspberries. And finally, add your granola to the top! Easy Peasy!

Mason Jar Steel Cut Oats

These are so easy to prepare and make for such a healthy and quick breakfast! I’ll even have these oats at night as my dessert… a little brown sugar and I’m in heaven! πŸ™‚

To get started, just follow the directions on the back of the steel-cut oats to figure out your water to oats ratio. Boil the oats and water for 3 minutes. This is also a great time to add in salt (you’ve got to salt your oats – it brings out the flavor!). You can also add cinnamon, vanilla extract, and anything else you please.  Now take off the burner and let cool for a few minutes, then carefully ladle the oats into pint-sized mason jars. Screw on the lids and let the oats soak up the water for about 15 minutes, then put the mason jars in the fridge overnight. That’s it! They are now ready to nuke in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes and enjoy!

And don’t forget that now’s a great time to throw in brown sugar, nuts, dried fruit, granola, and anything else you love with your oats!

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Join The Discussion

Comments 58

  1. lauren

    The salad says how long it will stay in the fridge but the others don’t. Could someone share how long they will stay in the fridge? Sorry in advance if it says this on the video!

    • trippy79

      It doesn’t say in the video, but my best guess would be about a week (4-5 days) for any mason jar meal recipe. These aren’t really made to keep for long periods of time.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      I’d say 4 to 5 days but they are usually gone before then anyways! πŸ˜€

  2. Corinne

    Is there any good deals on the actual mason jar?

    • Brittany

      Check your grocery store or even Target over the next few weeks. Canning products seem to go on sale around August – September or so in my area. Last year, I got jars for 10% off at the beginning of August from Target.

    • Betsy

      Check your local thrift store. That is where I got most of my mason jars for canning. Then all you need to buy new is the caps and sometimes lids.

    • Thia

      Check Kroger’s too. I’m actually looking at Lowes – last year they went down to 50% off with free shipping – hope they offer this deal again. Collin posted the offer you can still view it – search “mason jars”.

    • lauren

      JoAnn’s would have a decent price with their coupons

    • Joy

      Garage Sales are were I get my mason jars. I am always on the look out for them. I got 2 cases a few weeks ago for $2!

  3. Sue

    These are great. My husband went to a one room schoolhouse in the late 1960s and the early 1970s and most of the kids took their lunch made of leftovers from their dinner the night before like this, with the bread at the top.

  4. Katie

    Are the steel cut oats the quick kind or 30 minute kind?

    • trippy79

      looks like the quick kind, as it says “boil the oats and water for 3 minutes”

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Hi Katie!
      No, they are the regular kind, but you only have to boil for 3 minutes because they soak up the water and cook more when you add to the mason jar and refrigerate for 24 hours. Hope that helps!

      • debbie

        wow, -got to try this! I stopped making steel cut oats just due to the time it took to cook, didn’t know you could do this, thanks!!

  5. Brittany

    Ah, you missed my favorite! Refrigerator oatmeal is even easier than the steel cut one you mention. There’s no cooking… just dump everything in and it’s good for 3 days or so! I eat it cold, but it’s my favorite breakfast now:

    • pharm_chick

      i love refrigerator oatmeal too! ever since i found the recipe, ive been eating it! my recipe is- 1 cup of flavored yogurt, 1/4 cup oats, 1 tsp chia seeds, mix mix and store!

      • Andrea

        I was wandering how it tasted! I will be trying that this evening πŸ™‚

  6. mia

    I love the yogurt parfait idea. I am going to make these for my daughters snack for school.

  7. Sasha

    Looking for some canning/storage jars for just about everything?
    Google “Weck” jars. They come in some of the coolest shapes/sizes!

  8. A.R

    thanks for this video Collin..!
    on a side note, I’d love to know what you do, to keep your skin look so good. Please share any tips.

  9. Erin

    Mason jars don’t strike me as particularly portable or child friendly (or budget friendly, unless you already have them). Though they wouldn’t be Pinterest-worthy, it seems like plastic containers would be fine for some of these.

    • Lisa

      I was thinking the same thing and wondering if you could use plastic containers.

      • pharm_chick

        i use the talenti containers if im at home for the oatmeal and parfaits! i guess it wouldnt look that nice if i was to take it outside somewhere lol.

        • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

          Great idea! πŸ™‚

      • Lorri

        I think people are also trying to get away from plastic for health reasons. The mason jar are inexpensive and reusable. They are also durable. They don’t break easily and are make to endure high temperatures, etc. (microwave, boiling, etc.)

  10. Thia

    Wow Collin you rock!

  11. Julie

    Anyone tried the oatmeal one with regular rolled oats instead of steel cut? I have tones of regular rolled oats right now. Thanks!

    • jiya

      Regular oats taste better & have good texture than quick oats ……just take 5min. I make them twice a week.

  12. musicalminded

    I wanted to say any Enjoy Life product I have ever eaten has been awesome!! They actually make allergen friendly food taste delicious!

  13. Terri Lowell

    What size jars did you use for the salads? They look bigger than quart jars.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Yep… they are the quart-sized jars! πŸ™‚

  14. Teresa

    Not trying to be rude but just for future reference pelethra is not a word it is plethora.
    That being said and off the subject; I have a $10 VS code that expires tomorrow if anyone is interested I could email it to you.

    • Susie

      I’m not trying to be rude either, but your first sentence lacks MAJOR punctuation.

      • Teresa

        I was just trying to be helpful. If I was making a video and putting it out there I would just want to know how to pronounce the word. BTW, I never said I was an English major.

        • debbie

          That’s alright, I thought that things went down a “convedor belt” at the grocery store and that the car that carries coffins was a “hurst” : ) I’m sure there are still several other words I probably have a little off!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      LOL! Yep, I definitely have issues pronouncing certain words. If you’ve watched any of my previous videos… well, you may have noticed! πŸ˜‰

      • Heather

        Can I just say you are the nicest person when you are facing rather harsh criticism! I’m from Texas so my pronunciation is rather…ummm special πŸ˜‰ The Southern woman in me wants to tell her where to stick her criticism, but the Christian in me always wins in the end and I keep my mouth shut and smile. So kudos, Collin, on keeping your cool! I love your blog and promote it constantly in my “Couponing 101” class that I offer free of charge here locally for anyone who wants to learn πŸ™‚

    • Ashley

      Lol I mispronouce alot of words myself! I think alot has to do with where you’re raised/the accent. I mean I was in 9th grade when I found out pumpkins weren’t “punkins ” LOL πŸ™‚

      • debbie

        (aww, but “punkins” sounds so much cuter!)
        yes, i totally agree, : ) took me a while to figure out the “crick” we played in by our house when we were little was really a creek

  15. Priscilla

    Great video Collin!!! Very professional πŸ™‚ LOVE the kitchen! Is that your new house?

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Thanks, Priscilla! πŸ™‚ And yes, that’s the new house.

  16. nicole

    Put a mason jar on a blender blade and voila! a homemade bullet where you can just take off the blade and drink your smoothie no extra washing. πŸ™‚

  17. Kristen

    I just watched your “how to save on gas” video after this one and I was laughing so hard! Lol “open your trunk!” πŸ™‚ I love your videos Collin!!! You should make a lot more, not cuz I want to learn anything but you just brighten my day! πŸ™‚

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)


  18. Tara

    Loved it!

    Also, I got all the way to minute 1:16 in the video before I realized I wasn’t even listening to a thing you were saying… instead just staring at your beautiful kitchen! πŸ™‚

    (so I started it over) but also, that kitchen is great! I hope we can see more!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Thanks, Tara! πŸ™‚

  19. Sarah

    When you started shaking the salad, I was reminded of the McSalad shakers they used to have at McDonald’s. Anybody else remember those?

    • Nicole

      I do… I do!! I used to get that and a large fry. Such a great combination.

      • Sarah

        Haha, that is fantastic! Definitely sounds like something I would do.

  20. teacherthatcoupons

    I would love to have the recipe for the salad – particularly the pesto dressing. Did you add anything to the quinoa?? These look so yummy! I LOVE the oatmeal one. I love steel cut oats but they take so long to cook. I just don’t have time in the morning, but I could definitely do this. I will definitely be making these. I am a teacher and school starts soon so I am glad I found this now.

    • Lori G

      Do your oatmeal cooking on the weekend in a big batch, then just refrigerate in single portion sized containers and heat in the microwave each morning.

  21. hediye

    Salt brings out the taste of a lot of things, pass it up (we get enough of it daily in other meals) and use whatever fresh fruit is available. Fruit too expensive/out of season, use frozen fruit. Caveat IMHO

  22. Joselyn

    I just have to say, I am so happy to see all these new videos you are making! I know it probably takes a lot of time to make/edit them, so just wanted to say how inspiring they are! I still watch some of the old “Follow me Monday” episodes to get me motivated to coupon!! πŸ™‚ Thanks Collin!

  23. Amanda

    Awesome ideas my husband will love these for snacks and lunches.
    On a side note your kitchen looks HUGE and amazing, this must be the new house.? I hope we get to see more of it.

  24. Jody M

    Hi Collin!
    Would you share your recipe for the pesto salad dressing?

  25. Dawn

    Collin could you share the recipe for the salad? It looks fantastic!!

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