The First Thing You Should Do with a New Box of Parchment Paper

updated Mar 5, 2021
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Someone holding new box of parchment paper.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

When it comes to keeping my kitchen and home running smoothly, I like to do what I call “trigger tasks.” I tie one occurrence to some sort of action. Every time this one thing happens, I also do this other thing. The idea is that the loop eventually becomes automatic. This way, chores that need to be done periodically but often slip our minds get done before they’re a relative emergency. 

This is the case with today’s “first thing you should do” post. If you bake or like to cut down on strenuous dish-washing, you already have an appreciation for parchment paper — and you probably open a new roll, not necessarily often, but somewhat regularly. 

Maybe you’ve dipped your toes into the world of additional uses for parchment paper, such as covering your cabinet tops with sheets (so you never have to dust that no-man’s land again), wrapping brownies for a neighbor drop-off gift, or lining cupcake pans when you run out of regular liners. But this tip uses parchment as a tool for doing something your future self will thank you for. 

Next time you open a new box of parchment paper, tear off a piece and use it as a funnel to refill your spice jars and grinders. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Use Parchment Paper as a “Funnel” to Refill Spices

If you have a uniform set of spice jars, but like to buy often-used spices in bulk, you know the pain of trying to get chili powder from a Costco container into the small opening of a decorative spice jar. You might put it off (because who wants to stop cooking to refill jars?) and end up having to grab the step stool to just use the back stock. Can you tell I’ve gone through this silly rigamarole myself a few times? Also, when was the last time you stopped to refill your pepper grinder?

Refilling your spice containers before they’re empty is key to avoiding this scenario. Doing it with each new box of parchment paper ensures that your spices are ready to be used when you need them without extra steps or step stools. Plus, this trick also helps prevent messes. No more runaway peppercorns!

To fashion a funnel out of parchment, tear off a small sheet and just fold or bend it in half. Use it as a slide to direct your spices down and into the jar. If you’re worried about spice flavors mixing, turn the “funnel” inside out and tear additional fresh squares as needed. Don’t forget to refill your salt cellar while you’re at it!

Credit: Kitchn