The Perfect Hack For Taking A Salad On The Go

How do you pack your salad for lunch? Do you use a traditional plastic container with compartments for the different ingredients? Or a bento box, perhaps? While both of these can be great, practical options, they can also include some annoyances when it comes to salad dressing. Some of these containers aren't leak-proof, or aren't designed with guaranteed airtight lids. If either is the case, it means you could end up with an unpleasant mess, courtesy of spilled dressing, either within your container — or, even worse, in your bag. 

But don't worry, there's a better option out there: a wide-mouthed canning jar, also known as a Mason jar. These jars can be used to hold a number of things, ranging from candles to candy to popcorn to spices — and yes, even salad. Just as with some plastic containers, a Mason jar offers an airtight seal when the lid is screwed on correctly. Not only that, but it provides several other benefits that will probably make you want to pack a salad-to-go — if you weren't already planning on it, that is.

Why you should pack your salad in a Mason jar

Unlike traditional food containers, Mason jars have a cylindrical shape that forces you to pack your salad in layers – a hack that a large swathe of people swears by, per NBC News. And that's a good thing! You'll want the first layer to be your dressing, in order to keep the said dressing from saturating the rest of your salad before you're ready to eat it. The next layer should be your salad's heaviest ingredients, like nuts, berries, or some other fruit. Save the leafy greens for last, since they're the lightest.

Just as with a horizontal container, keep your jar upright to prevent the dressing from mixing with the other ingredients prematurely. When you're ready to eat the salad, simply unscrew the lid and pour the contents into a bowl. You may need to shake the jar a bit first if you packed a lot of ingredients.

Another perk to using Mason jars for salad is that you can store them in the refrigerator for most of the week; most meals can last up to five days in the fridge, according to NBC News. One of the only downsides to jarred salad, however, is the risk of the jar breaking. Be sure to store the jar in a sturdy lunch bag, where it won't crack if you accidentally drop it while you're out and about. Keep the jar safe and secure, and it will give you a nice, nifty salad in return!