What Kind of Food Storage Containers Do You Like?

gilmoregalDecember 5, 2011

I had to box up all of the contents of my kitchen cabinets and drawers while the painters were here. It has actually been a good thing, because as I put things back, I am trying to weed out the things that are worn out or rarely used. The lazy susan where I keep my plastic storage containers had become a huge mess - partly because I had accumulated too many containers, and also because many of them didn't 'nest'. (I have many of the early Lock 'n Locks that are square/rectangular) Which made me wonder -- what kind of storage containers do other people use and like? And how do you store them, ie lid on?

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eriepatch

Sorry Gilmoregal but I can't resist! Nothing plastic! :)
After my "meltdown" this morning.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 12:16PM
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BalTra

I use primarily glass containers. Snap Loc (i think this is the brand)-- by the box from Costco. They make them stackable now which is a plus. I keep the lids in one drawer, containers in another.
Also, link below is a great resource for glass jars of all sizes.
Trying my best to keep plastic/BPA/PVC etc junk out of my house and out of my recycling. Worst offender right now is yogurt. On my list of things to learn to make well!

Here is a link that might be useful: Glass Jar supply

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 12:16PM
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suzanne_sl

I have a bunch of the snap-lock containers (whichever ones Costco was selling last spring) I keep for leftovers. They live in a bottom drawer, mostly nested except for the one misfit. That one may actually belong to my son. I've not added dividers to my drawers yet as I wanted to use them awhile before I committed to dividers. My plan is to section off an end of that drawer and stand the lids on end.

Tupperware/Glad/Ziplock containers: I whittled these down considerably when we took the kitchen apart. I kept some and the remains are still a storage junkpit in a smaller, deeper drawer under the utility closet. The most used item in this drawer is a little short, round Tupperware container that is just the right size for snacking on M & M's or nuts or whatever.

Pantry storage: With the promise of a pantry in the new kitchen, I read up on the possibilities and invested in Oxo POP containers. Love them. Love them enough that my daughter is getting some for Christmas. She was here at Thanksgiving and was very excited about the new kitchen in general and the pantry storage in particular.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 12:27PM
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athomesewing

I agree with those who don't care for plastic. Thanks to suzannes for pointing out the OXO POP containers -- those look great! I LOVE the idea of glass with air tight lids! They are now on my list of items for the new kitchen.

Including a link where I looked at them...

Here is a link that might be useful: OXO POP containers

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 12:51PM
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zelmar

We also use glass as much a possible. I've loved using pyrex over the last 20-25 years, especially since I can replace the lids when they get worn. They are very versatile. I use them for leftovers but I also use them for baking, mwing and serving.

My sister just gave dd a box of the containers BalTra mentions, the snap locs from Costco and I love them. They are a bit deeper than the similar volume pyrex. I still like the Pyrex and won't part with them but if I had it to do over again, I'd definitely consider the snap locs.

I keep lids and containers in separate drawers. My sister mentioned that the snap locs often are hard to separate if like sizes are nested so she stores them with covers on. I suggested to dd that she put a paper towel or napkin between the nested containers.

Also like BalTra, we have a large supply of glass jars. I have a variety of the Ball canning jars--1 cup to 1/2 gallon. I keep liquids in them and things like specialty flours and rice and other grains and legumes and nuts.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 12:52PM
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grumpydave

When I moved into my current house I scrapped all the miscellaneous plastic containers and started over. After a lot of research I bought several sets of Rubbermaid Premier and I love them. Should have done that years ago. They're BPA free and they don't stain or bubble. They also stack very nicely to save space. I can microwave a dish of chili to boiling and they don't even stain at all. I bought my sets from Target.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sample set at Amazon

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 12:55PM
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athomesewing

Yikes...it doesn't say they are glass...more than likely they are not. I did notice though that Costco online does sell a 12-piece set.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 1:00PM
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SadieV

After much consideration, I just recently threw out all my mismatched containers and bought the Rubbermaid that grumpydave uses. I love them - the square shapes make for much better use of space.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 1:04PM
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suzanne_sl

athomesewing - the Oxo POP containers aren't glass. They're a hard plastic, but not BPA, which was a consideration for me.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 1:11PM
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joyce_6333

I've used these Tellfresh containers from the Container Store for years. They come in a variety of sizes, are inexpensive, and all nest together. The containers and the lids all fit into one of my small kitchen drawers. I like that the lids are flat and take up very little room.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tellfresh from the Container Store

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 1:31PM
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mcmjilly

I use square ziploc containers. There are shallow ones and deeper ones that all use the same size lid. They stack neatly in a drawer next to a stack of lids. I don't heat leftovers in them.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 2:09PM
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lazy_gardens

I sent all the mis-matched plastic small stuff to charity and am using:

1 - Zip-Lock storage containers, mostly the small and medium square ones. Stacked, with lids in a container next to them on the shelf. We are sticking to one brand so we don't have a lid problem. I have a few of the larger rectangles, and SO bought a few round ones (which I hate because they take up more room).

2 - Re-purposed glass or plastic jars from various things. One snack mix has a lovely tall container that's the right size for spaghetti and other long noodles, or to hold several boxes of smaller pastas, or oatmeal. And I have a tall shelf they fit on. Glass jars from fruit or jelly are used to store bulk spice purchases - an ounce of dried herbs is a lot of herb by volume. They also store small quantities of grains and beans.

3 - Many thrift store glass jars with the lids that seal for teas and other dry foods. And thrift store plastic ones, too.

4 - Walmart's big glass lidded jars for flour and sugar

I'm eclectic. And I hate spending money.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 3:03PM
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muskokascp

I just bought all new glass pyrex storage containers and love them! I got rid of all the mismatched plastic containers I had. I still have a few Tupperware storage containers and they are fine but I really do prefer the glass pyrex.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 3:14PM
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waterdamage

We've almost completely replaced the old plastic with Pyrex for cooked food storage. For dry beans and things in the upper cabinets, we use Mason jars. We have a few BPA-free large plastic containers for breakfast cereals and a few other things.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 4:20PM
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liriodendron

Vintage pyrex refrigerator containers for leftovers; some more modern pyrex rounds with those soft lids; and canning jars for stored staples in the pantry. I use all sizes from gallon and half gallon, to quarter pint depending on how much I storing.

I also find the straight-sided can or freeze jars to be great for stashing small bits in the fridge.

L.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 6:25PM
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khinmn92

I love, love, love my Glasslock containers which I use primarily for leftovers. Easy to store, easy lid open/close.

I would like to ban all plastics, but I spent hundreds on Tupperware Modular Mates for cabinet/pantry food storage in the '80s and '90s so I'm somewhat hesitant to ditch them completely. I figure they'll be okay as I don't use them to reheat anything...so until something I like better comes along that's what is in my pantry :) Too bad those OXO Pop containers aren't glass!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:04PM
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suzanne_sl

The problem with Pyrex is the new stuff has evidently changed their glass formula. You can no longer go from freezer to fridge to oven. The new stuff has been known to explode. I ran across this by accident when a bed and bath chain was going out of business and I spotted some Pyrex at good prices. I was excited until I noticed the the attached notice saying don't do this with it and don't do that with it. What? Pyrex had been the gold standard for glass in kitchens and labs forever. No more I guess.

I own some 1/2 and 3/4 c. Pyrex bowls for applesauce and such. I bought some new ones about a year ago to replace those that had been broken over the years. The new ones are fatter and easy to tell from the old ones. For serving fruit and custards, it doesn't make any difference, but still.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:15PM
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brianadarnell

I use Pyrex with the matching lids. The are microwave safe. I don't use them in the oven. I love them because they nest nicely and are great in the freezer. I use ziploc plastic containers for huge batches of spaghetti sauce or something thats going straight into the freezer in bulk.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:23PM
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funnysunny

We came across the ikea pruta foodsavers earlier this year. sturdy. Stacks neatly inside each other (lids kept separtely). Bpa free. Way better than our old glad ware. Liked them so much we've bought sets for friends @ $3.99 for a set of 17, they don't break the bank.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ikea pruta

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:24PM
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dianalo

We use whatever we have on hand in Tupperware and a lot of reused chinese food containers. The soup ones are great sizes and the newer dinner ones are nice too. I do not buy plastic any more, but it is wasteful to just throw out plastic once it is in your house unless it is not reusable.
If you have extra plastics, art teachers love them.... We send ours in whenever our collection gets too big. They also get our samples of tile or other materials, because they use almost everything in art projects.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:32PM
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grumpydave

What type of Pyrex containers are y'all using? I have a number of them but my biggest gripe is that they don't stack well. Two up is tops and even that feels risky because they don't really fit inside one another. Of course stacking smaller ones inside larger is okay, but even then you're only talking about three deep depending on the sizes.

One of the things I love about the Rubbermaid containers I mentioned earlier is how well they stack and that they share lids. I'm not too fussed about using plastic as long as its the safer kind that doesn't melt and leech.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 8:12PM
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macybaby

I have an assortment. Mostly plastic (but I have induction so that is OK).

For baking supplies storage I use a combination. I just got two cambria square 8 qt containers for my flours - they also have red lids so they match the rubbermaid ones. They replaced the two 5 qt ones in this picture. Size was most important to me. I keep the bulk stuff in the freezer in the basement and don't want to make the trip all that often.

I use an assortment of bail type canning jars for things I store in smaller quantities.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 8:14PM
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cosmo_nj

Another vote for Ikea containers. We like them so much that we bought an extra set to take with us when we relocated to a country with no Ikea (yes, there is one!).

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 8:19PM
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westsider40

Let's see. I have 6-9 different flours, many other nuts and seeds, which I store in their original packaging, clipped, and then within a sealed ziploc BAG in the freezer. Bags take up less room than firm sided containers.

I use bpa free plastic containers as I am afraid of glass breaking, and I cannot crawl on the floor anymore to clean broken glass. Cambro, Rubbermaid, Sterilite, Snaplok, most with the lock n lock lid. But I do have some old glass mayo and salad dressing jars for freezing stock.

I have teeny plastic, lidded, containters, rectangular, used for salts, peppers, at the stove.

I like plastic!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 10:55PM
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dee850

I got a set of those rubbermaid containers that grumpydave posted, and I love them. They have been by far the best plastic containers I've ever used - no staining, no warping, no lingering odors, lids stay tight. As he mentioned, they stack and nest well. It's so much more organized than our previous random collection of ziploc plastics and leftover take-out containers.

I also like my set of 3 pyrex rectangular baking dishes/containers with lids, which nest for storage. They are nice for baking or roasting something and then saving leftovers right in the original dish. But they are much heavier than plastic (no problem for an adult, but potentially a problem for a preschooler like mine).

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 11:18PM
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Pcandlyte

I use Lock & Lock for cereal and snacks, because it is very easy for my kids (and hubby) to use the snap open/close lid. Everything else I store in OXO Pop containers, except for leftovers, and I use Pyrex for those since they can go from fridge to microwave/oven.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 12:10AM
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mcmjilly

I forgot to mention that for "ingredient storage" (flours, sugars, rice, beans, polenta, oats, etc), I use Cambro containers that I buy at a restaurant supply place. They are big and square and sturdy and hold 2, 4, 6, 8 quarts. They stack nicely in the pantry. I love them.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 12:18AM
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lalithar

Oxo pop containers. Assorted sizes. Wide mouths. Vacuum seal. Stackable. Love them. As does my mom with arthritis hands.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 12:22AM
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katsmah

I have an old set of Rubbermaid and like Dianalo, have a small stack of Chinese food containers from lunches when I was working. They are such a handy size that I usually pick them first for anything going in the fridge or home with a friend. I don't reheat food in them so I don't know how they would fare in the microwave, but they never stain.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 12:25AM
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willtv

More than a year ago we tossed all the tupperware, rubbermade, freezette, etc. containers and bought these

at a local raestaurant supply store. They cost about 20 cents each. We run them through the dishwasher, top shelf only, and when they get stained we just toss them. They also stack better than anything else we've ever used.
    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 12:30AM
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bigdoglover

I don't know the name and they're all packed right now, but the Container Store has them. They are simple little plastic Tupperware type containers, very square so they take up less room in the fridge, and they have little circles on the lid. Inexpensive too. They're the only kind we have now.

At the moment, with no kitchen, we're using some paper disposable ones that our local Whole Foods uses to sell soup to go. We bought a bunch from them, and they are perfect for storage, for mixing smoothies, etc., at this time. I'm afraid I'm getting too used to not having to wash things though!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 12:45AM
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mitchdesj

I have the Oxo pop ups, the seal is not as good as tupperware for keeping things dry, such as crackers.

They have the oxo popups with stainless lids now.

I have a batch of tupperware with black covers, they sold them in the 80's,
better than the pink and blue ones visually.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 7:28AM
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oldhousegal

I too am an only glass household. I use mason jars of all sizes up to half gallon (love those!). I also heard about Weck jars here on this forum and bought a couple cases of those. They are quite nice- tight lids and everything reuseable, and they stack nicely.

These all fit nicely in my pull out drawers in the pantry and it's easy to visualize what's inside.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 7:43AM
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dilly_ny

I wanted to switch to all glass, but when I was online at the corning outlet, I changed my mind. The glass was very heavy and just was not practicle for me since in my old (current) kitchen, they had to be stored in an upper cabinet. New kitchen, I plan to switch to glass for leftovers and Oxo for pantry storage. Just thought I would mention this weight factor in case anyone would have any issue with this. 6 glass bowls weigh alot.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 7:57AM
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zelmar

grumpydave, here are our pyrex containers. I usually find stacks of 5-6 work well. A stack of larger bowls with vertical sides is missing in the bottom photo and we can only stack 4 of these because of limitations of the drawer height (but I often add a 5th, smaller bowl to the stack of 4).

The round glass bowls in the back of the drawer are different brands. They have glass lids which make them particularly good for mwing.

The small plastic containers are for short-term use in lunch boxes. They've served us well for about 15 years and I will soon be able to get rid of them.

We use the larger rectangular pyrex a lot when baking.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 9:25AM
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desertsteph

'Just thought I would mention this weight factor in case anyone would have any issue with this.'

this is something to be aware of. I can no longer use my old corning ware - it's too heavy for me if there is anything in it. my big corning pot (maybe 4 qts) I now use outside for the dog's water dish.

I have 3-4 small ( a few cups) sized glass dishes that can go in the mw. I use those to cook/reheat in the mw.

I have a good amount of lock'n lock, a few rubbermaid pieces and 4 very small Ball containers to freeze in. I plan to get a few more pieces once I'm moved. I want some small ones that I can freeze individual servings of soup/chili in. they might be lock'n lock or those rubbermaid premier ones - I'll check those out.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 10:58AM
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grumpydave

Thank you, zelmar. Those do look like they stack better than the ones I have. Mine are round and the sides are a little too vertical. One bowl will only sit about an inch into another.

I see you have the same plastic containers I used to have. The ones where bowls and lids are numbered so you can tell what fits what which was necessary because some of the lids appear to be the exact same size and yet they aren't interchangeable (#1 and #7 come to mind). Plus I was foolish enough to buy some of the straight sided ones and they don't stack at all. I'm so glad I finally ditched them.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 11:45AM
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plllog

LIDS: There have been a couple of good pictures, but I didn't see any explicit mention. I mostly use Pyrex dishes with plastic covers for leftovers, and the disposable plastics for freezing and things that won't be safe in glass. The disposable are as food safe as any plastic out there. The lids for all go in straight sided trays and baskets inside the drawer and cabinet, all sorted by size. It is SO easy to find the right lid if you take the time to put away all the same size together. It adds about 10 seconds to the putting away of all from a DW load, and can save a whole minute per container in the finding of the lid.

For pantry storage, I use a combination of KlickKlacks and OXO Pop containers. They're all a big bother to store extras of, but are great in use. I think the KlickKlacks have a better seal but the Pops have some other sizes.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 1:26PM
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waterdamage

grumpydave-- don't have a photo, but we keep a lot of pyrex in a shallow drawer where we don't want to stack them more than about two-three deep.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 2:59PM
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mtnfever

mcmjilly and westsider40, do you happen to know what size Cambro will hold 10 lbs of flour? I've looked at these but am stumped by which square "x"-quarts size will hold the flour. I currently have to split the bag between two Tupperwares so it's a pain. Many thanks!!

More on topic, I use Ziploc for cooked food storage, and Tupperware for staples (flours, sugars), and FoodSaver vacuum for uncooked frozen food (or foil pans for enchiladas). Oh, and the glasses I use came with lids so that's what I use for homemade dressings, syrups, and such.

cheers

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 6:40PM
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westsider40

Mtnfever, I just checked my flour containers. I buy flour in 5# quantities as my containers won't hold 10 lbs. I can't lift 10# easily. I do buy the small bags of Bob's Red Mill specialty flours and keep those in plastic bags in the freezer.

Cambro rounds-6 liters, 6 qt., use for no-knead bread dough, not flour. Easier to mix in rounds. Cheap at webstaurantstore.com. (Also parchment paper 100 sheets under 5 bucks.)

When I put 5 lbs. flour in these following containers, there is enough headroom left on top, so I can put in 1/2 and 1 cup measures and comfortably scoop flour. These containers have lock n' lock lids.

Sterilite, -3.8 liters, 16.2 cups
Sterilite, 16c, 3.8 liters, 4 qt
Rubbermaid, 15 c, 3.5 liters, taller than others

I know you were hoping that Cambro would hold 10 lbs. The 8 qt. Cambro would very likely hold 10-lbs, based on my 5# containers.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 8:45PM
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mtnfever

thanks, westsider40, for checking your Cambro containers and replying so quickly! hm, I hadn't thought about *lifting* the 10lbs of flour...from the bottom shelf of my pantry...with my bad back...maybe 5lbs and shopping more often isn't such a bad idea after all! :)

cheers

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 1:16AM
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buehl

I use Tupperware for the most part for storage. I got rid of all my Rubbermaid when we remodeled b/c I discovered they did not seal as well as Tupperware.

For cooking things, I use either Pyrex bowls or dishes or my regular dishes, even for the MW. I no longer use plastic in the MW.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 11:34AM
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melaska

Organizing one of my freezers and stumbled upon a eureka! moment. Hmmm...all these things in Ziplocks get lost in freezer pergatory. I hate throwing away glass jars...lightbulb comes on and so here we are! Vertical storage is mostly always more "organizy" plus I can see at a glance how much I have.

If you can't see, I have frozen grapes (a good way to deal with grapes that will go bad if you don't eat them right now !), Fresno chilies (my store is very waffley on these gems!), strawberries and blueberries. I really like the roasted pepper jars since they are so easy to reach into. I need more jars!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:59PM
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