Storage containers can be such a hassle. We all need them in the kitchen, but they’re like a necessary evil. There is never enough storage for the storage containers. The cupboard where you keep the containers is always a mess. Who can ever find the lid that matches the container you finally found in there? Some are too big, some are too small, some are too flimsy, some stain when you put certain ingredients in them — it is rare to find the perfect storage container with little effort. If we’re speaking your language and you’re frustrated with kitchen food storage containers, we have a solution: Deli containers. That’s right. The cheap, clear plastic containers that your favorite take-out wonton soup comes in are the solution to all of your storage container problems. Read on to find out why.
There is no point in delaying discussion of absolute best thing about plastic deli food storage containers: The lids. Though plastic containers come in three sizes — half-pint, pint, and quart — they all have the same exact lid. Really! Once you get a decent amount of deli storage containers, you will wonder how you ever survived before without them. Gone will be the days of being frustrated as you toss plastic containers around searching for the correct container-lid combo.
One of the best parts of plastic deli containers is that they are stackable. Believe it or not, deli storage containers are standardized, meaning they are all the same size and shape no matter where you buy them. When they are empty, they fit inside each other perfectly, and you can just stack the lids next to them. This means you can store a large quantity of them in cabinets or drawers for easy access, especially if you stack them according to size. When the containers are full, they are stackable in the fridge or pantry since the bottoms fit inside the lid of the one underneath it — no more plastic container tetris in the refrigerator.
One of the most significant issues with food storage is not seeing what is inside of your containers. It’s easy to forget about an ingredient at the back of the pantry or the leftovers on the fridge’s bottom shelf without doing a daily inventory. You may not realize it now, but seeing through the containers can help you stay more organized. If you need further clarification, you can add a label or use tape to slap a date on the container’s side or top. You may find that having the tags in your face will help you cut down on waste since you’ll tend to use the containers that are going to go bad before the others.
You may have been saving, washing, and reusing the deli containers that your take-out food comes in all along. This is the cheapest way to step up your food storage game. But, to really take your organization and food storage to the next level, you could order a bunch of deli containers and lids. If you choose the bulk size, you’ll likely be able to get an assortment of sizes and a discount for buying a large quantity. Usually, you can get around 40 containers for under $20 — which breaks down to about 40 cents per container. At that price, you won’t mind when it’s time to share leftovers with family and friends, and you’ll be happy to send your loved ones off with impressively-packaged food storage containers.
As mentioned, deli containers come in three different sizes, which means they can hold everything from chicken stock batches to those last few teaspoons of salad dressing. They also make it easy to estimate the amount of an ingredient you have on hand since you know what size the container is — many plastic container brands have different sizes, but not deli containers. You will likely also find other uses for your containers, such as storage for pre-prepped ingredients, dry storage for ingredients like rice or granola, or a small mixing bowl if necessary. A few will probably find their way out of your kitchen as well, like the bathroom or office.
Deli containers will change your life in the kitchen, one way or another. The same-size lids, no matter the size of the container, is a fact worth repeating. The containers are made of food-grade plastic, and you can get microwave-safe ones if you want. If you need more convincing, consider that deli-style containers are the go-to food storage choice for many chefs and restaurants. If they’re good enough for the pros, they’re good enough for your kitchen, too.
- These are the best kitchen knife sets we’ve seen yet
- Our favorite kitchen towels all cost less than $25 per set
- Good, better, best: Three of the best kitchen blenders you can actually afford
- How to choose the best towels for your kitchen
- Tour the world with these 7 easy regional dishes