Apparently, Tupperware and Rubbermaid lids have a tendency to split and crack when they get to be 30 years old or so. I’m guessing it’s time for me to think of replacements. Not only because of the lids, but some of the containers themselves are stained and, frankly, pretty crappy.
I have several Glad and ZipLok containers that I believe were designed to be cheap enough that if you didn’t get them back, you wouldn’t be out much. They’re surprisingly tough for what they cost. Maybe I should get more of those in several sizes and not bother with the higher-end containers.
FWIW, I don’t use margarine tubs, but I do have some plastic take-out containers that have served me well. And I use a lot of freezer bags to package single-servings. Maybe I’m OK as I’m going, but I’d like to know if there’s something particularly good that I don’t know about.
I’ve had various sized containers from these folks for a couple of years.
No breakage so far, they’re airtight and watertight. Slight drawback is though they can go in the freezer, the “hinge” on the locking flaps feels like it might break if forced too far though I haven’t had one break when opening straight from the freezer. Inexpensive, too.
The included labels stick well but the “chalk” marker will self-smear in the fridge or freezer so I use a paint marker.
ETA: I was thinking of containers for leftovers & prepared foods, not for bulk dry items like flour, beans, etc.
For leftovers, etc., we use only things from this line. Not neccessarily this set, but these type of pieces:
They stack well, come in a variety of sizes and colors, and you can see what’s in them easily.
We also maintain a supply of the Glad disposable ~1qt containers. Those are for stuff we make in big batches and freeze, or for stuff we give to neighbors & friends. They get re-used unless whatever went into them stained them or we don’t get them back. Absent that, they can get a surprising amount of re-use before they get crappy. But we pitch them without a care once they’re a bit ragged: they’re fine for 10 uses; they’re not designed to last 50.
Hint: 30 year old Tupperware was getting grody about 20 years ago. Consider aiming for a bit less Depression-era thinking next time.
Whatever you do, I suggest standardizing on one brand for permanent and one brand for disposable. The lids and containers that almost fit together are a total downer. And speaking from experience: the Anchor Hocking brand glass containers look interchangeable with the Pyrex brand. They are not quite.
I recently bought one or two of Rubbermaid’s new “Brilliance” line. I love them! The top lid clamps down with side clamps and those babies are absolutely watertight. I’ve vowed that when my older Rubbermaid containers start to bite the dust, they’ll all be replaced by the Brilliance line.
They go through the dishwasher just fine, too. You can freeze in them and microwave in them as well. And they’re perfectly clear so you can see what’s in them. Oh, yeah, and they’re designed to stack well in the fridge.
Showing my low-class, if it works it’s fine attitude – all of my single serve/leftover type storage is done with disposables that arrived holding presliced deli meats.
Rectangular tubs that hold almost exactly two liquid cups. See through though slightly foggy and their lids are opaque. They have survived through what might be hundreds of reuses. The only problems have come when I’ve dropped one full of some frozen liquid-ish thing right from the freezer: if they hit on a top edge, the rim of the lids sometimes snao off.
Their real appeal is that two of them sit side by side perfectly on the shelves of my side-by-side fridge/freezer, making for efficient use of space.
Unfortunately, that company changed a few years back to using a different style of containers – shorter, closer to square cross section, which don’t fit anywhere near as nicely. I still have a dozen or so of the ‘good ones’ in use, but my supply is definitely dwindling.
I second @teelabrown 's suggestion of Brilliance! I didn’t choose these, I was gifted them. But they feel very luxurious. Easy to open yet very strong seals, and they still look brand new after 2 years of use.
Storage is a little iffy - the lids don’t stack as neatly as a flat lid due to the locking mechanism. But they do stack within each other at least.
I tend to accumulate those rectangular plastic containers that lunch meat comes in. Those are my go-to for things where I don’t care if I don’t get the containers back, because they do pile up after a while. (I eat a lot of sandwiches for lunch.) I also sometimes get the cheap round plastic containers with screw top lids from Target or the grocery store.
For “the good stuff”, my stepdaughter and her kids bought us a nice set of pyrex containers with clamp-on lids for Christmas last year. I wasn’t sure I was going to like them but they are great.
A Korean supermarket (Super H-Mart) nearby has a housewares section with a fantastic selection of food containers in all sorts of sizes. I’ve had some for at least 6 years and they seem built to last. Some are plastic, some glass, larger ones have a handle on top (like a lunchbox), all have 4-way clips and very good seals.
I’ve also spotted some decent ones at Marshalls, Home Goods, TJMaxx, etc but, like most things at these stores, the inventory is hit or miss, here today-gone tomorrow.
I use Pyrex because my family has a tendency to microwave food in whatever container it happens to be, sometimes overheating it, and I don’t want us eating bits of plastic. One caveat is that the edges of the Pyrex’s plastic lids also crack after a few years. You can order replacement sets, though.
I have a set of Pyrex but most of the pieces are too big for our typical leftovers. I find my 2-3 cup containers are used the most. Maybe the “throwaway” types in those sizes are the best idea for my purposes.
I’m a fan of the New Zealand manufacturer Sistema. Their covered cake plate in particular is my go-to for transporting baked goods. My one caveat is that the hinges on the lid locks can be a bit fragile, and it seems impossible to get a replacement just for the lid lock itself.
I’ll third @LSLGuy and @InternetLegend when they suggest Pyrex. I abandoned plastic storage stuff and got a couple sets of Pyrex bows and I’ve never looked back. More durable, easier to clean, don’t discolor when you put spaghetti sauce in them, you can put them directly into the oven to reheat… I adore them. Never going back to plastic.
I also like the Brilliance containers, particularly for liquidy things since they are airtight. The one thing I don’t like about them is the lids don’t stack and take up a lot of room. As a result I only have 6 of them and use them only for specific things.
I have a bunch of the GladWare containers and have had them for YEARS. They do stack well and last an amazingly long time, even with being washed in the dishwasher with a full dry cycle. They come in good sizes, too.
I like the translucent round tubs the takeout soup and many Indian dishes come in. We have the 1 cup, 1.5 cup, pint, and quart sizes. They stack, and that all use the same lids. They freeze well, they are dishwasher and microwave safe, and we don’t pay for them.
We’ve been using SnapWare for glass storage. Pyrex, so oven proof, and the lids lock on all four sides. Available on Amazon of course, as well as Costco where we bought ours. Available in plastic as well if you don’t care about oven use.