Leftovers

A reader asked about preparing meals for her elderly mother and vacuum sealing them.  I used to store leftovers in pint or quart glass jars but my mom showed me her Rubbermaid containers and I love them!   They come in all kinds of configurations but I initially bought this 24 pack and there’s a 50 pack, and there are other sets too.  (I believe if you do the math, 2 – 24 packs would be a good bit less than the 50 pack!)  After Christmas, Wal-Mart had the 24 pack packages for $6 so I bought several of those.

They stack so nicely!  The containers themselves will stack inside each other but the lids snap together and then you can snap the containers on top of the lids to save even more room.  In the fridge, they also stack nicely on top of each other and they will “snap” together to keep a whole stack of them from tumbling over.

Different vintages have different colored red lids . . if you’ll notice some of mine are darker red than others.  These are what Chad uses to take his food to school.  I put leftovers in them and freeze them or, last week when he was making his curries, he used these to freeze portion size meals.

One particular size is perfect for a one serving meal for him.  Those are all out of the cabinet now because he either took them to school with him or they’re in the freezer already.

The little tiny size (front left) aren’t great for storing leftovers but  I put grated Parmesan cheese for spaghetti sauce or file’ for gumbo or a bit of salad dressing or BBQ sauce when needed in those to send back with Chad.  They would probably be good for crafts!  All of the other sizes I find quite useful for storing leftovers.

I do not put these in the microwave.  I do put them in the dishwasher (though my mom does not).  And, if they come straight out of the freezer and you try to pop the lids off, the lids will sometimes crack . . or that’s Chad’s story.  I haven’t cracked any lids but he has cracked a few.  When I take something out of the freezer to use, I either run warm water over it and the lid will pop right off and then the contents will loosen from the sides of the bowl and I can dump it into a pot or a microwave safe dish, or I leave the whole thing in the fridge overnight to defrost.

I label all my leftovers and I keep a list on the outside of the fridge as to what’s in the fridge and the date I fixed it so I can see if there’s something in there that needs to either go into the freezer to be saved longer or if there’s something that needs to be dumped.  Since we eat lunch and dinner at home, we almost always use all the leftovers.  I hate dumping anything!

For so many years we had all kinds, shapes and colors of plastic storage containers.  Vince will be looking for something in the fridge and what he really wants is for me to come find it for him.  He’ll say “Do you know what it’s in?”  Now, I just say “It’s in a clear plastic container with a red lid!”   🙂

Comments

  1. 1

    Karen Langseth says

    Those are the same ones I use….when they first came out I bought a bunch of them and tossed every other storage container I had!!

  2. 2

    Chris says

    Thanks, Judy. I am going to the store right now. I have some of the Ziplock storage containers and they don’t always work real well. Not the right size. Chris

  3. 4

    says

    Excellent! Just look out for putting the wrong kind of plastic in the microwave. Check out Tupperware, which has a whole line of plastic built for freezer to fridge to microwave. It costs a little more, but carries a lifetime guarantee, making it well worth it!

  4. 5

    says

    Both my Mom and my MIL had trouble getting lids off any kind of container-even the ones with a big lip or tab specifically for those who have problems. They have trouble getting zip type bags open too. I found if I did not fill the bags, they could cut them open with scissors.

    Judy D in AZ

  5. 7

    says

    I found these a couple years ago. I tossed all my old ones. My daughter did the same and now we can exchange our dishes and not worry about it. Ah…the freedom!!! Always a container and lid that fits.

  6. 8

    says

    What do you use to label your containers? Does it come off easily but not too easily that you loose it in the freezer?

  7. 9

    Barbara says

    Purchased a 24 pk today at my WalMart for ten bucks.

    My Kuhn Rikon 5 liter pressure cooker arrived in the mail today.

    Looks like I’m in for a fun night

    Thanks again for sharing these types of things with us via you blog!!

    Barbara

  8. 10

    says

    i love those containers myself. i have quite a few of the ones that are the size you would use to put a sandwich in. i put leftovers in them and then freeze them so my husband can take them to work for his lunches. right now i have some chili in the freezer for him. tonight i made a big pot of a hamburger and noodle dish he likes that will produce a lot of leftovers for his lunch. i do have some of the other sizes and use them also. the smallest ones, probably half cup size, are good to freeze spaghetti sauce in. half a cup is about the right amount of sauce for me to use on a cup of pasta on the weight loss program i’m on. the cup size ones i use to freeze individual portions of homemade soup. in fact, tonight i pulled one of them out of the freezer with lentil soup in it and had that for dinner with a turkey burger. they are good to use when i’m watching my weight because they help with portion control!

  9. 11

    says

    I use these too and got a 24pc pack from the Walmart. It totally changed everything. I threw out all my mismatched plasticware and now my cupboard is neat and nothing falls out when the door is opened.

  10. 12

    Carol Margrave says

    I love these too. They are the best of everything. Able to see what’s in them, stackable and great sizes. The little ones are great for baby food. I bought several for my daughter -in-law. She makes her own baby food and they travel well. I think I need to go to Walmart to get more.

  11. 13

    says

    Thanks Judy – bought two packs ! When they come in – I too am going to throw out all my mismatched ones. One more step in being organized this year !