What can I use for food containers without buying ones?
You can use jars, whipped topping tubs, & marg. containers.
Cake icing tubs with lids make great storage. They are just the right size stackable, and great for freezing. Ask your family members to save containers from foods like mentioned from the prior post if you do not use those or gather up enough soon enough.
Anything you buy in a plastic container can be reused, and it usually holds up well in the microwave too!
Joanne, I always save my margarine and cottage cheese containers. I use them for ham and beans, chili, and soups I make pots of to put in the freezer. There also good to use when we go see the kids at Thanksgiving or Christmas when we have lots of left overs. I always keep a marking pen handy also. J.B.
Sherbert Containers are great! But my favorite is a circular container I got from a chinese food restaurant. It is black with a clear lid and only a few inches tall. At first I thought it was so odd shaped, but it soon showed to be perfect for COOKIES, deviled/ hard boiled eggs(no smelly fridge), muffins, cupcakes, candy and all kinds of foods. Ask around, maybe your friends get them. Or ask your local restaurant if they have them and if you can get your meal in them. I have had mine for over a year, dishwasher safe!
I have used recycled jars, and aluminum pans and plates and any of the plastic containers that come with food and take out. And you can even use coffee tins - if you are careful about avoiding rust.
I save glass jars. One of my favorites is the 36 oz Adams pnut butter jar. For plastics, I keep the ones marked 2 or 5 at the bottom. If you want more safe plastic info try to find online the June 2005 Organic Syle article about this. I see a post that mentions plastics in the microwave. Some plastics release harmful chemicals when heated, even when filled with leftovers. Be careful!
Be very careful of putting plastics in the microwave. One day my husband came home all excited about microwaving fresh corn on the cob in the microwave, in a plastic bag. I'm not sure why, but I emailed a plastic bag manufacturer, and they said "No!"
There is a reason bags are marked for "refrigerator storage," or "freezer storage," and none of them say "microwave safe." Truth be told, I don't know about putting anything into a margarine tub, or the like, and then putting it in the microwave.
If the product does not say "microwave safe" on the label, then do not put it in any microwave!" Just because a plastic product does not "melt" in a microwave, does not make it "microwave" safe. Many plastics give off harmful chemicals without anyone noticing an odor.
We used a lot of Corelle when I was young. To answer your question, we would put drier foods on a clean plate, and cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and put it in the refrigerator. If the food was kind of wet, like a vegetable might be, we would scoop it out with a slotted spoon, cover it, with plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator. Using the Corelle, we could just cover the serving dish of leftovers with plastic wrap and put them in refrigeration.
We didn't have microwaves back then. Everything was reheated on top of the stove, or in the oven, if we had leftovers; so most of our food was just wrapped on clean plates,and refrigerated, and the wrapping discarded if the food was reheated.
I don't think it totally unsafe to store food in leftover food plastic containers like margarine or maybe coolwhip plastic containers, but I never asked the manufacturers. I have never checked, but I do not think it is safe to heat any foods in the microwave in these types of containers, as they are not labeled "microwave safe."
Plastic isn't just "plastic." There is a lot of chemistry and science that goes behind every single plastic item that shows up in our grocery stores and beyond. Be savvy and wise. Don't heat up a leftover in a possible non-safe microwave container just because it doesn't "melt down" in the microwave.
You can email manufacturers, and they should let you know if you can reuse containers for the refrigerator or if they are also microwave safe. That's what I did. Soon after, some food manufacturers started advertising veggies in microwave safe bags that went from the freezer to the microwave.
Being frugal does not mean not being safe.
x-tras that fall out of cabinets? Donate to your local soup kitchen,etc......
My favorite containers are the glass square(ish) oil bottles. We get grapeseed oil but olive oil is the same shape. I like them because they stack neatly in the pantry without taking up much "floor" space because they are tall, and are easy to pour from. I store breadcrumbs, rice, small pasta shapes, aniseed balls and similar shaped lollies, sunflower seeds, linseed, dried beans etc etc. It cost me $2 to buy a large motor oil funnel that makes filling the bottles easy.
I love glass spaghetti jars and salsa jars. They are the perfect size for everything, although I have not tried freezing things in them, I am sure its better than plastic. I also save little yogurt containers with lids, but only use them a few times for cold things.
Do not microwave those plastic containers, ie whipped topping, frosting containers. The chemicals will leak into your food.
PS, I buy the spaghetti sauce and salsa at Aldi, because its the cheapest, but Ragu and others work just as well.
You didn't say if you were going to microwave in them or not. But if you are not then the big or small plastic coffee cans are wonderful . Just when you are finished using the coffee wash very well. They have nice lids and they do just great in the dish washer. Lids always on the top rack. And you can stack them. Or you can put the smaller ones in the larger ones for storage. Stand up well in the freezer also.
There is more and more evidence coming out that plastics are not as benign as we all thought they were. Apparently plastics have an estrogen - mimicking property in the body that is linked to a whole host of ills. Toxins are leached into our food and drink during storage and especially during heating. Stainless steel or glass is recommended for water and glass or corning bowls with a plate to cover works well for other foods. You can freeze things in jars as long as you leave enough headspace for expansion of liquids. Jars also work well in the fridge since science-project potential can be easily identified! For most of us this is a real paradigm shift, having come from the Tupperware-is-everything era.
I use ziplock bags for freezing some leftovers, i.e. rice, noodles, pasta, sloppy joe mixture, sliced meatloaf for sandwiches, steak and chicken pieces, etc. I put an amount in the bags, sized for a meal or a lunch.
Sometimes, I make extra noodles or rice, and freeze half of it in a gallon sized bag, for another entire meal. BUT - I don't microwave the food in the bags. I thaw it first, then put the food in an appropriate dish for heating.
You can gently smash them down and after they're frozen, stack them. I write the contents on the bags too.
I love my widemouth pint jars. I can fit my hand in there to scrub, and they take food from the fridge straight into the microwave. Seethru, last forever, stink proof, indestructible. Of course I don't break them. Mine are about twenty years and going fine. Can plastic serve you twenty years?
Please don't be paranoid about plastic containers. Margarine tubs and the like are fine for use in the freezer, and usually are okay in the microwave. They do not leach chemicals into your food. They are also fine in the dishwasher. I also reuse the "disposable" containers from glad, using them the same as if they were a tupperware container. If these containers were not suitable for food, food wouldn't come in them in the first place.
I also use the big ice cream tubs with snap on lids and the handle. They are perfect for freezer or fridge. With the handle its great to carry for picnics. I use them for my frozen french fires instead of the bags they come in/lettuce/ mixed vegtables or fruits. And the lady who posted not be affraid to use plastic is right. You will not be using the same butter plastic container for 20 years anyway. Because as you get more butter in tubs, replace them and them use those other tubs for other storage like housing buttons/crayons/etc. I also just today found a way to store those long ice pops for kids by cutting a cardboard cereal box long ways and placing them inside it for easy reach easy no fall out storage. As you buy things now in the freezer section/shelf section just ask your self how can I reuse this? And you will find yourself buying ceratin jars, containers etc so you can make good use of them. Baby wipes boxes with the snap up & down lid work wonderful for storing dry noodles/spegettie/instant potatoes/breakfast cereal/all sorts of things. And gatarade containers are great too which even have the little scoop to use for serving.
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