Hack: Store food without ever paying for a container

Posted on March 28, 2010


No, we’re not going to advocate stealing things over here at Hacker Housewife.  But we are going to tell you how to survive without ever buying storage containers.

  • Figure 1: The perfect size takeout container for Thai food or cupcakes.

    Stalk your local restaurants’ take-out containers. There’s a chain of Thai restaurants in Ann Arbor that uses dishwasher safe take-out boxes.  They’re amazing!  And they even fit 6 cupcakes perfectly, see figure 1.

  • Yogurt and sour cream containers. Stop!  Are you about to recycle those? These containers are made of polypropylene, a plastic which most states don’t recycle.  They’ll mostly likely be thrown away during sorting… and if the sorters fail to catch it, it can end up destroying a whole batch of recycled plastic and they’ll have to throw all that away.  Instead of recycling, reuse.  These aren’t great for taking with you to lunch, because of odd sizes and occasional leakiness, but they’re fine for storing leftovers in the fridge.
  • Buy pre-sliced lunch meat… that comes in resealable containers. Hilshire Farms comes in Gladware, and Healthy Ones come in something similar. It keeps your meat fresh, and is dishwasher safe for reuse.
  • Baby food. Remember those small reusable storage containers you were told to go out and get in the Guilt/No Guilt post on single serving pre-packaged food, and obliquely referenced in the hack on shredded chicken?  Well, Gerber’s baby food comes in these great reusable containers.  This hack is not recommended for those without babies, as you will have to eat the baby food ^-^.

“But… but I really want to spend money on storage containers…”

A ha!  You’re one of those. Have no fear,  I have something to recommend!  My father-in-law got us this boxed set of Snapware and it is the most amazing food storage thing type system ever.  I especially love the 1.5 cup small rectangle because most storage containers are 1.5 times too big for lunch.  I end up forcing myself to eat more because it’s there and then store the remnants in the workplace fridge where I forget about it for two months and then someone throws it away.

Posted in: Hacks