Monday, November 12, 2012

Getting containers

Bringing leftovers to work is a simple way to save money but possibly the most neglected part is the container you use. Whether it is store-bought plastic microwavable containers like tupperware, rubbermaid, and gald ware, or reusable takeout containers from local restaurants, the container makes all the difference.

Our philosophy is always to cook meals that include a well-balanced meal all in one but some people prefer vegetables and dessert sides items. For those people, having segmented containers like shown below or a tiffin is the way to go.
Segmented plate-style microwaveable container
I prefer single-chamber containers for several reasons. First, they are smaller and more convenient to carry to work. Smaller also means it takes up less room in the fridge. Second, I find that when reheating a multi-portioned meal one part invariably heats faster then the other. You end up with either cold chicken or burning hot broccoli. Third, it is cheaper. Finding single-portion containers as leftover boxes at restaurants is more common than segmented boxes. If you do find a to-go box that is segmented all the better. Buying a set of the plates shown above might run you anywhere from $10 to $30. If you plan on making flexilubes for the whole family (like I do) you'll need over a dozen containers to portion out the leftovers. If you really plan to get serious about containers you can buy in bulk. Buying large quantities of containers can reduce the cost per piece to pennies and then you don't worry about losing a few either.

The containers we use all come from leftovers from local restaurants. If you ask your friends who eat out the most to save their containers for you, you will be surprised how quickly it adds up.

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