Mom, the kitchen may be where your family gathers but we all know it’s your domain. Even though the kids and partners are spending a lot more time in said kitchen lately (send them outside already!), moms are the ones who know where everything is — like the good snacks and the kitchen essentials that don’t sit on the counter 24/7.
You’ve got your pantry and kitchen organization down to a science (thank you, drawer organizers!), you own all the Amazon bestellers, and let’s be honest, you’re the only one who knows how to use the slow cooker.
See? Your domain, Mom.
That being said, we could all stand to become a little more organized (and more eco-friendly, to boot). Think of the left-overs you keep wrapping and re-wrapping and re-wrapping on the daily. And think of all the foil and plastic wrap you keep going through! That’s money in the trash and more trash for the planet. With the help of a few reusable food storage gadgets, you won’t only be a Super Mom in the kitchen, but you’ll also be Mother Earth’s best ally. So if you haven’t bought a new set of Pyrex (yes, they still make it, and no, it doesn’t look like grandma’s) or tried Food Huggers or Zip Top, get ready to “add to cart.”
Best Reusable Food Storage Items
Maybe you’ve seen them at Whole Foods but Stasher bags are the reusable, silicone bags changing the food storage game. While all Stasher bags are made without yucky contaminants like BPA, PVC, and latex, we specifically love the bags in their Stand-Up line because not only do they pinch-lock at the top to provide an airtight seal, but these are made to stand upright. So whether you’re taking them on-the-go to your kid’s swim meet or using them as storage in either the pantry or refrigerator, you don’t have to worry about these alternatives to plastic baggies falling over and spilling out. (Of course, they’re made with a pinch-lock seal so even if they were to topple over, your kids’ snacks and other foods won’t leak anyway.) Stasher bags are also safe to use in the dishwasher, microwave, boiling water (and this size fits perfectly in the Instant Pot), and can be written on with marker.
Forget everything you know about storing leftovers. From the single-use sandwich baggie to the plastic containers, it’s old news. Beeswax wrap is a plastic-free, sustainable, and all-around healthy way to store food. Unlike a plastic baggie, you essentially wrap a food item in the beeswax wrap. So, if you’re trying to save a cookie, you wrap it in beeswax wrap and to close it, the wrap form-fits and sticks to itself, creating a natural seal. There are other ways to use Bee’s Wrap, too; it can fit over and form onto a bowl, like a makeshift cover. The wrap itself is washable, therefore reusable, and lasts way longer than your standard single-use sandwich baggie. Made from organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin, after a year or so of use, the beeswax wrap breaks down organically. Once it seems like it’s at the end of its life, add it to a compost where it breaks down on its own.
Ditch the cling wrap and aluminum foil for good (they just end up in the trash after one use anyway) and make the switch to an easy-to-use fabric alternative. If you prefer fabric to the beeswax wrap option – or are just looking for a larger size for your reusable covering – then a pan cover from Marley’s Monsters might be a better reusable option for you. These rectangular, reusable covers come in small (fits most standard sized square pans or loaf pans up to 8”x10”), medium (fits most standard sized casserole dishes up to 10”x13”), and large (fits most standard sized casserole dishes and pans up to 13”x18”) sizes. The 3-piece set includes one of each size, so that none of your pans have to go uncovered again! Made from 100% cotton flannel, the pan covers utilize a cord stop and drawstring so that they pull tight across the top of your pan so nothing yucky goes in or out.
We all know at least one Mom who’s obsessed with her Pyrex. Instead of making fun of her for obsessing over sustainable dishware, it’s time to join the club, Mom! This multi-size set of glass dishes comes in an 18-piece set that can be used in so many different ways. Use these glass Pyrex containers to hold the rest of your takeout, microwave your Meatless Monday meal on Wednesday, or use them in the pantry for the ultimate sustainable and organized storage. Each glass dish is safe for the fridge and freezer and comes with airtight lids made out of BPA-free plastic. They’re stain and odor-resistant and really easy to clean – you just pop them in the dishwasher. Yep, even the lid! The glass itself is also high-quality tempered glass, so you can pop it in the oven while preheating. Really, Pyrex is a food storage no-brainer, so welcome to the Pyrex cult.
Don’t want to wash out your reusable sandwich baggie alternatives? Eh, we hear you. Sure, it’s a pain in the a** but remember, we’re doing this for our health and of course, Mother Freakin’ Nature. That being said, don’t worry, Mom – we have a reusable and eco-friendly alternative for you, too. If you simply can’t bear to part with your beloved sandwich baggies, there’s the BioBag. No washing required, these 6.5”x6.7” snack bags can be reused a few times – as they are resealable with a top zipper – but they can also break down organically, too. They feel similar to a standard sandwich bag – that plastic kind of material – but believe it or not, BioBags are certified compostable by the standards of the Biodegradable Products Institute. That means that at the end of their life, BioBags can organically break down in a municipal facility, so you can feel good about your snack baggies staying out of the landfill. These bags are made from plants, vegetable oils, and an ingredient called Mater-Bi – which is made from corn starch, vegetable oil derivatives, and biodegradable synthetic polyesters – making them perfect for packing school or work lunches or on-the-go snacks.
Have you ever lost a piece of fruit or vegetable because you cut it in half, saved it, and then it was never the same ever again? #RIPVeggie and #RIPFruit. F*ck losing your fruits and veggies because you halved it! The Food Huggers make it so that you never have to throw out half an apple or half an onion ever again by covering and saving your fruit and veggie halves, keeping them fresh. Huggers are made out of 100% FDA silicone that is both BPA and phthalate free, so you never have to worry about all those nasty additives and junk that you’d find in plastic alternatives. Here’s how it works: When you have a half that you want to save for future use, cover the silicone Hugger over the cut-up side of your half. It hugs to the fruit or veggie, creating a tight seal that won’t let in moisture or air. This actually keeps your fruit and veggie halves fresher longer so you can use them in the next day’s recipe rather than trashing them right away.
Who says your refrigerator should get all the reusable glory? Your pantry deserves sustainable and reusable food storage, too! Urban Green’s borosilicate glass and bamboo canisters are made with your pantry in mind as these stackable containers – made of glass, a bamboo lid, and a silicone ring – are airtight and come in different, mix-and-match heights. Good for you and made from conscious materials that are also good for Mother Earth, Urban Green’s pantry canisters can get as hot as 300 F and are dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe. (But like, don’t put the lid in the dishwasher, oven, or microwave; just the glass part.) Speaking of the lid, it’s totally plastic-free, which also makes it BPA-free, so you never have to worry about gross chemicals leaching into your family’s food. Taking care of these canisters is really easy, too; while the glass part can go in the dishwasher, the bamboo lid requires a light washing with a wet cloth and a simple air dry. Want to really make sure you get your money’s worth? Apply a bit of olive oil to the lid to protect that glossy and sustainable bamboo finish!
This three-part cup set from Zip Top is designed for at-home or on-the-go storage, which makes it absolutely perfect for parents (since most of our lives are on-the-go). Whether you are ushering multiple children (even some that aren’t your own) to a soccer game or hoarding car-snacks during a long-ish trip, this trio from Zip Top comes in a nesting set of small, medium, and large. Each container in the cup set fits perfectly in your car’s cup holder and they can also be put in the fridge, freezer, microwave, and are even dishwasher-safe (thank goodness because who wants to scrub the inside of a bag clean?). Made from pure platinum silicone in the USA without BPA, lead, PVC, and phthalates – yuck! – this set from Zip Top features a zipper that seals easily at the top, basically making it a new-and-improved, reusable version of the Ziploc sandwich baggie (that can now even hold juice!). And since there are color options (we love the teal and lavender), you might even be able to recognize where things are when the fridge is stocked with stored snacks.
Mom, are you guilty of losing your Tupperware tops? Like, WTF is it with those things anyway? No matter how organized you may try to be, Tupperware is always mismatched. It’s like the lone sock in the dryer. It just doesn’t make sense! Anyway, with silicone stretch lids you’ll never have to worry about having mismatched Tupperware again. These silicone lids are stretchy enough to stretch over bowls, mugs, and hot foods, gripping to the side of the container to create an airtight seal. These stretchy lids are free of phthalates, lead, plastic, and BPA, making them totally food safe and a much better, healthier alternative to single-use cling wrap or zipper baggies. This 7-pack of stretchy seals includes a variety of sizes, including the ever-elusive XL bonus lid that is one of the biggest sizes in silicone stretch lids to date. So whether you have to cover a bowl of chili or half a cantaloupe, silicone stretch lids can get her done while maintaining freshness.
If you’re ready to upgrade your stack of flimsy plastic containers to food-safe and versatile glass, this 18-piece set from Rubbermaid is for you. Complete with leakproof lids that seal in a cinch, these containers can be microwaved and even warmed in the oven (without the lid on, which is plastic) for easy re-heating. This assortment of sizes is perfect for leftovers of all kinds, so you can consolidate your collection and save cabinet space, too.
Got your food storage right? Check out more home and kitchen essentials!