Efficiency is something I love. It does not matter if it is efficiency of time, money, or any other resource, efficiency makes me giggle with glee. Waste on the other hand frustrates me to no end. Wasted money, resources, and time (most of all) still too often find their way into my life. Perhaps the biggest thorn in my side has been wasted food.
Growing up as the grandchild of Depression Era grandparents, I all too frequently heard “Waste not, want not.” For many years this was simply in one ear out the other. It was not until I started living on my own that I fully realized that groceries cost money, in fact they cost a lot of money. According to several searches on our benevolent overlord Google, Americans spend roughly 9-12% of their household income on groceries.
I don’t know how much I spend on groceries as a percentage. I am terrible at budgeting, but I really like food and suspect that I spend a higher than the national average on groceries. Cooking at home, albeit costly, is still cheaper than eating out. Boy do I like to cook delicious foods (check out my IG @thenorsestar if you don’t believe me), but often these recipes make way more than 2 servings. This means leftovers.
My girlfriend and I make valiant efforts to eat leftovers, as to reduce or eliminate waste, but often we come up short. Let's be honest, sometimes that chili or tater-tot hotdish are great for lunch the next day, but do not look as appealing the 3rd day. So what happens? That chili gets looked at and passed over for a day or two. The tater-tot hotdish? Well that dirty devil gets pushed to the back of the fridge, obstructed from view by a block of cheddar, or a 6er of IPA. Whatever the scenario with leftovers, more often than not the final destination is the old rubbish bin, or if your on point the compost heap (stay tuned for a future post on composting). In short, waste is created (that thing I hate).
Freezing is a good technique to preserve leftovers, but often our freezer is already pretty well occupied with frozen veggies, bargain roasts that I could not pass up, and a jug or two of ice cream. Fitting a bulky container of leftovers in the freezer often compromises our ice cream storing capacity. These bulky containers often share a similar fate to our old friends chili and tater-tot hotdish; they get pushed back, covered in bags of frozen veggies, and are lost from memory until the bi-annual freezer cleaning happens. At this point things are freezer burned and crappy. To the dustbin they go!
Is there a better way? Is there a way to reduce food waste, not eat leftovers until the sun rises to the East on the 3rd day, and save cooking time in the future? There is, and like so many life problems the solution was simple and right in front of my eyes. Better food storage containers!
I must give credit where credit is due. On a recent episode of my podcast, Hard boiled eggs and meatloaf with The Get Well Cat, my old friend The Get Well Cat (follow this animal on Faceboook), he got talking about meal prep containers. I cannot speak for The Get Well Cat , but I do know he hates waste as much as anybody. On The Bjorn Johnson Internet Program, he mentioned how affordable a set of meal-prep containers, and how much time and money these devices have saved he and his family.
When The Get Well Cat speaks I listen, and promptly ignore (as is the case whenever we get advice from close friends). This time, however, I heeded his advice (perhaps because it involved saving time, money, and most importantly my tater-tot hotdish). So I did some research. I scoured Amazon, read through many reviews, and found what I needed.
Freshware Meal Prep Containers checked off all the boxes for me. Dishwasher safe? Yep? Durable? Indeed! Single compartment (as I am using them to store food, not to make a to go type lunch)? Sure thing! Affordable? At $14.97 for a 15 pack, I’d say so! Thus, I pulled the trigger and ordered them. Since I am an Amazon Prime member in just two days I would be able to start saving my valuable resources, instead of tossing them out. One important question remained: are these things worth a damn?
Yes. The answer is yes. You can stop reading now and just take my word for it, or hang around for just a minute more, and I will explain how and why these Freshware Meal Prep Containers met, no exceeded my expectations..
The first thing that caught my attention when I unboxed the containers was their weight, a sign of reliability. These containers have a thickness to them, which one does not find in typical food storage containers. The plastic is firm, but not brittle. I haven’t test this yet, but I suspect they can withstand a fare amount of wear and tear. The next test was the good old dishwasher. Would these things hold up to the high pressure water jets and searing heat during the dry cycle? I am pleased to inform you that they did. No warping or disfigurement, as has happened with other cheaper food storage options I have tried over the years. What about storing these food storage containers? Room in our kitchen is limited and efficiency (are you seeing the theme yet) is key. All 15 of these container stacked nicely into one another, and the lids piled on top perfectly. The entire stack is less than ten inches tall, and can easily fit into a cupboard, storage drawer, or on top of the fridge (my preferred method). In terms of food storage, these containers have accommodated all of our leftover needs thus far, fitting easily at least two servings of whatever the meal is. On occasion I have used 2 containers if the main course and the side dish need to be separated. Since these containers are all identical, and built to stack on each other, saving space in the ice box, it was no surprise when they fit neatly into the fridge and/or freezer. I was able to make a little area in the freezer dedicated 6-8 of these containers, without sacrificing too much ice cream space. My final point of analysis is easy of washing once used. Would food stick in them? Would they require soaking and scouring to get those last bits of culinary delights out? Slicker than slime on a salamander, that’s how it was to wash these bad boys. In fact I regularly put them in the dishwasher sans a rinse and they still come out sparkly clean These containers are also microwave safe, but I have not tried this feature out yet because The Old Norse Star does not have a microwave. Other reviews have reported that they perform as advertised.
This same brand does make 2 and 3 compartment containers, if you are looking for a meal-to-go type option (efficiency in money, time, and health). Although I have not tried the compartment containers, here are a few possible options if you desire to go that route.
Do I recommend these containers? I am very pleased with the Freshware Meal Prep Containers, but I can’t tell you what to do, or how to live your life. If, however, you hate wasting food and money, and want to improve your efficiency, I would highly suggest trying these out. Overall I give these 5/5 Norse Stars!
I hope that this review will help you in some way, shape, or form. Who knows, perhaps they help up your efficiency game like they did for me. To support this blog and all my endeavors please use the link(s) to complete your order. By doing this Amazon will give me a cut, nothing substantial, but enough to wet my beak. You can also show your support by checking out www.norsestar.net, following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and share when you can.
Thank you for taking the time to read this entry. More will be coming sooner than later. Until then, be kind to one another.
The Norse Star