Have you seen the Glad Wrap ad lately? The one where Julie from Masterchef covers her potato salad with cling wrap and then puts it on the table.
Then the family immediately sits down to eat but not before the cling wrap saves the day by protecting the salad from a wayward cricket ball?
What happens to the cling wrap when dinner is finished? Thrown in the bin?
The attitude towards disposable things in our modern society would be amusing, except that it has a serious environmental ramification.
We pay good money to buy something that we use only once, then throw it away so that we can go out and spend more money buying exactly the same item again to use it only once and so on…
And we wonder why we have no money. Or why we’re running out of landfill. Does this seem ridiculous to you? Apart from a few valid exceptions, surely it makes more financial and environmental sense to steer clear of disposables and save money on our food storage? I think the two whole extra minutes (or less) it takes to wash up a container or a baggie is worth it.
So when storing food in the fridge or freezer, what are some alternatives to using plastic cling wrap?
We have a mixture of Tupperware-like containers and old takeaway containers that reused in both the fridge and the freezer – particularly good for leftovers, but we put anything that needs to be covered in a container.
Recycled containers like empty yoghurt containers are also a frugal yet effective means for storing food in the fridge or freezer.
I got this idea from the Down to Earth Website. Better than plastic containers, I find that crockery is effective at preventing food from drying out or getting fridge odour (or vice versa). This alternative is also stackable. Use a plate covered with a bow or a bowl covered by a plate etc.
3. Glass or stainless steel bowls with lids
I saw a set of 5 Pyrex bowls with lids on sale last week for $7 at our local discount store. The good thing about these is that they’re not plastic (except for the lid). They are not only reusable but also portable (BBQ’s, picnics, for the table (ahem – Julie!) etc).
5. Recycled zip lock baggies
I have a set of zip-lock bags that someone gave me a few years ago and I have put them to good use…over and over. We never store meat in these, although I wonder if this caution is completely rational. I don’t throw out Tupperware just because it has had meat in it, so why throw out bags that I wash. What do you think? The only other concern that I have is at what point do the bags start breaking down? Do the plastic chems leech into the food? The other thing we use these bags for is sandwiches for work. Again they get used over and over.
6. Recycled milk cartons
Once washed out, milk cartons are good for storing all sorts of stuff, both solids and liquids in the fridge and the freezer. At the moment our townhouse complex doesn’t have a recycling bin (yet), so we also use milk cartons for the kitchen garbage.
7. recycled glass jars
Recycled glass jars are great for storing things in the fridge and, as long as you leave some head room for expanding liquid as it freezes, can also be used in the freezer.
What about storing meat in the freezer?
As we buy our meat in bulk, I’m curious to know how people store their meat in the freezer without using plastic bags. Do you have a freezer bag alternative?
Currently we use freezer bags, but I’m looking for a less wasteful alternative. I could use containers, but we will have difficulty fitting it all into our tiny box freezer. Any recommendations?
It’s been several years since we’ve used plastic wrap and because of the above alternatives, haven’t missed it.
Have you read these posts?
- it’s a wrap–christmas gift wrap on a budget
- tip tuesday–family gift wrap
- 40 Free Software Alternatives To Big Ticket Applications
- an alternative to the usual plastic sandwich bags