The freezer is the under-hyped miracle worker of the kitchen, allowing you to preserve foods, save money, and plan ahead so that when life gets hectic, you still have a home-cooked meal on hand to heat and eat in a matter of minutes.
Of course, your freezer is only as good as the stuff that's in it. And that stuff is only as good as the stuff it's in. Are you following? We're saying the containers for all your frozen leftovers and made-in-advance meals are super important. That said, we've rounded up five of our favorite freezer-friendly storage containers that allow you to use the magic of the freezer to your advantage. Cool, right?
- Rubbermaid Food Storage Set, $15 for three containers: Our Managing Editor, Geraldine Campbell, is obsessed with these containers: "I love how tightly they seal," she tells us. They look like glass but are actually made of Tritan, which is a BPA-free plastic that's also resistant of stains and odors. Plus they can go in the dishwasher, microwave, and freezer. And the latches on the leakproof lids lift up to reveal vents for splatter-free microwaving.
- Dial Container, from $8 at JosephJoseph: We're all for making casseroles and lasagnas and freezing them for later consumption, but we're not fans of wondering how long something has been in the freezer for. The built-in date dial on these containers will remind you just how long that vegetable soup has been hanging out in there.
- Herbcicle Plus Herb Mill, $10 at Chef'n: You know the drill — you buy a ton of cilantro only to use a tiny bit of it, and it inevitably goes bad waiting to be used in the fridge. Save money and cut down on waste with this herb mill, which not only allows you to preserve herbs in the freezer, but also lets you grind the frozen herbs directly into whatever you're cooking for easy inclusion.
- Stasher Silicone Storage Bag, $12 at The Container Store: When freezing liquids — sauces, soups, and stocks — it makes sense to use freezer bags. If you want your kitchen practices to be a little more eco-friendly while saving yourself a few bucks, investing in some reusable silicone storage bags is the way to go. They're microwave- and dishwasher-safe, hold up to 15 ounces of soup, and are able to be thrown into a pot of boiling water for simple defrosting.
- Glide-A-Scoop Ice Cream Tub, $13 at Tovolo: If you make your own homemade ice cream, this container is the perfect way to store your creations in between ice cream parties. The long, slender design was made specifically for storage in compact freezer doors, and the non-slip base steadies the tub while you run your scoop across the top.