Kitchn Love Letters

I’ve Spent My Whole Life Looking for the Best Food Storage Containers — And Finally Found These $4 Winners at Target

published Aug 8, 2021
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Chicken tikka in 4 glass food storage containers
Credit: Joe Lingeman

If, like me, you repurpose leftovers and cook in batches to get you through the week, you probably have a lot of food storage containers in rotation. If you have a soft spot for homemade baked goods, you probably have a few more. And if you’re the type to share food with your neighbors and friends, you’re looking at a cupboard full of containers. Maybe even a few cupboards full! 

For years I searched for the perfect food storage container. And I’ve learned that I prefer to store food in glass because it keeps leftovers fresh for longer and doesn’t absorb stains or smells, like plastic can. But glass food containers can be super expensive — which became a problem when my friends kept “forgetting” to give back the containers I’d share, packed with muffins or cookies.

I wasn’t even looking for new food storage containers when I found the perfect solution. But as I wandered the aisles of my local Target (best Saturday activity ever), I came across these glass food containers made by the Target brand Room Essentials. They were much less expensive than their competitors and seemed to be really well-constructed. 

After some closer consideration, I learned that they were the real deal. The glass is thick and shock-resistant, which is crucial for clumsy cooks like me. They’re also microwave-, dishwasher-, and oven-safe (without the plastic lid, of course). The best part is that they come in a few different sizes, so I have options. The 1-cup containers are perfect for making vinaigrettes and salad dressings to use throughout the week. The 2-cup ones are great for dinner leftovers, but I use the 4-cup option most frequently; it’s ideal for storing a batch of cooked grains, beans, or even salad greens. It also holds a lot of cookies!

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

Room Essentials makes these containers in rectangular and circular styles; I prefer the round ones because I’m lazy and corners can be obnoxious to clean. The round ones also easily stand in for bowls; I have definitely eaten soup, oatmeal, and cold cereal out of them.

These aren’t as low-cost as plastic containers — the 4-cup containers are $4 each — but they’ll never get stained with spaghetti sauce. (I’ve had mine for almost a year, and they still look brand-new, despite being used almost every day.) On the flip side, they’re thankfully not so costly that I mourn the ones that get lost to my friends’ cupboards. 

Some Target goods are a little lackluster compared to their brand-name competitors, but these food storage containers pass all of my tests with flying colors. In fact, they’re the only ones I’ll ever buy again!

Do you prefer plastic or glass food storage containers? Do you have a favorite brand?