If you’re ready to switch to reusable, the first thing to know is what materials to look for.
Silicone: not biodegradable, but recyclable and non-toxic to the environment and to people/pets. Not all silicone items can be washed in the dishwasher. Microwave and freezer safe.
PEVA: a biodegradable, recyclable version of plastic that’s dishwasher safe and is very flexible. Microwave and freezer safe.
Glass: you can’t beat glass for eco-friendliness and a lifetime of reusability, and when it’s borosilicate, you don’t have to worry about it shattering. But it’s also heavy and not suitable for everything.
Stainless Steel: lightweight and eco-friendly, this material lasts for decades.
Beyond materials, your basic choices are the style of container. Do you want zipping bags? Zipping bags with a square bottom? Bowls? Boxes? Bento boxes?
There’s a lot to choose from in the reusable container world now. The bento box style is great if you’re creating a homemade freezer meal of several dishes to take to an office or school to heat and eat.
Stackable boxes can be great for storing leftovers, but you might prefer freezer bags. The single bags and containers are better if you’re freezing leftovers or bulk cooking items. You can freeze a package of soup, meat, vegetables or nearly anything.
It all depends on the size of your freezer, what you like to store, etc.
Waterproof Freezer Stickers
Waterproof removable freezer stickers are essential to knowing the dates when you put each food in the freezer. You can note what the food is, when you froze it, and every date when you’ve gotten it out since.
While you can buy bags that have a space to write the contents and dates on the front, we prefer using waterproof freezer stickers. That way we can take the stickers off and reuse the bags.
These reusable Ziploc-style bags are much more environmentally friendly than plastic because you can reuse them many more times than plastic. They're made of silicone, which is not biodegradable, but is recyclable and non-toxic to animals and the environment.
These bags are sturdy, long-lasting, and easy to clean by hand with a soft bottle brush. It's recommended you clean by hand rather than in the dishwasher because the dishwasher will wear out the zippers more quickly.
This is a nice variety set that should last you for a very long time.
Sometimes you need a bag with a square bottom that will stand up on its own. This set of 18 silicone bags has that.
These bags are also silicone with all the benefits of that, but they have a sort of square bottom that can make them sit better on the shelf of a freezer. Note that these need to be washed by hand, but are easy to clean.
These nesting stainless steel bowls with silicone lids are much sturdier than plastic, but nearly as lightweight. They're easier to handle than glass bowls and they don't take up as much room in the freezer. Dishwasher safe, too.
They work as snack containers and condiment containers. They can even be a great alternative to a lunch box. They're great for storing soup or stew as well as less liquid foods.
If you need something bigger than the stainless steel bowls above, these silicone tubs are great for storing sauces, leftovers, soups or stews. They hold up to 6 cups each, with easy-to-read fill lines at the 2-cup, 4-cup and 6-cup levels.
Glass is heavier than PEVA and silicone, so it's not the ideal choice for every household. But it is the most reusable, long lasting, eco-friendly durable container you could use. Especially if it's borosilicate glass, which is virtually shatter proof.
So it would feel wrong not to at least suggest this excellent set. This set of 5 glass containers has premium grade silicone lide that resist drying out or cracking, and snap securely for an airtight seal.
Material: Borosilicate Shatter-Proof Glass with silicone lids
Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Dishwasher, and Oven Safe