The hard truth about deli containers – yes, the same ones to which we have made a lifelong vow– While they are stacking vertically, they actually waste a lot of space. It doesn’t take a geometer (a real word, look it up!) To understand why square plastic containers can fit closer together than container with round sides.
When I recently moved into a new apartment and had the opportunity to reconfigure my pantry and fridge to optimize space, I bought a set of square plastic bins. These offer all of the advantages of cylindrical deli containers – lightweight; dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe; affordable but not disposable; clear so that you can see its contents; All lids fit all floors – they nestle almost like pieces of a puzzle on my shelves. There is still some unused space, but much less of it.
They are in use in the refrigerator, where they keep small amounts of it Special flours, Nuts, seeds, egg whites, lemon halves, sauce scraps and leftovers. In the pantry they are filled with dried fruits, Nutritional yeast, Breadcrumbs, Impulses, Spice mixes, the little lingering barley I wanted to cook. I also have a few on my desk with post-its, paper clips, and other types of whosits and whatsits. There is room for everything!
In terms of their airtightness, I wouldn’t fill some of these to the brim with soup, toss them in a backpack, and take a roller coaster ride – they’re a bit thinner than round delis, and the tops, while locking on securely, aren’t as super-tight as that Variety that folds on heavy glass shelves. But they’re perfect for staying in a small space – that’s all I do these days anyway. And maybe they won’t look as cute in your pantry as mason jars or mason jars, but they are infinitely more practical. It might not be hip to be square, but it sure is smart.
We are on our way: