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9 best food storage containers that look after your leftovers

Tidy up your kitchen and organise your cupboards with these handy solutions 

Joanne Gould
Wednesday 03 February 2021 18:28 GMT
We looked for products that would last a long time, were easily identifiable and were innovative
We looked for products that would last a long time, were easily identifiable and were innovative (The Independent/ iStock)

If you’re in possession of a cupboard of doom, like us, it may interest you to know that there is no need to go on attempting to sort out your forever mismatching – and likely, stained – Tupperware. 

New food storage solutions are available to offer you a chance at redemption where your storage containers are neat, easily matched and often higher functioning than your run of the mill plastic tub.

We’ve taken a look at the new food storage solutions on the block and have found a plethora of ways to keep your leftovers in a hygienic, organised manner without spending hours pairing up plastic lids and pots.

From stay-hot lunch boxes to plastic-free eco storage solutions and new-wave reusable sandwich bags, your fridge and cupboards will never have looked so ship-shape.

When trialling different storage containers we were looking for items that would last a long time, were easily identifiable and were innovative in some way. 

Read more: 13 best vegetable boxes that deliver fresh produce straight to your door

We found items that doubled as leak-proof lunch boxes, could be heated or frozen, and fridge-to-table products that all deserve a place in your newly organised cupboard. 

Read on for all the new storage solutions to help you love your leftovers.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent. 

Elephant Box twist and lock leakproof food canister trio

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This set of three leakproof and airtight food canisters are incredibly versatile and help you to do your bit for a zero waste life while keeping food fresh. Made from food grade stainless steel, this trio of canisters are sized at 700ml, 500ml and 250ml so they nest within each other for compact storage when not in use, and won’t crack, degrade or transfer smells and flavours.  Super lightweight (and with each pot’s weight etched onto the bottom) making them good for transporting your lunch, or using for travel they are also perfect for storing dry goods at home.  

Each container features a removable food grade silicone seal making them completely leakproof with just a twist closure, and are easy to clean. The largest pot is a generous lunch-size portion, while the smaller canisters are handy for breakfast goods or baby foods and snacks. They are dishwasher, freezer and oven-friendly and endlessly recyclable. Items are sent using plastic free shipping.

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Lakeland 10 stack-a-boxes

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These aren’t groundbreaking in terms of design, after all they are just basic plastic pot. However, the fact they stack so closely means they are brilliantly space-saving, and having 10 pots the same size and shape means that you’ll never be hunting around for the matching lid again. These 750ml BPA free containers are hardwearing and can be used in the dishwasher, freezer and microwave, and come with four different coloured lids, so should you wish to colour-code your foodstuffs you could. They’re not billed as leak-proof but we found them to have well-fitting secure lids that could be relied upon to transport lunches to the office, should we ever be permitted back. Ideal for popping your leftover into and heating straight up.

  1. £10 from Lakeland
Prices may vary
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Tala glass storage container with vented lid

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This lidded glass container from Tala Cooking is essentially a very nice 990ml ovenproof baking dish with a secure plastic lid. This means it can be used to store lasagne and other dishes then placed directly in the oven to cook (remove the lid though!) in temperatures up to 240C. Alternatively this container can be used to store leftovers that can then be microwaved, with the lid on and steam vent open. The beauty of this glass dish is that it is hard wearing, lasts for years and doesn’t stain – even the usual culprits like bolognaise. This particular sized dish is good for two portions; smaller and larger versions are available.

  1. £9 from Tala Cooking
Prices may vary
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Hydro Flask 20 oz insulated food jar

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This, from purveyors of high-performance insulated products, Hydro Flask, is a 20oz insulated food jar that is so much more than a food storage container. Of course you can pop your leftover chilli in there, but at £39.95 it would make for a pricey pot. Instead consider its abilities to keep your soups hot and your ice cream cold for hours and hours, thanks to its special double wall vacuum insulation, making it great for taking out and about with you.

Sustainably manufactured, BPA and phthalate-free and formed from pro-grade stainless steel, this container won’t retain or transfer flavours and odours like plastic can, so you can move between feasting on curries and overnight oats easily. The lid is completely leakproof – great for soups – and the pots all come in colourful shades made from a powder coating which is highly scratch resistant. Available in three different sizes (this is the medium). Hydro Flask also work with charities to help maintain green spaces which last year included Surfers Against Sewage and Lake District Foundation, so your purchase does good too.

  1. £39 from Hydro Flask
Prices may vary
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Dunelm dottie soup mug

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If you’re a soup fan, this is the one for you, as this extra large mug also includes a vented lid so you can heat your soup in the microwave before removing and enjoying straight from the mug. The lid is pretty secure but we wouldn’t recommend transporting your soup in it; instead we’d use this in the office or home for warming a carton or tin of soup or for microwaving porridge. It saves on cupboard space, on washing up and looks stylish too. We like this monochrome spotty design, but there are also colourful plain versions and even a sausage dog mug to choose from. Dishwasher safe with the mug being ceramic and plastic lid, it’s the mug you didn’t know you needed. 

  1. £5 from Dunelm
Prices may vary
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Keep Leaf reusable baggie

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Say goodbye to single use plastic with this reusable sandwich pouch from Keep Leaf. With a 100 per cent cotton exterior in a range of cheery prints – we like this geometric blue and white design – and a washable waterproof liner, this reusable bag measures 7X6.5” and will accommodate a few large bloomer slices and promises to help keep food fresh for longer. The bag features an easy and secure velcro closure, meaning you needn’t reach for a Ziploc bag or the clingfilm again. All materials are lead, phthalate and BPA free and can be rinsed by hand, machine or dishwasher.

  1. £6 from Pure Skin Lab
Prices may vary
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Black+Blum lunch pot original

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Black + Blum is arguably at the top of the storage container game, with many items to choose from but this updated lunch pot is a leader in its field. Inspired by Indian tiffin tins, the cleverly designed two leak-proof pots stack together with a spork and a carry handle for it all. The design allows you to transport two different flavour and temperature foods – soup, yogurt, pasta, you name it – to enjoy hours later making them good for storing foods at home or on the go.

With the larger pot at 600ml and the bottom 300ml, we tend to use it for either breakfast and lunch on the go, or to enjoy pasta with a still-crisp salad thanks to the leak-proof and air-tight twist-lock containers. The pots stay warm for quite a time (they don’t claim this themselves) and can be microwaved for up to two minutes. They are also freezer proof, dishwasher safe on the top rack and can nest together for compact storage after use. Made from lightweight polymers built to last.

  1. £19 from Black+Blum
Prices may vary
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Shabby Store 1l cork lidded glass jar

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Extremely organised types will enjoy the possibilities contained in this litre capacity cork lidded glass jar. Ideal for storing dry goods, spices, seasonings, coffee and more, this attractive and understated jar is airtight thanks to the eco-friendly cork lid and we like that it includes a chalkboard label for quick identification – always useful when it comes to spices. Measuring 18cm tall, other sizes are available for the ultimate in organisation. 

  1. £5 from Shabby Store
Prices may vary
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The verdict: Food storage containers

We found the Elephant Boxes trio just invaluable in the kitchen; storing leftovers in the fridge, transporting on picnics when permitted and even nice enough to look at that you can use as worktop canisters. The fact they are so sustainable is the cherry on top. However, we also rate the clever silicone suction lid from Handy Kitchen which is indeed, exceptionally handy. We found ourselves reaching for it frequently and it really highlighted how much cling film we’d saved using day to day.  

Keep your glass, paper and plastics neat and tidy with the best recycling bins

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