When I was a kid, my mom saved all kinds of things that she could use for small square plastic containers. At that time, these were usually small glass storage container from store-bought jelly or minced garlic, small ziplock bags, small plastic containers that cold cream came in, or some other small cup or jar that had a lid.
This was because she bought spices in bulk and needed something to store them in, as well as snacks that she sent to school with us for lunch.
Looking back, I'm afraid this small storage containers "passion" was a throw-back to the Depression era, when you didn't throw away even a piece of string in case you might need it sometime.
Thank goodness that small storage containers are now available in a variety of materials, shapes, sizes and styles. You don't need to keep a motley crew of pickle and jam jars hidden behind a cupboard door!
Small Storage Containers Come in Many Sizes and Different Materials
Today, the storage industry has stepped up to help us with our storage needs!
There are now a wide variety of small storage containers made from glass, plastic, tin, stainless steel, ceramic and more, all to help us with our storage requirements.
Many of us these days buy in bulk in order to take advantage of additional savings. For example, do you buy the largest cereal boxes? Do you buy pasta in bulk food storage container? Spices? Spaghetti Sauce? Do you buy the family packs of meat at the supermarket and split up the chops or ground beef, so that you can freeze smaller packages for individual meals later?
With prices what they are in this economy, our dollars don't buy as much as they used to. Many savvy shoppers are learning to buy in larger quantities so that they can save money long term.
Small storage containers or small square plastic containers allow us to store extra food, spices, or whatever in order to preserve it until we can use it.
These containers can be as small as a quarter, and come complete with self-sealing lid. Containers are also available in progressively larger sizes. For instance, if you buy your dog's food in bulk, there are sealable plastic bins that can store as much as a 50-pound bag.
Self-Sealing Storage Containers
Small storage containers can come as simply as a bottom and a lid, or they can be as sophisticated as a self-sealing vessel that will prevent air from entering.
Self-sealing receptacles are particularly good to store spices, cheese, cocoa, flour, sugar, rice and more, because they not only prevent air from entering, but they can also prevent insects from invading your precious staples.
Have you ever opened a bag of flour only to find little worms in it? In this case, a self-sealing container is definitely worth the investment!
Glass Storage Containers Gaining in Popularity
Interestingly, small storage containers made of plastic are beginning to see some controversy.
There are chemicals used in the manufacture of Plastic food containers that can mimic hormones in the body. These chemicals can include BPA (bisphenol-A) and PVC (poly-vinyl chloride). These chemicals are thought to leach into foods that contain a lot of liquid or when heated (say in a microwave), thus becoming part of the food when ingested by you.
The FDA has researched this extensively and finds that some small storage containers or small square plastic containers are designed to be heated in the microwave, while some are not.
Those vessels that are okay to heat in the microwave will say so on the container itself. This means that any chemicals released in the heating process are not considered dangerous to humans.
A symbol indicating a plastic vessel is recyclable does not mean that the plastic can be microwaved safely. Only a microwave-safe symbol does, so you'll want to check for this symbol on your plastic container before heating any leftovers in the microwave.
If, instead, you'd like to avoid any possibility of leaching chemicals, you might consider glass storage containers.
This is because glass is inert, meaning that the composition of glass does not change when heated, even at high temperatures. "Inert" means that you don't have to worry about anything leaching into your food if you heat glass containers in the microwave or in the oven.
Other inert materials include porcelain, stainless steel and ceramic, so small storage containers made of these substances do not experience the same leaching concerns.
Today's innovations in the storage industry mean that we have a large variety of receptacles to choose from, and you're sure to find the perfect small storage containers for your needs.