Author Topic: Lunch packing container recommendations?  (Read 3314 times)

PMG

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Lunch packing container recommendations?
« on: January 30, 2023, 07:03:27 PM »
This forum seems like a place for good lunch packing container recommendations.  (At least from people in the accumulation phase.)

We pack leftovers and we currently each have a set of two glass containers with snap on lids. They are pretty good at staying sealed.

My annoyances are that the rubber seals in the lids get disgusting and need cleaned increasingly often and the containers donít nest or stack well for storage.

What I want: Glass. Leak proof. Dishwasher safe. Nesting or stacking. I want to be able to pack soup and have a couple sets so that I can pack multiple days worth of lunches, but I want them to fit in the cupboard when not in use.

Does this unicorn exist?

GilesMM

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2023, 07:33:21 PM »
We like these You should also get a separate cover for use in the microwave - don't microwave plastic lids. 












Cranky

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2023, 09:09:22 AM »
Widemouth canning jars. You can get plastic lids for them, or just use the metal ones (but not for reheating!) We use canning jars for a lot of things. They come in a bunch of sizes. They are .69 at my Goodwill.

GuitarStv

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2023, 09:16:20 AM »
Widemouth canning jars. You can get plastic lids for them, or just use the metal ones (but not for reheating!) We use canning jars for a lot of things. They come in a bunch of sizes. They are .69 at my Goodwill.

+1

If you want to bring soup, this is a good suggestion.


Unfortunately for glass containers, I've found that they all kinda suck.  The plastic lids on them always end up breaking, and failing to seal - leaving you with a heavy useless squareish bowl.

My preference while cycling to work is to just throw a piece of fruit in by backpack and then a sandwich in a plastic grocery bag on top of it.  It's just so much lighter than glass containers.  Or I'll use old plastic take out containers and eat the food cold.

lhamo

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2023, 09:36:01 AM »
What used to work for me when I was working/commuting was to freeze meal-sized portions, and then just leave them on my desk to partially thaw by lunchtime -- I'd fully defrost and reheat at lunch time.  I know technically you are not supposed to do due to potential for bacterial growth, but in several years I never had a problem.

Sanitary Stache

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2023, 10:16:02 AM »
+1 wide mouth canning jars. No leaks. Great for soup. I try to reheat in other container when at work because of breaking history. I have been disappointed by jars breaking in the microwave one too many times.

the_hobbitish

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2023, 10:30:34 AM »
For soup, I agree that canning jars are great. I bought a few plastic lids for wide mouth jars that are easy to pop in the dishwasher and reuse.

I also like the glasslock containers. Mine have held up well for years. A few have lost one of the snap locks and still do great at not leaking. I do take soups in them sometimes. If you get the kind pictured below they nest fairly well. I also have a few that don't have the top ledge and those don't nest.

Most of the time I barely wipe out the lids unless it has something liquid or saucy. I put everything in the dishwasher if it needs it. You can pull the seals out and throw them in the dishwasher separately too if wiping them out doesn't seem to do the job.

roomtempmayo

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2023, 01:06:44 PM »
We like these

Ikea has a house brand version that's held up well for us.  We've been running them through the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle for years with no issues.

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/ikea-365-food-container-with-lid-rectangular-glass-plastic-s89269071/

PMG

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2023, 02:08:56 PM »
Thank you for all the responses.  Re: mason jars. How did I forget the humble mason jar?! I have one, maybe two. Iíll work them into rotation when we have soup.

Iíll look closer at the glass lock containers that nest. That would solve my storage situation.

After posting I remembered that my husband will (hopefully, knock on wood) be able to work from home more often starting in March, so that should alleviate some of the lunch packing pressure.  Iíll add in a mason jar and see if I can make it through until March without purchasing anything, then reassess our needs. Weíre in a busy season right now and I am actively looking for ways to streamline and make life easier, but I think I can just buckle down and get through March.


falsekrakk808

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2023, 03:04:46 PM »
Has anyone looked into collapsible lunch containers? Been thinking about trying them out to save space while also thinking about transitioning to a lunch-style backpack. I haven't taken the plunge on either yet but was curious on what others have tried.

reeshau

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2023, 11:19:37 AM »
We like these

Ikea has a house brand version that's held up well for us.  We've been running them through the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle for years with no issues.

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/ikea-365-food-container-with-lid-rectangular-glass-plastic-s89269071/

+1 for the Ikea containers.  Also, you can just pull out the gasket when washing to really get them, and helps in drying.

reeshau

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2023, 11:20:53 AM »
Has anyone looked into collapsible lunch containers? Been thinking about trying them out to save space while also thinking about transitioning to a lunch-style backpack. I haven't taken the plunge on either yet but was curious on what others have tried.

We take them as part of our pack light / picnic gear when traveling.  They are great for that!  But I can't really say if they are dishwasher safe, or how they handle regular use.

Extramedium

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2023, 07:33:55 PM »
I'm also deeply into the Pyrex ones with snapping lids.  I hand wash the lids, and the glass bottom goes into the dishwasher.  Plus, I don't know if there's any evidence about health or not, I just prefer eating out of something more solid.

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2023, 10:58:42 AM »
If you have the pyrex ones with hooked gaskets in the lids, I've found they are easiest to clean with a straw brush bent into a U.

Dee_the_third

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2023, 09:19:28 AM »
I know your original criteria called for glass, but another good option is to pack in plastic and then transfer to glass or ceramic for heating. You can just keep a bowl at your office and reuse it. Itís lighter, less horrible if something breaks, cheaper to replace to easier to get something with a good seal.

Metalcat

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2023, 09:25:57 AM »
I know your original criteria called for glass, but another good option is to pack in plastic and then transfer to glass or ceramic for heating. You can just keep a bowl at your office and reuse it. Itís lighter, less horrible if something breaks, cheaper to replace to easier to get something with a good seal.

This is what I did because I have a small kitchen and need compact, nesting food containers because I bulk cook and don't have storage for a bazillion glass containers.

I had a giant ceramic bowl that I kept at work for reheating.

Just Joe

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2023, 01:17:55 PM »
Unfortunately for glass containers, I've found that they all kinda suck.  The plastic lids on them always end up breaking, and failing to seal - leaving you with a heavy useless squareish bowl.

We were able to buy new lids for our's. Not sure what brand now.

Just Joe

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2023, 01:21:39 PM »
Has anyone looked into collapsible lunch containers? Been thinking about trying them out to save space while also thinking about transitioning to a lunch-style backpack. I haven't taken the plunge on either yet but was curious on what others have tried.

We take them as part of our pack light / picnic gear when traveling.  They are great for that!  But I can't really say if they are dishwasher safe, or how they handle regular use.

We bought a couple of them from Amazon (I think). There isn't even a brand logo on them. They have held up all year. They do go through the dishwasher once a week. I rinse them out the other days. We take salad to work in them. 

BlueHouse

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2023, 02:46:53 PM »
I love these.  Freezer, dishwasher, microwave safe.  The lids are solid with minimal leakage (if you put soup upside down, some might leak).  And when I microwaved at work, I could carry the dish without burning myself.  I batch cook and always have some of these in the freezer, some in the fridge, and some in the dishwasher.  Unfortunately, they don't nest, but because they are so versatile, they get a prime spot in my cupboard.

https://www.corningware.com/product/french-white-20-ounce-meal-mug-vented-lid?gclid=CjwKCAjwjOunBhB4EiwA94JWsF2_0Zkpp4nH96-mzmCQoctmxL_xGG1yGuzzYzpVK7r5y_KosVThyBoCKPQQAvD_BwE

I'll also add my +1 for mason jars.  AND...did you know you can use a mason jar directly on standard blenders?  just found this out, and it will be a GAME CHANGER for me!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYqo08IdKTw

Josiecat22222

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Re: Lunch packing container recommendations?
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2023, 03:22:17 AM »
+1 for mason jars.  I use the pint sized for nearly everything in my house--- drinking glasses, food prep/meal prep, containers of paperclips, sea glass, etc and the larger quart size in my pantry for dried beans, nuts, fruits, you name it.  We have found them to be a very inexpensive, durable multiuse device for home goods and food storage.