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Pantry Storage Canisters

Hi all,
I am after recommendations for good food storage containers to organise my pantry. Have been looking at Oxo brand which seem good but are a bit of an investment.
If anyone has experience with others I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks :blush:

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Hi @Loulou23, welcome to the community.

What size are you after and what products do you need to store?

When we store herbs and spices (we buy in big bags rather than small shakers available in supermarkets), we use glass jars saved from other products. We also buy container based on the product being stored rather than a on fit all type approach.

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I have several sets of containers accumulated over the years.

A set of hexagonal glass canisters comprising six each of large, medium, small and very small. They have plastic seals in the glass lids so they are airtight. The shape is better than round as they pack better on the shelf and the larger ones are easier to grasp without slipping.

A collection of glass instant coffee jars, I don’t know how many, about 6 huge, 3 dozen large and a dozen small. Except the huge ones they have glass lids.

A collection of about 4 dozen commercial glass mustard and condiment jars, with plastic lids, they are all the same size and fit in a rack built to house them.

The first lot were not expensive. The others cost nothing for the jars. I like glass because mostly you don’t need labels, it is easy to clean and doesn’t scratch or mark. The moths can wave at you through the window. You could in principle break them by dropping on to a hard surface, I never have. Some plastic is breakable too.

The huge/large ones contain flour, sugar, rice etc, the medium ones speciality grains, beans, pulses, pasta, salt and so forth and the small ones herbs and spices.

I guess you wanted a brand recommendation - sorry too long ago. I have no idea what 10 dozen or more would cost to buy as I didn’t buy most of them.

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Hello and welcome to the forum. You may want to look at another thread where there has been a discussion about plastic food containers.

For storing food we, like the previous posts, have moved away plastic storage containers and re-purposing used glass jars that food or coffee etc came in. It is safer because there is no leaching to and from the plastic, and we think it is better to recycle within the home than go out and buy new plastic goods.

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I use either repurposed glass jars or buy glass jars in various sizes with clip lock, rubber ring closure.

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Choice did a review of plastic containers however they were mostly fresh food storage.
https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/household/everyday-items/review-and-compare/plastic-food-containers

My mother was an avid Tupperware user, and I did follow suit and was given some. When I retired I decided to organise my pantry and chose Tupperware Modular Mates in 3 of the four sizes. They stacked well, sealed well and transparent, so you could see what was in it. My one gripe was the lid colours kept going out of production, but I have now standardised on Black. A few lids did crack at the corners. They were expensive, but durable.

For fresh refrigerated/frozen food, I standardised on rectangular Clipfresh in 3 sizes; not the ones with clip down “wings”, the ones with a simple lid (Choice did not test). The lids are interchangeable, they stack. My gripe is some lids are very hard to get on, lately (if you can find them) you have to buy a set with sizes I didn’t need. I used to get them from The Reject Shop. Cheap and durable.

I have re-purposed glass jars, but these are not stackable and take up more shelf space than the plastic boxes, so I use sparingly.

Various Storage Systems have been pushed on me, but these are only as good as your usage and habits. If you are not a meticulous person who regularly returns things to their proper place, empties contents of packages into containers, cycles new to the back, old to the front, regularly checks contents etc then these will not work. Go back to stacking the original boxes and jars on shelves, that will work better. Years ago, both my mother and I got through a lot of flour, so tipping the new stuff into the bin with the old and turning it over (and my job - sifting the weevils out) was OK. Now I hardly use flour so a 1kg bag is sealed in a plastic container with bay leaves and replaced when it gets very low. Same story for sugar. Hardly use it now, so down graded to smaller containers.

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Did you pay for replacement lids?

Tupperware comes with a lifetime guarantee.

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I have used the Tupperware lifetime replacement and received new lids, but not the same colour. The catch was having to come to a Tupperware party or see the Rep to hand in the defective item. Then, for a brief time, they bought in a fee for replacement which they reversed after adverse reactions. The replacement is now an on-line process, last time I used it. I just decided that the small cracks were not worth the hassle. If your item is out of production you have to accept the colour or replacement offered.

Of course the lifetime guarantee is only as long as the life of the company.

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Or have shelves that fit your jars so they are one layer high with not too much waste. Similarly with shelf depth or cupboard depth, if you want to see everything at a glance only have one row deep with nothing hidden behind. But doesn’t that waste a lot of space? Not so much if you have shallow shelves that fit the jars.

But doesn’t that mean you have narrow bench tops too? No the bench tops are full width. The excess beyond a canister size is used on larger kitchen items instead of canisters that need to have full depth or you use only half the depth in the kitchen and the other half is used for something else in the next room, that is the cupboard opens from two sides. Or use drawers under the bench and put labels on top of the canisters. Typically drawers give better access (while keeping economy of space) than deep shelves where you have to bend/crouch to see into the back and shuffle.

All this takes forethought and planning and the ability to DIY and/or the ability to coerce builders into doing stuff that they consider to be ‘silly’.

There is always a compromise between economy of space and ease of access. In rented accommodation where you may have to deal with poor design your compromises may be greater.

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When I replaced my kitchen (In a unit) I had them put in a false back to my pantry (600mm standard depth but only 400mm deep shelves or thereabouts)

Not just builders! The designer looked at me like I was a crazy person (the cabinet maker didn’t blink an eye).

I’m not a coffee drinker but those resealable jars aren’t half bad to repurpose. Use old jam jars to freeze things too (wine for cooking etc). Otherwise its a random assortment of plastic/tuperware containers.

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I’m a fan of Moccona glass coffee jars. They come in multiple sizes and are useful for all kinds of things. Sugar, flour, herbs, spices, small pasta (spaghetti and the like would require something longer unless like me you are happy to break in half.) My coffee needs are diminishing so I dont acquire as many as I used to (I was giving them away to all and sundry for a while, especially the large ones)

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Pity you are not near here.

I just took a carton full of them to Lifeline last week.

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You would not have been able to give them to me. I have a bazillion.

Wish I was, Fred.
I don’t drink instant coffee, and miss out on the glass jars.
I do keep some instant for visitors who might prefer it, and I’ve got a beautiful, intense one, by Lavazza, but it’s in a light tin container.
Bought it for my last trip overseas;
the purpose was to avoid glass,which might break in my suitcase, and also worried about my coffee In China.
I shouldn’t have worried on the last account: they had the most up to date coffee machines available in the hotels, superior even to those in Italy that seemed to cater only for the ‘Long black’ brigade.

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Thanks phb. They will be to store flour, sugar, oats etc. Ideally if I set it up well I would like to replenish the supplies from a bulk food store to reduce packaging. I do have some jars etc that I use for some smaller things, but need something bigger for the flour etc.

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An option for flour is to buy a something in a container like this:

image

The contents can be olives, flour and other products…consume the content, clean and use for a flour canister. This is what we use and holds just over 2kg of flour.

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You must like olives.

Must have Mediterranean blood in our family somewhere. The same containers are used for more common household products…such as flour and very useful to clean and reuse. We have about half a dozen (olive ones) we use to store a wide range of things.

There are also large gherkin (must have northern European blood as well) glass jars which are also very useful…make excellent home cooked biscuit jars…or storing pulses.

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