Tupperware for freezing worth it?
I want to purge (as I have read many other posters doing) my plastic rubbermaid, olive containers, etc and am looking for a quality set that I can use for freezing (some of them out there are flimsy) and if desperate, for nuking.
The other issue is staining from tomato based soups, sauces and stews with a little olive oil.
Is it worth paying the high price of tupperware, or should I consider something else; I do feel guilty about environmental implications, but practicality and weight of item concerns me.
I have a set of tupperware that is supposed to be made especially for freezing and microwaving. I would not buy them again. The lids do not fit properly after have been through the dishwasher and I did find that tomato sauce, chili etc stained them beyond repair. The idea of freezer bags is a good one and my investment a few years back of a foodsaver vacuum sealer has paid off.
I freeze everything semi-liquid to liquid in an ice cube tray, and then move the cubes to a ziplock freezer bag once they have hardened. Portioning is easy: just measure how much liquid fits in one tray and divide by the number of cubes. Also, the plastic bags can be labeled and dated with a permanent marker, and since they are disposed or recycled after use, retaining odor or color is not a problem. For larger and more solid items (in my freezer that usually means breads) I first wrap in foil (for easy refreshing in the oven) after portioning and then plastic wrap over that to prevent sublimation. If I plan on eating it within a few days, I skip the plastic wrap and just go with foil.
I wouldn't pay the price of Tupperware for most storage purposes. I freeze most things flat on a cookie sheet in the best heavy freezer bags I can find. If you burp out the extra air they take up minimal freezer room, thaw faster, and you can hit a bag on the counter edge and break off just what you need instead of having to thaw the whole thing.
Just the staining you mention is enough to avoid expensive plastic containers. Looks yucky and it's hard to get some lingering flavors out of them.
The worst thing is keeping up with them. I take food to church/friends/relations and never get the container back. I'd much rather lose a $.25 container than a $5 one.
If you know anyone in food service--church, school, restaurant--ask them to save you any extra commercial containers. They tend to be heavy-duty and long-lasting. (The plastic containers Chinese restaurants put takeout soup in are the best ones I've ever seen: they never crack or break. Order lots of hot & sour soup :o)