Prepare for your leftovers game to dramatically change.

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food storage containers

Storing leftovers is a fraught topic: lids get lost, containers break, cabinets and drawers get endlessly messy and disorganized. A beautiful set of glass containers can run you over $100, and I can tell you from personal experience that you'll break them eventually. That's why I borrow my food storage system from professional kitchens and use deli containers exclusively.

You probably know the ones I'm talking about—the round containers in varying heights that usually carry servings of takeout ramen and miso soup. Those containers—as humble and unsuspecting as they might seem—are the only containers I allow in my home.

They are, of course, dishwasher and microwave safe, which is an essential trait for any leftover storage system. They're also very strong. I know because I often drop containers of soup on my tile kitchen floor, and never once has a container cracked or a lid popped off. I'm just as confident throwing one of these containers in my backpack to take to work or on a picnic as I am stacking them neatly in my refrigerator or freezer.

They come in three sizes: eight, 16, and 32 ounces. Let me just go ahead and tell you that those are the sizes that you need. Eight ounces is the perfect size for leftover salad dressing, a handful of toasted nuts, or the granola you want to put on your morning yogurt. Sixteen ounces is ideal for an individual serving of pasta, stew, or a serving of roasted broccoli that you just couldn't eat at dinner. Thirty-two ounces will hold enough leftover tomato sauce or chicken stock to stow in your freezer for a meal for two. It will also hold baby spinach or chopped kale for a midday salad for one. The best part of it all? The lids are all the same size, so you never need to go hunting for the right one in the dark abyss of your cabinets.

Since they're clear, it's easy to see what's inside, whether you're freezing extra rice, or prepping carrot sticks for fast and easy snacks. They also last a long time, surviving many trips through the dishwasher and microwave. In my experience, you'll only end up needing more because they're just so convenient, you'll be storing everything you own in these little plastic wonders.