Using Old Margarine and Yogurt Containers

@suspenseful (40316)
Canada
January 1, 2008 9:15am CST
I was wondering whether any did what I did when they were first married or living on their own, of using the empty margarine and yogurt containers to store left overs and how did you distinguish them from being mistaken for the real container of margarine? I mark them with an X on the lid, and on the sides. I know that after a time, the plastic container cracks, but you can use them for a while and if there are way to many, the older ones can go into the recyclable bin. My daughter-in-law must have learned the same habit. I do have some of those Glad plastic containers and they last quite well, but after a time, they crack. I know that glass ones are better, but I cannot afford them yet.
11 people like this
29 responses
• United States
1 Jan 08
Yes, I've done that, still do that, probably always will do that. I like to save money wherever I can. I have to buy things such as butter/magarine, and various other food items, that come in these handy little bowl like containers w/lids, anyway; so I see no reason not to put these containers to good use once they are empty. I never have to worry about running out of them when they get old and worn out, as I am, of course, always buying more. I don't really lable them, I just have a certain place in the refrigerator where I put butter, a certain place where I put soda or other beverages, a certain place that is reserved for left overs, etc. We know what is what, when it comes to the containers, by where they are placed in our refrigerator. Not to say that marking them in some way is bad or wrong, just that probably lots of people have different ways or methods of identifying things. Basically, the same concept though.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
We buy the soft margarine, and the only time, so far, I use butter is for Christmas and other baking. I do not make much cookies, because once Christmas and New Year is over, the rest can last a little longer. I still have those big rectangular containers when we bought that horrible hard margarine and use then to store cookies and bars.
• United States
2 Jan 08
Ah. I never buy butter, actually. I just have a bad habit of calling, margarine, butter, probably because my mom always did, so I just got into that habit as a kid. I've never seen 'hard' margarine here. Margarine is sold in round bowl like containers here....No big deal, just thought I'd clear that up, hehe.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
We still have hard margarine, but then I figure the Canadian government does not care about people becoming healthy as down in America. After all, we have abortion on demand up here and if your government does not care about unborn babies, it sure does not care about born people either.
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
1 Jan 08
Are you kidding, I still use them. They are great when my family is over for a holiday meal and of course with holiday meals, there's way too much leftovers, so I sent extra food home with my daughter. That way, I don't have to worry about getting dishes back from her.. As for how did I know what is what, I opened it and looked..:)
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
In our family, things get shoved way to the back, so if I put an x on a container, I will know whether it is the margarine or not.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
3 Jan 08
I really like your idea of marking the containers with an X so you remember to check on the contents as they are not what originally came in the container. It must help to save on waste.
1 person likes this
1 Jan 08
I actually gave up storing left overs very often, as my husband comes from a country where they do not store frozen food for so long (even left overs). However, I freeze meat and try to use medium size freezer plastic bags, if the bag is too big I turn it round twice in the middle and use the upper part for another portion. My mother spends ages making lovely little packets and then writes on them with permanent marker, but I have no time and never keep permanent markers in the house (with little babies you never know when they are going to write on the wall with it!). I use thin plastic bags and then put everything in a larger carrier bag and this way I store chicken in one bag, beef in another and so on. When I used to make tomato sauce I used glass jars to store it in the freezer, but I never bought jars just to store food, I just made sure I would buy food from the supermarket with the most useful type of jar to be recycled in the kitchen.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
My husband feels that if you keep frozen food for that long, it will go bad. I have to convince him that it will be okay, but it is hard. I would not have the patience of your mother either.
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
1 Jan 08
Yup, I sure remember using all kinds of empty containers for leftovers and to store food staples in. We used them for years, just recycling the worn out ones as needed. I don't know exactly when it happened, but we stopped using them. We now have old, worn out tupperware containers that I will recycle -one of these days-. lol I have alot of pyrex and corningware but they are so heavy when full of food that I tend to grab the tupperware first. I also have tons of the ziploc and glad disposible containers that I reuse alot. I also reuse ziploc bags if they are in good shape. Just wash and dry.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
I wash my ziploc bags, but I find that you have to be careful of opening the tops of those disposable containers else they break.
@estherlou (5017)
• United States
1 Jan 08
Hubby likes to reuse margarine containers for leftovers and I have found mystery food many times when grabbing for what I thought was a tub of margarine. We recently bought some of those inexpensive plastic containers that are okay in the microwave and everything and really like them. Don't know if they are glad or ziploc.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
That is why we went to buying those Glad or Ziploc containers, but then I decided to mark the margarine containers, and that made it easier. Before I had difficulty seeing what was what.
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
1 Jan 08
I sold tupperware out of highschool, for a time, while I still lived with my parents - so accumulated a fair amount of the products to use when first married. I still save the containers from coolwhip and yogurts and such and use them to pack my husband's lunch in and other odd things. I tend to forget them if they are left in the fridge. frosting tubs make good containers to keep odds and ends hardware pieces in. I save my mayo jars, pickle jars and other glass jars as I really like to use them to store leftovers in - this way I can see at a glance what is inside.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
I do not save my pickle jars, but I save juice jars the glass ones, I do a lot of singing and when I go to choir practice, the jars work good at bringing my water in.
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
1 Jan 08
My mother had a kitchen full of these kinds of bowls. As for mixing them up with the real thing, sometimes you could tell the older containers from the new ones, but most often, you just had to lift the lid and check. I save some, but most yogurt cups don't have lids, so I give them to my son to play with and I also use them for paint cups. It's great because I can toss them when I am done.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
I get the large yogurt containers and I use them.
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
1 Jan 08
I still use margarine containers at times...They come in handy ya know and they're cheap so why not put them to good use...I use those types of containers for storage of other things as well same with Coffee jars etc...
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
I also use the peanut butter jars, and when I get spaghetti sauce in glass jars and jam in glass jars, I save them as well.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
1 Jan 08
I always have used the empty containers but I wrote what is in them . My mom did the same. I think alot of women do.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
2 Jan 08
yup it would make it alot easier. but they have to have their logo on there
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
2 Jan 08
yup they could do that
1 person likes this
@Polly1 (12648)
• United States
2 Jan 08
I still save them and use them and probably always will. They are handy to have for lots of stuff. Leftovers, sending stuff home with other people, cereal bowls, the list is endless. When the get tired out, they go in the trash. If you have something in there that has become a "mystery" in the trash it goes, no problem. I have a stack of the glad ware bowls too, they are great for everything too.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
I use them all the time, but I bought some of the glad ware bowls and have used them, but the lids break if you open something that has been in the freezer and you do not open then carefully enough.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
I do have a couple of rubbermaid containers, and I might get some glass ones as well, but since they cost more, maybe when they are on sale.
• United States
4 Jan 08
I still do that. I have been married for 8 years now and I have learned that even when you make more money you still need more so we save everywhere we can. We reuse the containers until they fall apart. The nice thing is that when you lose something in the back of the fridge and find it later you dont feel bad about tossing the container in the trash.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
5 Jan 08
I find that our stuff moves to the back of the fridge, so I go and move it to the front, but at least marking the containers do help.
@lightningMD (5932)
• United States
3 Jan 08
I save all my containers like that. I reuse them for everything from food storage to saving buttons and puzzle pieces in them. My kids use them to store craft items in too. We just write on the top what is in them with a marker.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
6 Jan 08
That's what I use. I also use those tin boxes for my embroidery threads, stamps, buttons and the like.
@imadriscoll (2230)
• United States
2 Jan 08
Not only is it cheaper it's also enviromentally friendly. By reusing the containers you reduce waste. If I have time I use masking tape to write what the container contains, otherwise it's a little bit of an adventure to open a container and see what's in it. If you can't identify it, you shouldn't eat it!
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
6 Jan 08
I write on them with those markers.
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
2 Jan 08
I do the very same thing. I still do it after all of these years! I also have the Glad plastic containers as well. They work pretty well too. I have never distinguished them by putting a mark on them but I should start doing that because I do end up opening the wrong one sometimes.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
5 Jan 08
I have to be careful of those Glad plastic containers. The tab of the lids break if you do not open them very carefuly once they are out of the freezer.
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
I don't have much storage space so I usually recycle those margarine and yogurt containers but I save all the juice and jam glass jars. I store sugar, flour, beans, lentils and any other dry supplies in them. I also let go of the pickle jars. It seems no matter how often I wash them there is always a pickle smell left.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
5 Jan 08
I use the jam jars. I love freezer jam and I use them whenever we go someplace to pick strawberries or I have enough raspberries. I store my dried products in the large Peanut butter jars. I do not like pickle jars either. I use the spaghetti mason jars when I reconstitute powdered milk, and for sauces, etc.
@KissThis (3006)
• United States
2 Jan 08
I like to reuse any kind of container that I can. I have young children that often damage containers by overheating them in the microwave and I'm scared to allow them to use glass containers in case one might drop the container. I also like to reuse containers because of sending food home with people and not getting my containers back. Its cheaper this way as well.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
3 Jan 08
I do not have small children, but when my boys were small, we started to save the containers because we could not afford to buy Rubbermaid and Tupperware at that time were not safe for the Mircrowave, only for storing things.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
2 Jan 08
Used container - Store paint bruses
I usually use the old yogurt containers for craft work or to keep pencils for my son. I sometimes use it to store leftovers and I mark them with a marker then or else keep them on a different shelf (well, that works for me because I'm the only one who uses the fridge and I knw what's where). I try to reuse all the plastic containers I can. We buy pickles in glass containers and so I have glass containers too. I don't buy any glass containers..I usually reuse the ones I have. My husband used to tease me about collecting all the plastic and glass containers till he saw my mother's kitchen cupboard..lol
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
3 Jan 08
I have so many Mason jars that I got spaghetti sauce in and my husband asked me why I had two containers, one filled with milk and the other one quarter filled. I asked should I dump the contents of one, throw it away? I was going to drink it anyway. He thinks I can just dump things, but in my case, if I dump something I am wasting money.
@williamjisir (22903)
• China
2 Jan 08
Hello dear suspenseful friend. It is nice to know that you reuse those recycleable plastic bottles. I think that this is a good habit though. Because many people just throw it away they the stuff in the bottle is used up. Well, my wife also reuse the plastic oil containers for some other processed peanut oil until it does not look nice and then we get it sold to the garbage collector for some extra money. We have a basement for storing recycleable stuff in the store-room on the first floor. Thanks for your discussion.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
3 Jan 08
It is only common sense to use old plastic containers and it does save money.
@johnrp (70)
• United States
2 Jan 08
I save only the transparent things, like the plastic containers that potato salad from the deli counter comes in, or popping corn jars. Then I can see what's inside them.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
I make my own potato salad, and do not buy them and I do save peanut butter jars as they are semi transparent.
@Razzles (391)
• United States
2 Jan 08
My husband and I have been married for twenty three years and we still use the margarine containers to store food. My husband hates to throw away any food so he puts the leftovers in these containers. The only thing is, he doesn't label them, so you have to open each container to see whats inside. I tried throwing away these containers a number of times and he would pull them out of the garbage.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
My husband is the opposite. We had Chinese and he told me to throw away the leftovers, because we could not eat them all. I used to eat the leftovers, but found that I gained weight that way and since this time, I want to be successful in losing weight, I thew all away except the lemon chicken. I will have to learn to half or quarter each recipe. Oh I use the margarine containers, but cannot heat them in the microwave so will buy some Pyrex ones.