How To Pick Food Storage Containers The Right Way : The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 #2 Aug 7-13




Cooking recipes are always hit or miss when it comes to portion sizes and the mouths that you have to feed. For this reason you either make too little or too much food. This results in leftovers which then need to be put in food storage containers for lunches or dinner the next day.

Related: Food Waste In Canada

Some people batch cook purposely so they can freeze dishes for lazy or busy cooking nights. The dilemma for many home cooks is finding food storage containers that meet their  needs.

If we had money to spend we’d buy the best of the best of everything but reality is, we don’t. This means we often have to go without the top brands on the market even for simple things like food storage. Food storage containers in particular plastic has long since been a debate about BPA and you’ll find some consumers no longer wish to use anything plastic at all.

Often I find people get crazy nervous about new scientific facts and that everything is going to harm us if we don’t make changes. Unfortunately as I mentioned not everyone can afford options that might be best for them according to studies. What’s best for them is using what they have on hand or what their budget allows for.

What is BPA?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical used to make a hard, clear plastic known as polycarbonate. BPA is also used in the manufacture of epoxy resins which act as a protective lining on the inside of some metal-based food and beverage cans.

BPA can be found in some older types of polycarbonate baby bottles as well as in many other consumer products, including reusable polycarbonate water bottles, pitchers, water carboys, tableware, and food storage containers.- Source: Health Canada

Is BPA Safe?

Most Canadians are exposed to very low levels of BPA that do not pose a health risk to the general population. In fact, our exposure levels are actually lower than previously estimated.- Source Health Canada

Back in the day we just worked, ate and lived without much worry to many health alerts via social media which didn’t exist. We had media. Everyone has a story for every product out there whether it’s good or bad for you.

The Wellness Mama has a great article for those of you who want to learn How to store food without using Plastic if this is the route you choose to take. She’s a fan of glass mason jars as we are in the CBB household which we use for storing all of our spices and sometimes broths and soups.

If you’re looking to eliminate plastic containers and plastic wrap from your kitchen some of the favourite options are to mason jars and glass food containers. Some of the best glass food containers we’ve had have been Pyrex although there are many brands on the market. You need to find what works for you and your lifestyle.


Popular types of Food Storage Containers


  • Tupperware containers
  • Gladware containers
  • Ziploc containers/bags
  • Ice-cream pails
  • Margarine containers
  • Pyrex / Anchor Hocking glass
  • Mason jars
  • Snapware containers
  • BPA free glass and stainless steel storage containers

When we purchase food storage containers we often look for a few things before we invest our money but we’re not overly critical. Sometimes it’s best to have a cheap set of food storage containers on hand when travelling to a pot-luck or donating leftover food to family and friends. This way you don’t need to worry about bringing home the container.

On the other hand if you plan to invest some money into food storage containers find a set that meets all of your expectations and budget. Not necessarily is the most expensive food storage containers going to be the best but you pay when you get all fancy with lids and eco-friendly materials.

  • Heat resistant
  • Leak-proof
  • Air-tight lid
  • Stain-resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Smell-proof
  • Stain-proof (ideal)
  • Longevity of product
  • Oven-safe
  • Dishwasher safe
  • BPA Free


Best shape of food containers


We’re not huge fans of round storage containers because we find they take up too much room in the freezer and refrigerator. Opting for see-thru containers that are square or rectangle make for easy stacking and space reduction. Add some measurements on the side and I may just contemplate making a purchase.

At home we are a fan of Tupperware although many people find it too expensive to purchase. I will have to agree but they are excellent as food storage containers and stack nicely in the refrigerator and pantry.


How to wash food containers


If you don’t own a dishwasher like us we hand-wash everything which means making sure that all of our plastic food containers, water bottles, water jug, juice jug and glass storage containers are thoroughly cleaned. You may think that containers or bottles that have just water inside wouldn’t produce bacteria but it sure can and lots of it.

Related: Clean your water bottle. Study finds bacteria in water storage containers.

Our sons water bottles are always taken apart, soaked in vinegar, hot water and soap and cleaned after each use. The same goes with everything else. Using vinegar or a bit of bleach on your cleaning water is an option that many people use to kill bacteria and prevent mold growth.


Organize your food storage containers


Recently Mrs. CBB and I went through our food storage containers which conveniently owned 1 large cupboard space in the kitchen top and bottom. Every time we opened the cupboard sure enough an avalanche would happen.

Even though we would get frustrated with this we’d just pick everything up and chuck back in and hope that the doors closed. I know many of you will admit that your food storage containers are short-term stacked until you get in to look for one and organization is out the window.

When we were renting Mrs. CBB and I used what our landlord had on hand for food storage containers which was glass bowls and a mixture of various empty food containers. This might include yogurt, margarine and even mason jars. Over time we purchased plastic food containers from the Dollar Store which worked perfectly fine but they didn’t last long, stained easily, smelled awful and in some cases warped when microwaved.


A container is a container


Like everything you get what you pay for however for most of us simple containers just work because they do what they need to do and that’s store food. I know there are people who won’t use plastic unless it’s BPA free and that’s perfectly fine but so far I’ve survived. My mum back in the UK used any container she could get her hands on included margarine containers, glass jars, plastic tubs and food tins.

Recently when visiting her we had a laugh about her cake tin that she stores her famous cakes in after they cool. Why? It’s the same cake tin that she’s used for years and years, it’s vintage now. There was no hype in our house about plastic, it was about survival and living day by day.

These days there are so many people telling us what we can and can’t use for just about everything. If you use something that is not approved (especially parents) you’ll hear about it from someone. Do we care? Not really because we use what we can afford and if that means waiting for a sale or thrift shopping, we’ll do it.


Purge the kitchen and get rid of it


Mrs. CBB and I tackled the food containers that we had stuffed in our kitchen cupboard and filled a box full of what we no longer wanted. Our plan was to transition over to Tupperware exclusively with a mix of glassware with lids.

A Pyrex set that we bought on sale for $7.99 at Christmas from Canadian Tire years ago are still used today with no issues. Anchor Hocking also has a nice line of glass storage containers which hold up to the test as we’ve used their products in the past.

The box of plastic food containers that we did remove were given away to a mom in need in a Facebook group Mrs. CBB and I are part of. We also did the same with our glasses and dinnerware as it was taking up too much space in our kitchen. It felt so good to unload all that and we’re happy that we’re left with the Tupperware food containers and the glass containers.


Tupperware everywhere since the 60’s


Although Tupperware brand is very expensive they also have an excellent life-time warranty and eliminate the need for disposable containers. Whether you buy products brand new from a Tupperware salesperson or second-hand they stand behind their product.

I didn’t know this until someone mentioned it to me on the CBB Facebook page during our nightly What’s For Dinner chat. Believe it or not but my dad sold Tupperware back in the UK when I was young. Ask him anything about vintage Tupperware and he’ll tell you.

We have quite a nice stash of vintage Tupperware food containers and newer ones all purchased at garage sales and thrift stores. The older Tupperware is not BPA free as they transitioned back in 2010 to follow government regulations.

Tupperware follows the recommendations and guidelines of governmental regulatory agencies regarding materials that may be used in our high quality products. The Company also acknowledges the attitudes of consumers regarding products containing BPA. In its continuous search for the best materials for use in its products, Tupperware has found other materials with improved performance characteristics that have been approved by regulators to be BPA free to replace polycarbonate. As of March 2010, items sold by Tupperware US & CA are BPA free.


Thrift shopping for food storage containers


Just the other day I found a brand new Tupperware juice jug for $1.50. Try to buy that brand new and you’ll be paying $24.50.  The classic Tupperware pitcher will cost you $39.99 which is what we have at home and paid $1 for at Value Village.

We also use inexpensive Ziploc freezer bags to store anything in the freezer and Ziploc produce bags when needed to store dry food or prepared food. There was a nice stash that we had from our couponing years although it’s dwindling down as we keep passing them to our mother-in-law who uses them after harvesting their garden.


Your life, Your choice


Is there a right or wrong way to buy food storage containers? No and ultimately the choice really is yours. If you don’t fancy spending any money simply re-use your food containers, mason jars, ice-cream pails and coffee tins like Mrs. CBB’s grandmother did.

Take precautions when cleaning, labelling and control food waste. She made it all the way to 99 years old after all and was an avid baker and chef in her kitchen using all sorts of food storage containers.

Discussion Questions: What are your favourite storage containers to use for leftover food or for freezing?


CBB Facebook Fan Feedback  Re: Storage Food Containers



Christine Weadick : I haven’t bought Tupperware in years…. I used to use margarine containers and still have a very few around to give to hubby when he wants something to mix in. I buy the Ziplock and Glad containers for the freezer and such here. I really like that they have the amount it holds on the bottom so I can freeze things like stock in recipe size lots.

Mona Millena : Mostly Lock and lock or Rubbermaid containers in my kitchen. Have very few Tupperware around. They’re way too expensive for what I use them for.

Della Ferguson : We have Tupperware that I’ve bought at garage sales, from a Tupperware rep (at the market) and received from my mom’s supply. We also have Rubbermaid, Ziploc and margarine containers, as well as others. I don’t have a favourite as they all work the same thing, ingredients or leftovers. They’re used in the freezer, fridge or anywhere in between.

Susan Drouillard : I have some Tupperware containers that I use for cereal and pasta. I primarily use glass lock containers for food storage, both in the fridge and freezer.

Jen Peacock :  We don’t discriminate in this house lol. We use Tupperware, glad ware, Ziploc, margarine containers, yogurt containers, baby food containers, whatever works! Lol. Been busy in the kitchen tonight. Trying to prepare for going back to work so I’m freezing meals.

Judy Finch Conte :  I only have about 5 Tupperware products but rarely use them because they are for specific foods. Tupperware is too expensive so I use more Rubbermaid, Gladware, and margarine containers.

Pam Crabbe Wiebe : I don’t like plastic so I prefer to use Anchor glass storage containers but I do have Glad containers for school lunch items for my grandson.

Mary Campbell : I have some Tupperware that I bought 40 years ago for my hope chest. We use some Rubbermaid plastic as well. Like Colleen, I have ice cream pails for freezing.

Tammy Burke :  Tupperware is way too expensive for me. I typically buy Ziploc containers, they last me for quite a while and I like the different sizes you can get. I have bought the Dollarama ones and they are junk.

Jane Robb : I have some Tupperware from over 40 years ago that I can’t live without like my turkey container with the lift our liner tray, my pickle containers from maybe 15 – 20 years ago with the same type of handy lift out of the juice feature, and a few other pieces that I got from grandma and mom – but I don’t buy any as it is way to expensive for my frugal shopping habits.

Sharon E Pratt Voskamp : Only Tupperware brand in this house – I have Ziploc and glad ware for take away leftovers as i don’t trust anyone to give me back my Tupperware – i have experienced first hand the yucks of cheaper plastics and will have nothing but pure plastic in my house now, no toxins, no chemicals and they have a lifetime warranty so I never have to buy them again when they break

What A Girl Eats :  I’ve had my Tupperware since getting married (27 years ago). But I’m slowly replacing it with glass for health reasons.

Juanita Paul :  We have many types of containers ( Tupperware, lid lock, Ziploc, glad, anchor and some random stuff) and aren’t really picky.

Tina Voce : I have some Tupperware but mainly for sugar, flour, etc. For smaller items I have the Ziplock or Gladware varieties. But, then again, I use any container that I can recycle for items.

Pat Comeau Ciulka :  I have some Tupperware that my Mom gave me a long time ago but I generally try and store food in glass.

Christine Battrick McLean : I have all kinds. Tupperware, Ziploc & Glad. I find the Ziploc & Glad are better for the freezer/fridge and the Tupperware is good for the cupboard and fridge.

Colleen Kleinsteuber : We still have the old Tupperware but we also use Rubbermaid Glass ones with Red Plastic Lids…

Cynthia Sunshine Gardener : I use the containers that lunch meat comes in or I use Rubbermaid

Colleen Knudsen : Very little Tupperware as it is far too expensive. I use Ziploc containers, Betty Crocker containers, and the most cheap versatile of them all-margarine containers and ice cream pails. I re-use.

Sue Sullivan : I have some vintage Tupperware from decades ago back when women frequently had Tupperware parties at their homes. Nowadays I usually store leftovers in glass or Corningware (also vintage). I freeze leftovers in Glad or Ziploc containers. They stack well in the freezer.

Beth Anne : My dad used to buy me Tupperware but these days I’m trying to decrease the use of plastic in my kitchen. When I do need to use it (usually because I’ll be giving it away as a gift or because I don’t want to put a large glass container in my freezer), I buy Glad or Rubbermaid containers at the grocery store.

Pat Houselog Stiller :  I don’t have too many Tupperware storage containers left, I use mostly Rubbermaid now, as it is less expensive. However, am getting tired of “losing” them, so if I know I will be sending a lot of leftovers with people I will save lidded plastic containers.

Faith Loewen : I use glass canning jars & glass Anchor with lids when possible.


August Grocery Game Challenge


Join in the 2017 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are The Grocery Game Challenge rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the 2017 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule.

Post your shop and you can be next.

New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules


Free Money Saving Tools 2017


Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.

2014 Free Money Saving ToolsDon’t pay someone for these services, I’ve done the work for you along with some help from other amazing bloggers.

You can download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.

CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.


Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2017


the ultimate grocery shopping guide cbbEverything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is packed into this amazing FREE grocery shopping guide that has taken 5 years to create.

The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.

Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.

Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.

The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the  many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.


2017 Grocery Shop Results


Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2017: $3180 or $265/month (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

  • Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $265
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $265
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 632,000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
  • Shoppers Optimum: Just under 850,000 Optimum points  (I will update this twice a year) $1500 worth of free stuff.

Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

  • Zweet to cash out : $18.25
  • Checkout51 to cash out : $24.50


Our Grocery Shop This Week


  • 2 x large eggs $1.97 $3.94
  • Neilson Milk 2% $4.27
  • 6 x Half and Half cream Sale $1.88 each  $11.28
  • Organic Spinach tub $5.49-50% $2.75
  • Eve Apples 3 $2.25
  • Banana $1.27
  • Broccoli $1.99 HUGE too
  • 2 x seedless cucumbers $0.99 $1.98
  • Romaine Lettuce $1.98
  • Butcher Garlic Pork sausages $7.24, $6.84
  • Pork Combo Pack $14.77-50% $7.39
  • PC Basil Tomato Turkey Slices $11.98-50% $6.00
  • + 1200 PC Plus points

Total Out-of-pocket $52.11

All totals below already have tax factored into them.

  • Total to spend this month : $265
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00/month
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $0
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $1
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $642.20
  • Total spent this week: $52.11
  • Total spent so far this month: $212.42
  • Total over/Under spend this shop:
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: under $160.31
  • Total left to spend for the month: $52.58
  • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16+March ($5 budget increase) $263.60 + April $273.83+ May $257.15 + June $65.43+July $226.84+August $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

It’s a good thing we are going to see the in-laws at the end of the month as we will be raiding their vegetable garden and fruit trees. I’m hoping to get a basket of cherries again this year so I can create a new dessert for the blog. They also have loads of yellow plums but I’m not sure what I will do with them yet. Any suggestions appreciated. We didn’t need much this week but stocked up on a few cheap packs of meat.



Coupons and Coupon Apps


Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?

If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll get it added to the savings list below.

Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!

Where can I find Canadian Coupons 2017?

Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!

If any of the links below don’t open properly please report them to my email address or use comment form.

  • Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
  • Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
  • Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
  • Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
  • Printable Smart Source Coupons
  • Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
  • Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
  • Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.


Grocery Game Challenge 2017 FAQ’s


  • Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated to reflect changes for the 2017 challenge year.
  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
  • What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10-$20-$50 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $CDN via PayPal.  Please see GGC rules.
  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly our budget.
  • Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
  • Canadian Coupons:Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest  Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
  • Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
  • What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  • What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
  • How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?:  If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  • How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why The Grocery Game Challenge is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries.

If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning;

  • Where you are spending money
  • How much money you are spending
  • How much money you are saving every month

If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2017!


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