There are so many tips for how to organize a kitchen well. There is one that I swear by and implementing this one tip can, and usually does, change the whole way you look at your kitchen — how you think about buying food, storing food, planning meals, and organizing your cabinets, frig, freezer and pantry.
This tip is actually a product and it’s no big secret. It is a product that has been around since the 70’s and it is still alive and well. Tupperware! Ahh, Tupperware. I just smile when I think of all the possibilities Tupperware provides for any kitchen. (It’s not just for the kitchen, by the way, but for the purposes of this post, that is what we’ll focus on!)
I first learned about Tupperware when I was a young girl. My mother not only sold Tupperware, she helped thousands of women over 20 years gain more independence in the kitchen, discover better organization, and save money by not only showing them the product, but by teaching them how to use it to their advantage! It wasn’t just about storing cereal. It was about planning and organizing.
My mother taught women about meal planning and saving time before it was a things!
She taught about preparing foods ahead of time and freezing them for the month (talk about organized – now I know where I get it!), and creating space in their often-too-small kitchens.
Tupperware was the solution.
And it still is. Even though my eating habits have changed significantly since childhood, my mother’s tips still hold true. Buy enough pistachios for a few weeks, just empty the bag in the correct modular container. Make enough soup to freeze for the week’s to come. Marinate your meats and freeze them — it’s meals for the month. Put your packaged foods, baking items, and snacks in containers that will stack easily and neatly, allowing you to see how much you have left.
As a child, Tupperware was all I knew. Groceries went from the car directly into Tupperware. Everything went into Tupperware — sugar, flour, cereal, nuts, cookies, toothpicks…yes, toothpicks. And while I’m at it, food coloring, icecream sprinkles and icecream itself also went into Tupperware. We had no open boxes allowing food to go stale, no leftovers wrapped in tinfoil allowing odors to escape into the frig – and stay there. I figured that was the way all families stored food. And now I know that is the way all families should store food. I learned so much about Tupperware over the years – who knew all that learning would lay the ground work for what was to come 30 years later!
Tupperware is a way of life. It saves you money, creates space you didn’t know you had, and helps to preserve food longer.
Here are some tips and important reasons why Tupperware should be apart of your kitchen to help keep food fresh and your cabinets more organized. They come directly from the pro – the person who knows more about how to use Tupperware to the best advantage than anyone on the planet – my mother.
1) In Tupperware, food is protected to get the longest amount of time possible.
Usually, Tupperware will give many days more life to perishables. A good Tupperware lady can be specific for particular foods. For example, in Tupperware, celery lasts 4 months easily. Carrots don’t wilt for weeks. An onion, not totally used, won’t dry out for a month or more. Sauce and soups all get days more time when stored in the refrigerator in Tupperware.
2) In the process of storing food, no odors are escaping into the refrigerator.
This is important; refrigerators should smell cold – not of onion, sauce with a hint of garlic, bean soup, broccoli, tuna, ham…left over anything!
3) Storing in Tupperware means stacking.
When we use tinfoil, plastic wrap, or baggies, there is no stacking. Refrigerators are one level only, the shelf. You don’t get any use out of the air between the shelves. Pick refrigerator Tupperware items according to the symmetry you like. I like square because refrigerators are square.
4) If you decide not to eat the food in Tupperware for whatever reason, it rots unannounced.
It rots in an airtight container and your refrigerator stills smells only cold! This is important. When you get around to cleaning (and you aren’t rushed about that either), empty the container, wash it, let it dry in the open – no order will attach of rotten food.
Nothing lasts forever, even in Tupperware; things last significantly longer because of Tupperware.
1) You will get weeks and weeks more time when things are in Tupperware.
Open a bag of raisins, apricots and how do you close it? They will dry hard in a week. In Tupperware you have MONTHS.
2) All dry food that was packaged in paper can get bugs.
Food should be placed in something — Tupperware – if you want it to last. Bugs breed in wrappers (which are porous) not food. Tupperware is plastic and air-tight allowing for fresh food — bug-free.
3) The best thing about Tupperware in the cabinet is this: cabinets never change size.
Tupperware makes it easy to touch your food. Take a container out, use it, and put the container back – in the same spot. Usually in a non Tupperware cabinet, when a person removes a food item, the cabinet collapses around the spot.
4) You can never know by a glance in your cabinet what you need if it’s not in Tupperware. So shopping is a guess.
Sure there are 3 boxes of cheeze-its and you think you’re set but they all have only 4 cheez-its in a box. You have two cylinders of bread crumbs, both opened, you think you’re all set until you cook and find 1/3 of a cup in both. Without Tupperware, shopping and list-making require concentrated time, shaking boxes…cleaning a cabinet!
5) It’s work to keep food in your house – buying it, storing it, getting to it, cooking it.
We put food in our Tupperware so we can touch our food, not just so that we can eat it. The good news is that when we want to eat it even weeks later, it’s edible.
A big part of Tupperware is knowing what you have for food and then getting it out of and back into a cabinet or a refrigerator – with ease. It’s a real beauty being able to store for months large quantities of staples in the perfect, stackable, space saving pieces. It’s a way of life!
And when your 25 years – or more – of kitchen and food and cooking and eating home are done, you will have nothing that will have served you better.
Former Tupperware lady, Rosemary Verri is a professional speaker and humorist. Visit her at The Verri Idea!