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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Keepware

Frugal Kitchens 101

Food storage by default means you must have some type of container to store the food in.  That usually means reusable food grade plastic, glass or metal containers or single use plastic storage bags or metal tray type containers.  In general, food storage containers should be able to be used in the refrigerator, freezer or for dry storage.  The food industry has come up with a simple solution to food storage containers, called keepware.  The term keepware, refers to packaging the manufacturer intends for the consumer to keep as an incentive to buy their product.

Re-purposing of containers is not a new concept because folks have been keeping containers from store bought foods to reuse for storage for years and years.  Back when our kids were young I would frequent a couple of restaurants and doughnut shops specifically to get free plastic margarine containers, large plastic pails with lids and institutional size glass jars for dry food storage.  The price was right - free.  In recent years, some restaurants and doughnut shops charge a small fee (usually well under $1 per container) that is usually donated to a charity of their choice but I still get my industrial size containers there.

The food industry, realizing frugal folks would be more apt to buy their products if they got a free reusable container with the product were quick to react in developing keepware.  Keepware basically comes with the food packed inside but the container is designed to be reused.   These containers are nicer than margarine or dairy containers, as there is little in the way of labeling and are the quality of Ziploc or Gladware storage containers designed for refrigerator, freezer and dry storage.  It is of the same quality that could be purchased without the contents.  Years ago, a brand name peanut butter came packed in bear shaped jars designed to be used as piggy banks when empty.  At one time we had a set of six kids' theme drinking glasses that came packed with peanut butter.  Now, sauces are being packaged in keepware.  Keepware is a wonderful, frugal way of being able to accumulate storage containers without having to pay for storage containers!


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