Ask the Internet: Cheap Storage for Bulk Foods?

Today's question comes from reader JL.

Q: I've started buying some staple items like dried fruits, grains, and nuts in bulk to save money. However, storage has become a bit of a problem! I have probably a dozen plastic store bags flopping around in my pantry right now. They rip easily, are hard to measure from, and slide all over the place. Plus it's hard to tell what is in each bag.

How does everyone else store their bulk items? Did you buy a set of canisters (which seems expensive) or just mix and match containers (which means they won't stack nicely)? What material do you use and why? Does anyone have a system or type of container they love? And what about taking the items home from the store? Plastic bags seem so wasteful. There must be an alternative, right?

A: JL, I do two things:
  1. Use plastic Tupperware or Chinese food soup containers, which hold those odds and ends that seem to end up all over the place. They're cheap, stackable, and you can throw them out when they start to get kind of funky.
  2. For our wedding, we received two sets of OXO storage containers (pictured upper right). They're a bit expensive at the outset, but they have been FANTASTIC at keeping our various sundries in check. Plus, they look pretty. Highly suggested.
Readers, how about you?

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