Like a lot of people, we do our regular grocery shopping on the weekend, picking up fruits, vegetables and other items we need for the week. But every once in a while, we’ll do a Big Shop at Costco, where we stock up on essentials like flour, rice and pasta in bulk. It’s a great way to save money, and it’s good to know we always have supplies in our pantry in case of emergencies!

Two plastic containers, one lid in red, another in green
Function first: These Cambro containers are often used by restaurants. (Photo: Amazon)

But it’s easy to become overwhelmed by bulk shopping. That is, unless you have the right containers. I highly recommend investing in some solid food storage solutions. To help you choose, I want to share some of my favorites.

One popular option are the containers above, from Cambro, which are often used in restaurants (so you know they’re reliable). They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they’re freezer and dishwasher-safe. This two-pack — a 4-quart container and a 6-quart container — sells for $34.

One plastic food storage container.
These Rubbermaid containers are affordable, stackable and sturdy. (Photo: Amazon)

While I do have a couple of Cambros in my pantry, I actually prefer the commercial containers from Rubbermaid. They’re affordable, super rugged and sturdy (and if they can survive the wear and tear of commercial kitchens, they’re more than durable enough for my home). I’ve also found that the lids on the Rubbermaid containers seem to fit better, and are more airtight (But note that the lids are sold separately!). Plus, all of the Rubbermaid containers have handles, while only certain Cambro models have them.

A clear plastic container filled with sugar
Small and sleek. (Photo: Amazon)

If your kitchen is on the smaller side, you can still store food in bulk. You’ll just have to opt for smaller containers, like these from Rubbermaid. They’re great for pantry staples as well as cereal and pet food – the wide mouth makes them easy to scoop from. Plus, they stack well; going vertical is essential if you’re short on space.

Eight plastic food storage containers
More than 68,000 five-star reviews on Amazon can’t be wrong. (Photo: Amazon)

Of course, some items have to be stored in the freezer, such as meat, nuts (to keep them from going rancid) and frozen foods. You can use zipper-lock bags or but I like these red-lidded containers from Rubbermaid. They keep things neat and tidy. You can get a set of 8, with lids included, for $26. 

Four silicone reusable bags.
Skip disposable bags in favor of reusable pouches. (Photo: Amazon)

I also really like these reusable dishwasher-safe silicone bags from Stasher, as they help reduce the use of disposable plastic. The size assortment and tight seal means you can keep anything and everything fresh. They’re leak-proof and come in the set of four shown above. They’re a bit of an investment, but I think they’re worth it.

Six masking tape in pink, red, orange, yellow, green and blue
Color coding makes it easy to keep track of stored supplies. (Photo: Amazon)

The freezer can become a black hole of unidentifiable items. That’s why I like to tag everything I put in there. You can either use a label maker or do what I do – use a Sharpie and masking tape. I like using masking tape in various colors for a bit of variety.