Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Useful things: food storage labels

Having a freezer full of tasty produce isn't much good if you can't tell what's what!

Freezer tape is an old, economical standby. It isn't bothered by moisture, sticks to everything food-storage related, and peels off easily, making it great as a label. Use it to make a tight seal when wrapping with aluminum foil or freezer paper. You can find it for a few dollars a roll at most hardware stores or well-stocked big box stores; it's also available online.

Another classic: one-time use freezer labels. The self-adhesive labels come 100 to a dispenser box and peel right off your container when the season is over. Available for $5 a box at The Container Store or $6.65 at The retro look of the box makes me feel domestic.

My personal favorites are the erasable food labels by LabelOnce. We use them everywhere in the kitchen: on bulk foods in the pantry, storage containers in the freezer and even recipe files. You write on the label with a fine-tipped Sharpie marker, then simply erase the writing and relabel when it's time to use the container for another purpose. I really like being able to change out the contents of my storage tubs--especially in the pantry--without worrying about putting beans in the container marked "flour" or other such madness. They've stayed stuck on for us through a year in the freezer and even trips through the dishwasher so far. I picked up ours at The Container Store; $10 for a starter kit that includes a Sharpie and eraser, $7 for sticker refills.

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