Pros: Well made, easy to open and close, inexpensive, cleans up perfectly.
Cons: Front can crack if dropped repeatedly.
No matter where we live we are plagued with some type of pesky insect infestation. In San Diego it was ants. They weren't stupid ants either. They would sniff out food or drinks regardless of how sterile I kept the kitchen. Now we are dealing with silverfish and earwigs. So far these have been isolated to the left side of the house that gets all of the sun during the day but I know if given the chance they will migrate to the kitchen. I've always tried to keep food items and snacks wrapped up but with so many kids in and out of the house every day, well, things get left out on the counter or tossed back in the cabinet without being rewrapped. I found a couple of small wheat bugs in the cabinet where I keep the pasta and pitched a fit. Thankfully Sterilite has a lot of great plastic containers to store food items in to keep them fresh and bug free.
The six quart food containers are the perfect size for cereal, pasta, snacks like pretzels, rice and oatmeal. If six quarts is a little too large you can also get this in a four quart size. Personally I'd suggest getting the larger six quart size and have extra room in it than to get the four ounce size one and not have enough room. They are pretty basic looking containers but they are well made. So far I have only had one of them fall victim to the non-forgiving concrete patio outside but I think it had to have been dropped at least twenty times for the front section developed a crack in it. Even though it wasn't suitable for food storage any more I still have it in the basement near the washer and dryer to hold things that everyone forgets to remove from their pocket [except cash and change, I consider that a tip for laundry services rendered]. It's big enough to hold pretty much anything they forget and I don't have to clean it out all that often because of the size [perfect for pens and pencils because of the height].
This is not the same product as the Ultra Seal Storage Containers or Ultra Seal Food Containers; those have a different type of lid to them and can be used with liquid. If you are super careful with this one you can use it for liquid but if you have kids around there's a good chance that there will be a major spill. I wouldn't try to use this as a pitcher or something to mix iced tea or Kool-Aid in; its not that it isn't strong enough to handle the task but it isn't really designed for that purpose. The inside is smooth so cleaning it is easy; I know that storing certain types of cereal in it will result in a lot of grit at the bottom and in the summer that can end up sticking and clumping if there is any moisture in it. Apple Jacks and Fruity Pebbles were the worst but after soaking them for a couple minutes all I had to do was wipe the inside out with a soapy sponge and it was completely clean.
You can get these at places like Target and Wal-Mart if you only need one or two of them but if you are going to use more than a few of them you may want to buy them in bulk. There are a few websites that sell them in lots of six and twelve. If you buy twelve at a time it drops the price to about three dollars each, only want six? Then you can get them for about four dollars each. BuyTheCase.com has the best price for a six container lot, go with restaurant supply stores if you need more than that. If you are going to shop for these online please keep in mind that there are two sizes to choose from as well as the Ultra Seal series.
The overall design of it is nice; it is easy to grip and pour with but kids might have some problems with heavier things. No matter how many times you tell them not to try and get something off of a shelf because its too heavy you know they aren't going to listen. I've never had the lid on this open when its been dropped but I have had it drop when its been open. Not too big of a mess because of the size and shape of the mouth but it is yet another reason why you shouldn't use this for beverage storage if you have kids in the house.
One thing that I love using these for is to store dry mixes of guinea pig food; I buy the bulk pellets then mix in the dried fruits and vegetables and snack blends. I can keep one of these in the upstairs refrigerator and the two others that are made from the bulk mix in the downstairs refrigerator. It is a little heavy so it gets stored on the bottom shelf but because of the see through design of it I can see when it is getting low and when someone needs to bring up another container. The downside to that is that when the piggies hear anyone opening one of the lids on these they assume that its time to eat. That means a lot of squeaking and squealing and a little bit of disappointment on their part. There's no way I would be able to store the dog food in this but I would assume that for cat food it would be adequate as long as you aren't buying the huge five pound bags.
If you are going to store bulk foods or things that need to be mixed [oatmeal, rice, grits] you can cut out the instructions and tape it to the side of the container. I used to cut out the instructions and tape them on the inside of one of the cabinets but it got too complicated when I switched brands. It's easier to just tape it to the container and if there is any adhesive left behind you can use a product like Goo Gone to get it off. While these food keeper containers don't provide a 100% seal, it is enough to keep cereal from getting soggy. They do a great job of keeping bugs out too; chances are if you see one bug in a box of food there are more hiding as well as the potential that they've laid eggs. Gross. Just gross. If you are going to use this for instant mashed potatoes you are going to have to be careful when you are shaking them out; a lot of flakes get stuck to the sides of the inside of the container and if you aren't paying attention you could end up with about a quart cup of extra flakes ending up in your mix.
^V^ © 2010 Freak369 ^V^
Other awesome Sterilite products
Silk Tote Box 38 Quart - Ultra Personal Caddy
Large Showoff Storage Box - White Laundry Hamper
White Laundry Basket - White Square Laundry Basket
Ultra Blue Wastebasket 20 Quart - 24 Quart Utility Can
Small Ultra Dish Drainer - Ultra Seal 2 Quart Pitcher
Ultra 36 Quart Waste Basket - Three Drawer Organizer
Sterilite 10 Gallon Tote - Micro Flip Top Recipe Card Holder
Clear View Storage Box - One Gallon Pitcher - Ultra Sink Set
Sterilite 72 Quart "Under The Bed" Storage Container
Sterilite 41 Quart "Under The Bed" Storage Container