One of the kindest things you can do for your future self is to make and freeze a big-batch recipe. That way, when you're tired after a busy day, haven't had time to run to the grocery store, or simply don't feel like cooking, you're set up for a delicious homemade meal in mere minutes.
Freezing a tray of enchiladas or a self-contained pie is relatively straightforward, but storing liquids requires a little more planning. A pot of posole needs a pretty big container, and it's easy to spill tomato sauce when ladling it into unwieldy plastic bags. Instead, thousands of Amazon shoppers have turned to an ingenious solution that cuts down on the mess and stress of keeping soups, stews, sauces, and stocks in the freezer: Souper Cubes.
To buy: $37 for a set of two; amazon.com
Dreamed up by a husband-and-wife duo who wanted a better way to freeze chicken stock, Souper Cubes resemble oversized ice cube trays. The silicone containers feature separate compartments to store ½-cup or 1-cup servings, as well as tight-fitting lids to keep foods fresh and free of freezer burn. When you're ready to eat, simply pop however many portions you need from the Souper Cube's flexible body.
While the silicone trays make it easy to remove food, they aren't flimsy. Souper Cubes are built with thick walls and steel-embedded rims to prevent collapsing and spilling as you place them in the freezer, and their lids are sturdy enough to stack. They're also oven-safe up to 415 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can even toss them in the dishwasher for no-fuss cleanup.
It's no surprise that the clever containers have a 4.9-star rating and nearly 2,000 reviews, with owners saying they're "game-changers" and "perfect for meal prep." One even called it their "favorite pandemic purchase."
"Such a simple and perfect solution for portion control and batch cooking," a customer wrote. "These have inspired me to cook big batches of veggie broth and homemade soups again."
In addition to soups, stews, and stocks, reviewers wrote they've used Souper Cubes to store other make-ahead meals, like smoothies and personal-sized casseroles, as well as leftovers. One said, "I love the idea of reducing waste and not having to throw food away because I couldn't get to using it in time."
Souper Cubes come in a range of sizes, from 2-tablespoon trays that are ideal for pastes and compound butters to 2-cup options for larger servings. The most popular 1-cup trays hold four portions and are $37 for a pack of two, which, admittedly, is a small splurge. Shoppers swear they're worth the price, though, saying, "This is the best money I've ever spent on storage containers."
If you, too, want to feel as passionate about a set of food storage containers, invest in a Souper Cube set now. Your future self will thank you.
This story originally appeared on Food & Wine.