Author Topic: Food storage  (Read 7512 times)

cdub

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Food storage
« on: May 25, 2014, 09:12:48 AM »
One of the big cost savers that everyone talks about is bulk food purchasing at Sams or Costco... but where and how the heck to you store a 40 pound bag of flour, rice, or beans?

The bags they sell them in aren't really good for storage. What containers do  you buy?

Also I have a small 1000 sq foot house with a small pantry. Seriously where the f do you store it and how?
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brewer12345

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2014, 10:13:00 AM »
I have several 5 to 7 gallon buckets (most of which are retired fermenters from brewing) that I slap a gamma lid on and fill with the bulk item of my choice.  They live in the basement in the "auxiliary pantry" and when I need something I trot down there with a mason jar and a scale and weigh out, say, a pound of beans or whatever.
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Prairie Stash

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2014, 03:43:07 PM »
splitting it is important. Who wants to lug out 20 pounds of flour just for a couple cups? My house is 960 sq foot with a basement (2 adults and a kid). I find it spacious unless you plan on storing a years worth of food for 10 people.

I have a combination of purchased Tupperware and rubber-maids; the wife feels guilty not buying a little from the Tupperware parties she attends.  I also use glass jars from food like sauces or pickles, extra canning jars and random others. Old plastic containers from yogurt, peanut butter, margarine etc. are all used as well.  If it has a lid it works, I prefer the free containers the most.

The containers all double up and see use in the freezer, pantry, cupboards and in the storage under the stairs.  Since I split the stuff it doesn't matter if the bulk of it is awkward to access. 

When I was a kid we had we had a problem selling cream on the farm and needed to make several hundred pounds of butter over two months; imagine the stash of buttermilk and butter we had! Every day for a summer I churned 20+ cows production of cream into butter; I learned early on about food storage.

furrychickens

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2014, 06:52:48 PM »
I keep the big bags downstairs in the basement and refill smaller containers when they run out for the pantry.

All I really do to "store" the bulk bag is cut the top open, fold it over and tape it shut with packing tape. Not airtight but not been an issue with my house.

If it did become an issue, I'd transfer to a food grade bucket like brewer suggested, and just have smaller container for the pantry.
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Argyle

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2014, 07:17:56 PM »
One thing I'd advise is having a lot of bulk food items make a stop in the freezer for a while before going into longer-term storage.  Otherwise when you finally open it, you may find bugs have hatched.   They don't always get in from outside; eggs may have gotten in at the factory.  It sounds ooky, but it's true.  All my goods stay in the freezer for a few days before coming back out.  No bugs since.  Obviously you'll need to put in smaller units than 40 pounds.

zataks

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2014, 08:45:56 PM »
I've been struggling with this.  I buy flour, sugar, and brown sugar in bulk at Costco.  I need small containers than the bigass bags they come in.  I've found some that are only alright at BBB but I'm leaning towards finding a restaurant supply store and buying large air-tight 5-7gal buckets like another poster recommended.  Only problem is GF's response to that was "how will I lift it?".  We don't have tons of storage so I'm trying to minimize the amount of containers about.  Maybe a 5-gal in the pantry that I mostly use and just fill a smaller 1/2-gal container out of for her daily use? 
The important thing to me is the airtight.  Especially with the brown sugar. 

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2014, 08:51:46 PM »
We just have the big bags (usually flour, sugar, rice) lined up on the floor of our pantry, with a smaller (1-gal or so) canister or other container up on the shelf for daily use.  When the canister runs out, we refill it from the bag, etc.  Like Thegoblinchief, we just leave the partially-used large bag there with the top rolled over.  We don't bother with the packing tape.  Heck, we don't even roll over the top of the rice bag (it's plastic, and doesn't roll).  We very seldom (like once in 10 years) have had an issue.

I have started saving the rectangular 1-gallon ice cream tubs from walmart.  While they're not air tight, they stack very efficiently (unlike the round canisters), and we haven't had any issues with bugs.

twbird18

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2014, 09:57:35 PM »
I keep all my flour and sugar in a large pet food storage container, bpa free and obviously never used for pet food. The one i got had 2 parts one big enough for 25 lbs and a second top part that holds 10 lbs complete with wheels so I can store it out of the way and not have to carry it around.


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stripey

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2014, 10:06:37 PM »
The Down to Earth blog has a series on stockpiling and food storage- she suggests a secondary site for bulky foodstuffs that aren't opened. I personally keep things in the hallway cupboard- in my older house in a hot climate, this is the coolest site in the house with the least variations in temperature, and was conventionally used for keeping preserves. Personally I use 8L square airtight food tubs, because they stack better than round things. I need it to be airtight do keep out weevils and other nasties.

This particular post doesn't have the answer you're looking for but is a good start- just search her blog for the appropriate information: http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com.au/2007/12/stockpiling-groceries-101.html

Primm

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2014, 10:39:58 PM »
Nappy bucket. Obviously never used for nappies, but with an air-tight, watertight lid. I keep them under the bottom shelf in my pantry.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2014, 11:16:31 PM »
Big ass quantities of stuff (beans, rice, wheat berries, sugar, salt, other zombie-apocalyse hoarder-type food) goes in food safe 5 or 7 gallon plastic buckets and is kept in the garage. For buckets, the white ones from Lowes are food safe, heavy duty and $3. Then you spring for an $8 gamma lid so you can easily access your big storage stuff.

Then you bring in a quantity you can manage, a bit at a time, to your pantry. Mason jars are good, but I have Rubbermaid Commercial clear plastic square storage things and they are awesome. I've had them for 10 years, since my catering days, and have never had a single one crack or deform. You can see photos of how I have them in my pantry here: www.nwedible.com/2012/10/my-big-fat-hippie-pantry-a-full-larder-for-fall.html.

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« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 11:33:46 PM by Erica/NWEdible »

cdub

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2014, 11:17:05 PM »
I have several 5 to 7 gallon buckets (most of which are retired fermenters from brewing) that I slap a gamma lid on and fill with the bulk item of my choice.  They live in the basement in the "auxiliary pantry" and when I need something I trot down there with a mason jar and a scale and weigh out, say, a pound of beans or whatever.

Gah - all you people with basements. :) I'm in CA - no freaking basements.
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The Borgs

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2014, 02:26:52 AM »
We live in a tiny 1 bed unit, no pantry and our entire kitchen is a couple of metres along a wall in the open plan front room. And I like to buy in bulk!

We reduced the amount of clothes we have and reduced ancilliary "stuff", then earmarked part of our wardrobe as pantry storage. I keep about 10kg of rice in there along with many other bulk purchases, all in plastic sealable containers.

I priced up storing flour and sugar, but it didn't make sense to store them, since the value brands in the supermarket here in Australia are cheaper than the large sizes in costco for example. Also then avoiding the concern of pests in stored food like that.

grantmeaname

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2014, 05:07:49 AM »
We have a basement but we keep all of our food in the kitchen. We don't buy flour and sugar at costco - just things like rice and certain canned goods that we're sure we'll eventually use all of. We store them in the containers that they come in.

We get our beans from the ethnic grocery store, two pounds at a time or so, and then keep them in old coffee cans or old #10 tomato cans ($4 for almost a gallon of good-quality whole tomatoes in sauce? Hell yeah!).

Rezdent

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2014, 10:45:34 AM »
+1 for buckets with Gamma lids.
I got buckets from a restaurant for free and purchased the lids.  I don't put gamma on all the buckets - just the primary.  For instance if I buy a large bag of oatmeal and it fills 2 buckets, then one gets a gamma and the other gets the regular lid.  We use the gamma lid bucket first and switch lids when it's empty.
You can also use smaller re-purposed buckets.  Bakeries often give these away for free.
Think outside the box as for where to store; any available space not being used is fair game.  I store some stuff on our porch, on shelves, in closets, under tables, under the bed...wherever there's room that is protected from the weather.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2014, 11:15:12 AM »
I have several 5 to 7 gallon buckets (most of which are retired fermenters from brewing) that I slap a gamma lid on and fill with the bulk item of my choice.  They live in the basement in the "auxiliary pantry" and when I need something I trot down there with a mason jar and a scale and weigh out, say, a pound of beans or whatever.

Gah - all you people with basements. :) I'm in CA - no freaking basements.

My basement contains my furnace; it comes with a monthly bill for heat. I dream of moving to CA every January.

legacyoneup

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2014, 05:23:22 PM »
www.nwedible.com/2012/10/my-big-fat-hippie-pantry-a-full-larder-for-fall.html.

OMG.. I love the look of a well stocked larder. Its simply fabulous. All those pickles in those jars and the sight of those fruit preserves are making me drowsy. I need to dream for a while....

Great going and thanks for the pictures!!
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MayDay

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2014, 08:32:57 PM »
Some goes in our deep freeze (cycle stuff through to kill eggs) but most gets divided into mason jars or other glass jars I have kept. Then stored in the kitchen or on basement shelves. Keeping stuff in glass has saved me from two bug infestations that could have wiped out my pantry.
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Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2014, 09:31:30 PM »
www.nwedible.com/2012/10/my-big-fat-hippie-pantry-a-full-larder-for-fall.html.

OMG.. I love the look of a well stocked larder. Its simply fabulous. All those pickles in those jars and the sight of those fruit preserves are making me drowsy. I need to dream for a while....

Great going and thanks for the pictures!!

Thanks so much! Stocked larder is like the food version of FI to me. :D

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2014, 10:08:22 PM »
Think outside the box as for where to store; any available space not being used is fair game.  I store some stuff on our porch, on shelves, in closets, under tables, under the bed...wherever there's room that is protected from the weather.
QFT.  Take the Ikea approach:  There is extra room EVERYWHERE, if you just look.  Under furniture, especially beds.  On top of cabinets, if they don't reach the ceiling.  In corners.  Between the sofa and wall.  On the wall over stuff (you're not using the headspace over your sofa, for example).  Heck, the voids between the studs in your walls can be used if you do things right.

netskyblue

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2014, 08:16:43 AM »
My husband is a chef.  He gets 5lb size plastic tubs that had cottage cheese in them and brings them home to wash & re-use for dry goods storage.  You might ask a local restaurant if they have any plastic food containers they want to get rid of.  (Beats it ending up in a landfill.)

smalllife

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2014, 08:29:35 AM »
Food can be beautiful - dried or canned goods in mason jars add color and interest when displayed on the wall.  It also conveniently holds most of our food supply. 

As for bulk storage, I prefer to support the largest bulk supplier in our area (an entire wall and accompanying section!!).  We keep on hand what we use in a month and refill with reusable bags when it's gone.  Not as price effective as Costco, but I know they have similar values as I do when sourcing their providers.  Plus I get bulk olive oil, soy sauce, butters, and honey in addition to the usual grains, beans, etc. :-) 
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Re: Food storage
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2014, 08:44:09 AM »
I have several 5 to 7 gallon buckets (most of which are retired fermenters from brewing) that I slap a gamma lid on and fill with the bulk item of my choice.  They live in the basement in the "auxiliary pantry" and when I need something I trot down there with a mason jar and a scale and weigh out, say, a pound of beans or whatever.

Gah - all you people with basements. :) I'm in CA - no freaking basements.

Yeah. I use the coat closet. Being in CA, we've traded not having a basement for not needing coats. :)

nereo

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Re: Food storage
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2014, 08:54:47 AM »
... Mason jars are good, but I have Rubbermaid Commercial clear plastic square storage things and they are awesome. I've had them for 10 years, since my catering days, and have never had a single one crack or deform. You can see photos of how I have them in my pantry here: www.nwedible.com/2012/10/my-big-fat-hippie-pantry-a-full-larder-for-fall.html.
Wow!  I totally love your larder Erica - I, too, use the clear-plastic storage containers (mine hold about 6lbs of flour, sugar, etc)... but all your mason jars and low-cost metal shelving.  love.
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