Author Topic: Bulk food storage options?  (Read 9227 times)

labrat

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Bulk food storage options?
« on: September 05, 2014, 03:02:05 PM »
We were given a few gift cards to Costco by my parents and are thinking about buying a large bag of basmati rice.  Can anyone recommend a large, sturdy, BPA-free, food safe storage container with a tight seal? 

Related: Anyone ever purchase commercial kitchen supplies from places like Wasserstrom?  I thought I might need to go the commercial route for a storage container but have yet to shop at a pro store.  How are the prices?

Thanks :)

Rezdent

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2014, 03:12:41 PM »
Our local country store sells gallon sized glass canning jars with lids.  I dont remember the price but if needing BPA free that's what I would recommend for storage.

justajane

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2014, 10:47:24 AM »
Costco has bulk cereal sized containers on sale right now - you know the ones with the pour spout on top. Where I live they are three for $10. I believe they are BPA free. The basmati bag at Costco isn't that big, is it? I imagine three would work. It's not the most efficient idea perhaps, but it's BPA free. I was thinking of storing rice in one of mine.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2014, 11:04:40 AM »
Why not store it in the bag you bought it? As long as you have a cool, dry area it will be just fine assuming it's white basmati. If it is Brown (whole), I'd get something airtight to avoid rancidity from oxidation.

If you must have a container, glass canning jars were a good suggestion. Otherwise, the Rubbermaid CarbX storage units on Amazon are durable and very cheap for the sizes they come in. If there's a restaurant supply store near you that's open to the public, they may have even cheaper options.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2014, 12:12:24 PM »
You can get food-safe plastic bags that you put inside a five gallon bucket. Stick a oxygen-absorbing packet in the bag and twist up the top, and you should be good.

If you know any Mormons, they might be able to give you some advice as well--lots of them do bulk food storage.

labrat

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2014, 06:24:05 PM »
Great suggestions - thanks everyone! I figured that lots of MMMers here shop at Costco so they were the best ones for me to ask! 

The main reason I'd like to store it in a container because we have high humidity.  Plus we get a lot of house centipedes and spiders, and the thought of any getting into our food (not that they'd be attracted to it, but we've found bugs in unexpected places!) isn't very appetizing :)  We plan on storing the rice in the basement to stay cool.

We do have a Wasserstrom restaurant supply store in town, so I might check them out first to see what is available.  I did not know about the food-safe bags, those might be handy...

Unfortunately I do not know any mormons in our area but there are some neighbors close to our family out west.  That comment somehow made me think of the compound in Big Love :) 

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2014, 10:14:58 PM »
I have flour, sugar, rice, oats, and popcorn in something like these:

http://www.amazon.com/gallon-plastic-bucket-Lid-Grade/dp/B00AU0GSAQ

Then you want to get a gamma seal. You pound the outer ring on the bucket, then the lid just twists on an off for easy use.  Where I live they cost about $6-7. 

http://www.amazon.com/Gamma-Seal-Gallon-Plastic-Pail/dp/B007IKKBCM/ref=sr_1_6?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1410236027&sr=1-6&keywords=gamma+seal+lid+5+gallon


labrat

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2014, 04:52:53 PM »
I have flour, sugar, rice, oats, and popcorn in something like these:

http://www.amazon.com/gallon-plastic-bucket-Lid-Grade/dp/B00AU0GSAQ

Then you want to get a gamma seal. You pound the outer ring on the bucket, then the lid just twists on an off for easy use.  Where I live they cost about $6-7. 

http://www.amazon.com/Gamma-Seal-Gallon-Plastic-Pail/dp/B007IKKBCM/ref=sr_1_6?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1410236027&sr=1-6&keywords=gamma+seal+lid+5+gallon

Those look fantastic --Thanks!!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2014, 05:35:59 PM »
Keep in mind many places will give you food grade buckets for free. Butcher shops, restaurants, etc.

You'll still need to buy the lids, but it doesn't hurt to ask around a few places.

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2014, 06:09:36 PM »
I have flour, sugar, rice, oats, and popcorn in something like these:

http://www.amazon.com/gallon-plastic-bucket-Lid-Grade/dp/B00AU0GSAQ

Then you want to get a gamma seal. You pound the outer ring on the bucket, then the lid just twists on an off for easy use.  Where I live they cost about $6-7. 

http://www.amazon.com/Gamma-Seal-Gallon-Plastic-Pail/dp/B007IKKBCM/ref=sr_1_6?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1410236027&sr=1-6&keywords=gamma+seal+lid+5+gallon

Those lids look pretty neat, thanks for the tip!

I keep bulk dry goods in a variety of containers, but I'm looking for better solutions.  My current system has gallon ziploc freezer bags (airtight but not that durable), 1 gallon buckets (free, but smaller than is really useful), one ikea snap top clear container (great, but I'm not going to trek to ikea just to get some more).

Knowing these lid options, maybe it's time to scrounge some food safe 5 gallon buckets.  It's also high time I started buying flour in larger quantities than 5lbs...

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2014, 06:25:29 PM »
Knowing these lid options, maybe it's time to scrounge some food safe 5 gallon buckets.  It's also high time I started buying flour in larger quantities than 5lbs...

YMMV but white flour keeps just fine in the 50lb paper bags from Costco/Sam's and it takes me 2-3 months to go through one. For whole wheat, a local grocery has the absolute cheapest price I've found ($0.50/lb) - cheaper even than buying 50lb bags, so I buy it in 5lb bags, but I buy 12 bags once a month. Again, keeps just fine.

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2014, 06:44:51 PM »
Knowing these lid options, maybe it's time to scrounge some food safe 5 gallon buckets.  It's also high time I started buying flour in larger quantities than 5lbs...

YMMV but white flour keeps just fine in the 50lb paper bags from Costco/Sam's and it takes me 2-3 months to go through one. For whole wheat, a local grocery has the absolute cheapest price I've found ($0.50/lb) - cheaper even than buying 50lb bags, so I buy it in 5lb bags, but I buy 12 bags once a month. Again, keeps just fine.

I've always heard (though admittedly never experienced) that bulk flour stored in non-airtight containers will eventually attract flour moths?  Is my grandmother pulling my leg?  Wouldn't be the first time...

Mega

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2014, 06:51:49 PM »
We store our flour/rice in tightly closed(twist tie) garbage bags with Bay leaves. No problems in 5 years.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2014, 07:06:11 PM »
I've always heard (though admittedly never experienced) that bulk flour stored in non-airtight containers will eventually attract flour moths?  Is my grandmother pulling my leg?  Wouldn't be the first time...

I suppose it depends on the definition of "eventually".

Angie55

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2014, 07:40:00 PM »
Ask the baking section at Costco for used frosting buckets. They will be food grade and come with the lid. Just need to soak them overnight in some oxyclean to get the frosting out. You could even just stick the bag of rice directly in if you are afraid of not getting all the frosting out.

 I get mine at Sam's Club to store bulk grains for homebrewing. Sam's has ~3 gallon and 5 gallon buckets. What's best is the 5 gallon buckets are rectangular making them a little easier to store.

MicroRN

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2014, 08:06:43 PM »
I got a big bag of rice and another of dry beans at Costco.  I'm leaving them in their original bags and putting them in an empty cooler in the garage.  I pour usable amounts into mason jars to keep in the house.

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2014, 07:36:39 AM »
We put our bulk rice and beans in the big half gallon mason jars.

wealthviahealth

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2014, 10:25:10 AM »
Glass jars have defintelty been the way to go in my experience. Not only are they BPA free, they are also free of many other harmful plastics that even bpa free containers contain. I have found so many uses for old glass jars of salsa, pickles, sauerkraut.. you name it.
GFS sells gallon sized pickle jars and I think these would be perfect for rice, beans, oats, etc..

nico demouse

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2014, 12:57:24 PM »
Keep in mind many places will give you food grade buckets for free. Butcher shops, restaurants, etc.

You'll still need to buy the lids, but it doesn't hurt to ask around a few places.

Yes, this. Except I ask at places that have bakeries (grocery stores) and I get buckets and lids, free. They vary from 2-5 gallon. I often have to clean them out. They're used to hold frosting, so it's not an awful job. I just ask anytime I'm in or pass by a grocery store with bakery. Sometimes they have them and sometimes they don't.

They're great for food storage, beer brewing, container gardening, storage...

Chranstronaut

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2014, 01:26:41 PM »
Keep in mind many places will give you food grade buckets for free. Butcher shops, restaurants, etc.

You'll still need to buy the lids, but it doesn't hurt to ask around a few places.

Yes, this. Except I ask at places that have bakeries (grocery stores) and I get buckets and lids, free. They vary from 2-5 gallon. I often have to clean them out. They're used to hold frosting, so it's not an awful job. I just ask anytime I'm in or pass by a grocery store with bakery. Sometimes they have them and sometimes they don't.

They're great for food storage, beer brewing, container gardening, storage...

I would definitely make sure you know what was was in the bucket if you're putting something absorbent like rice or flour in it.  I used old pickle buckets for a science project and we could not get the pickle smell out of the buckets after multiple washes.  Imagine getting hit with old pickle air from one of these: http://fivegallonideas.com/air-cannon/

mlipps

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2014, 01:30:23 PM »
I bought my food grade buckets from King Arthur. Not so mustachian, but the savings I get on bread flour in a 25 lb. bag from Sam's made it worthwhile.

labrat

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2014, 04:02:26 PM »
Glass jars have defintelty been the way to go in my experience. Not only are they BPA free, they are also free of many other harmful plastics that even bpa free containers contain. I have found so many uses for old glass jars of salsa, pickles, sauerkraut.. you name it.
GFS sells gallon sized pickle jars and I think these would be perfect for rice, beans, oats, etc..

I might be taking a trip to GFS to check these out!

labrat

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Re: Bulk food storage options?
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2014, 04:06:59 PM »
Keep in mind many places will give you food grade buckets for free. Butcher shops, restaurants, etc.

You'll still need to buy the lids, but it doesn't hurt to ask around a few places.

Yes, this. Except I ask at places that have bakeries (grocery stores) and I get buckets and lids, free. They vary from 2-5 gallon. I often have to clean them out. They're used to hold frosting, so it's not an awful job. I just ask anytime I'm in or pass by a grocery store with bakery. Sometimes they have them and sometimes they don't.

They're great for food storage, beer brewing, container gardening, storage...

I would definitely make sure you know what was was in the bucket if you're putting something absorbent like rice or flour in it.  I used old pickle buckets for a science project and we could not get the pickle smell out of the buckets after multiple washes.  Imagine getting hit with old pickle air from one of these: http://fivegallonideas.com/air-cannon/

How funny -  I work in a lab that uses those same pickle buckets for disposing broken glass.  We get them for free from the cafeteria.  I think people hardly break any glassware because the smell from the pickle bucket can knock them out :)