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Old 03-15-2011, 10:18 PM
jhill1965 jhill1965 is offline
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Default Storing Variety of Foods in 5 Gallon Buckets



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I have acquired some 5 gallon buckets from Dunkin Donuts and purchased mylar bags and O2 absorbers. I have some food (rice, sugar) already and have an order from LDS coming for many things (wheat, oatmeal, potato flakes, etc). I think I read on this forum a thread talking about storing several different things in a 5 gallon bucket to cover a week or two of time. This way you don't have to crack open 10 buckets to retrieve just a small portion from each. Can anyone remember that thread?

What I am trying to figure out how to separate the different products so they don't get all mixed up together. I was thinking I would put things in 1 gallon freezer bags but not seal them and then put those inside a mylar bag with an O2 absorber then seal it up. But it seems like there should be a better way. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks.
Old 03-15-2011, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jhill1965 View Post
I have acquired some 5 gallon buckets from Dunkin Donuts and purchased mylar bags and O2 absorbers. I have some food (rice, sugar) already and have an order from LDS coming for many things (wheat, oatmeal, potato flakes, etc). I think I read on this forum a thread talking about storing several different things in a 5 gallon bucket to cover a week or two of time. This way you don't have to crack open 10 buckets to retrieve just a small portion from each. Can anyone remember that thread?

What I am trying to figure out how to separate the different products so they don't get all mixed up together. I was thinking I would put things in 1 gallon freezer bags but not seal them and then put those inside a mylar bag with an O2 absorber then seal it up. But it seems like there should be a better way. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks.
The problem with sealing things in freezer bags and then putting them in mylar w/ O2 absorbers is the O2 absorbers can't easily get at the oxygen in the freezer bags.

When I started storing food in 5-gallon buckets, I did a lot of it with 1-gallon bags of food w/ o2 absorbers. I soon discovered one disadvantage of that sytem--you can't get as much in a bucket that way. Typically I could get 4 gallons of storage in a 5-gallon bucket.

If you have unlimited buckets and unlimited storage, that may not be an issue, but I soon turned to storing most efficiently, because I don't have unlimited amounts of either buckets or space.

One other issue is this: if you're only going to crack open one 5-gallon bucket at a time, you'd better be sure you like what's in there, and that it's balanced.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:37 PM
jhill1965 jhill1965 is offline
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Thanks Goose,
I hear ya on making sure I like what is in the bucket I open. I am thinking that a supper bucket of 1/3 beans and 1/3 rice, 1/3 potato flakes should include some boullion, salk, pepper, etc. A breakfast bucket might include oatmeal, dried fruit, dry milk, etc. The trick is finding a air permeable bag that I can get plenty of so that I can put the items in there but not abstruct the work of the O2 absorbers.
Old 03-15-2011, 11:43 PM
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Goose is right. The O2 absorber needs full access to the air that the food is stored in. The people putting multiple items in a bucket are using smaller mylar bags and putting each food in their own mylar bag. You can take large bags and make them into smaller bags as needed, or just buy smaller bags.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:50 PM
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If The Time Comes You Have to Open the Mylar Bags. If You Seal up the bucket up afterwards I don't think the food will go bad in a month or so before you eat all of its contents... Kinda like if you just left the beans in your cabanet or fridge... Rice in the cabanet etc.. just use it up in a timely fashion after cracking the mylar...
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:52 AM
jhill1965 jhill1965 is offline
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Thanks Mike.

Using smaller mylars makes sense and then just putting them in a 5 gallon bucket seems straight forward. Takes more work but when you need them it will work. I went searching for this topic on Google and someone made a good point about this method. They said if the SHTF and I have to leave and can only grab one or 2 buckets I will have something that is usable. She even suggested put a spark of some kind in the 5 gallon bucket (not in the mylar with the food), so that if the bucket was all you had then you can make it. That sounded like a really good idea. I am even thinking of putting a piece or 2 of aluminum foil, a 33 gallon garbage bag and one of those really cheap exacto knives from Harbor Freight (about $1). None of that takes up any real space and this way each bucket becomes a sort of BOB as well. IN the event I can use it at my retreat and don’t "need" this stuff, I am certain the extra things will come in handy to share with others who don’t have sharps
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhill1965 View Post
Thanks Goose,
I hear ya on making sure I like what is in the bucket I open. I am thinking that a supper bucket of 1/3 beans and 1/3 rice, 1/3 potato flakes should include some boullion, salk, pepper, etc. A breakfast bucket might include oatmeal, dried fruit, dry milk, etc. The trick is finding a air permeable bag that I can get plenty of so that I can put the items in there but not abstruct the work of the O2 absorbers.
Why not just put them all in their own smaller mylar bags?

You can get 100 gallon-sized mylars from Sorbent for less than $36. Other smaller sizes are available. You can get 100 quart-sized mylars for $21.50.

And you can get O2 absorbers from Sorbent under 30 cents each for the 1500cc size. That's all I use now, even in just a small bag, it's not worth the couple cents savings per O2 absorber to have a bunch of different sizes. The 1500 is good for a big bucket, and obviously for all smaller size bags too.

Sorbent gallon and quart mylars: http://sorbentsystems.com/promotion3.html Both are at the bottom of the page.

Sorbent 1500cc O2 absorbers: http://sorbentsystems.com/order_O2.html (They're almost at the bottom of the page)


I know it's tough to buy all that stuff at once, but the price break in getting that in bulk is so great that it's worth it. In the long run, you're going to need that stuff anyway.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:51 AM
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Thanks Goose

Yep I was headed that way after Mike mentioned using smaller bags, sealing, and storing them all in one 5 gallon bucket. That sounds like a fine idea and since you have some experience doing it also that’s the confirmation I am looking for. Thanks for the links too.

Any tips on things not to forget when putting the buckets together? Other than general storage info, I am up to speed on using mylar and O2 for big bags. What I am wondering is do I need certain combinations of items that I might not be thinking of. I realize this is personal preference but ideas are always welcome.
Old 03-16-2011, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhill1965 View Post
I have acquired some 5 gallon buckets from Dunkin Donuts and purchased mylar bags and O2 absorbers. I have some food (rice, sugar) already and have an order from LDS coming for many things (wheat, oatmeal, potato flakes, etc). I think I read on this forum a thread talking about storing several different things in a 5 gallon bucket to cover a week or two of time. This way you don't have to crack open 10 buckets to retrieve just a small portion from each. Can anyone remember that thread?

What I am trying to figure out how to separate the different products so they don't get all mixed up together. I was thinking I would put things in 1 gallon freezer bags but not seal them and then put those inside a mylar bag with an O2 absorber then seal it up. But it seems like there should be a better way. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks.
I've made smaller bags of rice, beans, macaroni, sugar etc. Goose is right about the space though. The smaller bags will take up more space in the bucket.....but I guess it's not a problem if you have enough space to store more buckets. I don't use any type bags in the mylar.....just store what I want in the bags. I've used 1 gallon bags with o2, and have cut up large bucket sized bags and made them into smaller bags.

Remember not to put o2 in the sugar. I have some in mylar...then just seal up. I also keep some sugar in old Ragu jars, and a five gallon bucket. They have a very airtight rubber seal in the lids. Also a good way to re-use resources.
BTW...good score on the buckets....I get mine from the bakery at the store.
Attached Thumbnails
my 001.jpg   beans008.jpg   vac 001.jpg  
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:03 AM
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LDS sells #10 cans for first-month, short term use.

Then have 5 gallon buckets.

Then have 55 gal drums.

Then have seeds, land, tools and know how.
Old 03-16-2011, 09:13 AM
jhill1965 jhill1965 is offline
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Thanks TxHills

And thanks for those pics too. The last pic looks like beans that are vacuum sealed. I have a Foodsaver vacuum sealer I use for my garden veggies. Will that seal the mylar and vacuum seal it?

Thanks for the tip on not putting O2 absorbers in sugar. I had heard that about sugar and salt is well. Can you confirm the salt idea?

I also am with you on reusing. We have stopped throwing out any glass containers that have good rubber seals. I was thinking of putting some things like spices and herbs I grow in those.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:22 AM
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I use 1 gallon mylar for this purpose. Put the product in the 1 gallon bag with the O2 and let them sit for a day or two till the O2 absorber does its work. It will shrink and be hard as a brick. This will give u more room when u put the packages in the bucket.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:45 AM
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Thanks packitnow,
I had seen videos on how to put up things in mylar but never had seen the end result after the O2 absorbers work. I didn’t realize they actually did that. Now I understand why the buckets won't hold as much using small bags, it is like stuffing bricks in a bucket and there will be plenty of air pockets.
Old 03-16-2011, 09:51 AM
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Keep a supply of O2 absorbers on hand. When you open the bucket toss another one in and reseal the bucket.
Old 03-16-2011, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Ericka Riverwood View Post
Keep a supply of O2 absorbers on hand. When you open the bucket toss another one in and reseal the bucket.
Kind of a waste of O2 absorbers. BYU did a study on this and found buckets make poor air barriers.
http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm4/it...ISOBOX=1&REC=1

The O2 levels in the buckets over time were inconsistent; the levels in some of the containers held below 1% for the full period of the experiment and others rose above 1% by day 9. It is evident that considerable O2 infiltrated the buckets.
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhill1965 View Post
Thanks TxHills

And thanks for those pics too. The last pic looks like beans that are vacuum sealed. I have a Foodsaver vacuum sealer I use for my garden veggies. Will that seal the mylar and vacuum seal it?

Thanks for the tip on not putting O2 absorbers in sugar. I had heard that about sugar and salt is well. Can you confirm the salt idea?

I also am with you on reusing. We have stopped throwing out any glass containers that have good rubber seals. I was thinking of putting some things like spices and herbs I grow in those.
The vacuum-packed look is due to the fact that TxHills squeezed as much air out of the packages as possible before sealing them, and the O2 absorber removing about 21 percent of the remaining air--the part that is oxygen.

That creates a partial vacuum, which is what is drawing the mylar tight around the food.

When you see that happen, you know two things: Your mylar seal is good, and the o2 absorber is doing its job.

One thing about packing buckets if you do this: First, I always ensure I'm getting that vacuum-sealed look. A pinhole in a bag can and will prevent that, as the partial vacuum created by the O2 absorber will just draw more air into the bag through the pinhole.

Second, you should try to pack the buckets before the vacuum-sealed look. You can maneuver the bags around in a bucket before that; once the brick-look is there, they're hard to pack efficiently. They're HARD. And, of course, once I pack them I make sure they all drew tight to the food. A couple times, I had to repack a bag I'd poked with something while using it.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:26 PM
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Stephpd, thanks for the link. I read that report. Looks like buckets without bags and O2 is not a good solution.

Keeping some O2 absorbers on hand to use to reseal the mylar bags once opened makes sense. You never know when you might want to reseal. I wonder if anyone has ever opened their 10 year old wheat/rice/oatmeal/etc that is sealed in mylar with O2 absorbers and tried it out.


Goose, thanks for the tip on packing the bucket before the O2 takes hold, that tidbit there just save me a bunch of hassle and space.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:35 PM
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Forgot to mention that goose. Good call! Definitely pack the bags before the bags draw tight. You knew I've done that in the learning process, didn't you goose? lol
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:49 PM
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I have a question about O2 absorbers and this seems as good a place as any to ask: When I use several from a pack, but not all, is it sufficient to keep the others in the vacuum pack they came in, push out all the air and seal the edge again with my iron (the same iron I am using to seal my Mylar bags)? I did that, and then stuck them in a ziploc bag too because it made me feel better.
Old 03-16-2011, 04:46 PM
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just fixed me up some 3.5 gallon buckets(i like them better..easier to move and stack),

Heres what I put in each of them

1 ga mylar bags of beans,rice,elbow pasta(about 8 cups)......one bag of each
small mylar bags of 1 cup of salt,cajun spices,gatoraid,hard candy
1 mylar bag of buillion(?) cubes
large can of chili
can of spam
can of chicken chunks
1 can of mixed fruit
all cans were wrapped in resealable freezer bags for later use

oh and 1 bottle of Louisiana Hot sauce

I like having a little variety
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