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Old 11-10-2008, 07:40 PM
Malaz Malaz is offline
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Default How many are vacuum packing flour and sugar in Mason Jars?



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How many are vacuum packing flour and sugar in Mason Jars? Also, why can't Home Depot buckets be used to store food. They have the HDPE symbol on the bottom of the buckets and I read that symbol means that it is safe to store food in them?
Old 11-10-2008, 07:52 PM
bert the turtle bert the turtle is offline
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Mason jars are too small for me, except for daily use stuff or canning.

People will say that the depot buckets aren't food grade, and they may be right. It would probably be better to go with food grade, but I didn't because it was slowing me down to try to accumulate them. I got the depot buckets and ran them through the dishwasher a time or two. Most of anything that was going to leach out was out after that. The depot lids got the same treatment. If you are storing dry goods, there just isn't going to be much leaching, and you can keep the stuff in its original packing to further protect it.

The depot lids work fine for storage, but they are a pain to get on and off. If you are going to put stuff away for the long term, go with the depot lids. If you like to use the buckets frequently, get some gamma seal lids. They don't seal any better, but they are easier to use.

One man's opinion.
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Malaz View Post
How many are vacuum packing flour and sugar in Mason Jars? Also, why can't Home Depot buckets be used to store food. They have the HDPE symbol on the bottom of the buckets and I read that symbol means that it is safe to store food in them?
I emailed the manufacturer of the Homer buckets. The WHITE buckets are food grade. They are in the paint dept. The orange buckets are NOT food grade.
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malaz View Post
How many are vacuum packing flour and sugar in Mason Jars? Also, why can't Home Depot buckets be used to store food. They have the HDPE symbol on the bottom of the buckets and I read that symbol means that it is safe to store food in them?
Not all HDPE is food safe. Some HDPE is recycled HDPE. In my investigations, black buckets have always been recycled and not food safe. Whether or not other colors are ever recycled, I do not know.

Just a tip in case folks are aware. vacuum packing flower and sugar is a great idea. Just make sure you don't use an oxygen absorber with sugar - unless you're brick making.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:08 PM
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why do anything to sugar? keep it dry and wrapped well and it lasts forever.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:11 PM
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We just opened some we bought in waxed cartons - sort of like a paper milk carton - over 6 years ago. It was clumpy when we opened it but it broke right up.
Old 11-10-2008, 10:13 PM
Malaz Malaz is offline
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why do anything to sugar? keep it dry and wrapped well and it lasts forever.
Since I need the jars to can with, I thought I would put them to use. Besides flour is suppose to have a longer shelf life if it is vacuumed. I don't think it matters with the sugar, but I don't it hurts either.
Old 11-10-2008, 10:17 PM
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Since I need the jars to can with, I thought I would put them to use. Besides flour is suppose to have a longer shelf life if it is vacuumed. I don't think it matters with the sugar, but I don't it hurts either.
You're right on all counts, Malaz. I'm lucky to get 6 months with flour in a sack before we see weevils. I've gone 5 years in a vacuum packed bag. A jar is even better if you have the capacity.
Old 11-11-2008, 10:55 AM
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I have jars sealed from the mid 90's. From beans and grains to powdered milk and etc. Just as good as the day it was sealed.

Caution! When vacuum sealing powder-type items in jars, put a crumpled up tissue or napkin on top. It helps keep the powder down in the jar and away from the seal.
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:06 AM
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I buy 25 pounds of flour at a time. I bag it in freezer bags and throw 25 pounds at a time in my deep freeze. This is a great thread! I needed to know how to store flour for more long term. Thanks all!!! I'm excited to try the Depot buckets from the paint section!
Old 11-11-2008, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair View Post
I have jars sealed from the mid 90's. From beans and grains to powdered milk and etc. Just as good as the day it was sealed.

Caution! When vacuum sealing powder-type items in jars, put a crumpled up tissue or napkin on top. It helps keep the powder down in the jar and away from the seal.
If you leave a 1 1/2" headspace, the powder will stay in the jar too.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:55 PM
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I've used a few of the home depot buckets also. I do vacum seal my stuff first. I find the flour is so fine a little gets sucked out of the bag while sealing. Also I seal in smaller portion so when I open a bag it gets used up pretty quick. But they don't load into the buckets very efficiently so it was some space in the buckets. Rice bricks seem to be the least efficient.
Old 11-11-2008, 02:44 PM
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This is a great thread! We are new to this.

This is what I'm hearing please correct...

Flour-vacuum seal, freeze, and put in buckets (if it is vacuum sealed do you have to have food grade buckets?)

Sugar-good in original package just store in dry place or can put original package in buckets.

Rice-dump out of original package into food grade buckets and add oxygen absorber. (freeze first?)

Beans-put in buckets in original package or dump into buckets and add oxygen absorber. (freeze first?)

Powdered Milk-vacuum seal and put in buckets.

Also we have found a bakery here that sells the used food grade buckets. We just had to buy the lids new. A few that open easy and several that don't.
Old 11-11-2008, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levant View Post
You're right on all counts, Malaz. I'm lucky to get 6 months with flour in a sack before we see weevils. I've gone 5 years in a vacuum packed bag. A jar is even better if you have the capacity.
I just put up 25 pounds of flour in 1 quart ziplock bags (3 cups per bag) and stuffed them into a 5 gal pail. Do you expect I'll see the weevils in only 6 months? Are you keeping the flour in the original bag or did you repackage it.

Allan
Old 11-11-2008, 03:08 PM
Belladonna Belladonna is offline
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Someone posted an idea on another thread about putting everything you'd need to feed your family for a month in one bucket.....from my understanding that would essentially be 12 buckets for an entire year.

That idea has really worked well for me because I can buy flour, sugar and rice (among other things) in bulk then divide it up and vacuum seal those items and put them in buckets. It also allows me to make up buckets for my kids who don't live at home and aren't in a position financially to do it themselves.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman View Post
I just put up 25 pounds of flour in 1 quart ziplock bags (3 cups per bag) and stuffed them into a 5 gal pail. Do you expect I'll see the weevils in only 6 months? Are you keeping the flour in the original bag or did you repackage it.

Allan
I'm not sure about weevils. I divided mine up as you did but vacuumed sealed it and I check it periodically.
Old 11-11-2008, 08:22 PM
jcoffman55 jcoffman55 is offline
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I don't think you could fit a month of food, even for one person in a bucket. I may be wrong.
Old 11-11-2008, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
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I don't think you could fit a month of food, even for one person in a bucket. I may be wrong.
I sure can't. Like the idea, though.
Old 11-11-2008, 09:34 PM
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A bucket of just wheat would represent a month's supply for one person. That's 45 pounds - just about right for a month. But if that was all you ate for a month, would you survive? Probably not. You'll need parts from multiple buckets. So, I think you're right; a bucket is not a month's supply for one person but 12 buckets, bulk packed, could be enough for a year. Since I pack small, I would be lucky to survive on 24 buckets' worth. My small packs aren't really efficient when it comes to storage space.
Old 11-11-2008, 10:44 PM
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The orange buckets from Home Depot can't be used, but the white ones in the paint department can. The orange ones aren't food grade. If it ain't a 2, it won't do.
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