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Old 01-03-2010, 10:52 PM
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Default If you MUST store food in the garage...



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... what would you put there? DH is making me move the majority of my increasing pantry food to the garage. It's connected to the house, sheet-rock walls, but not heated. I've got a great shelving unit along the wall that joins the house that I can use for the food. I figure that's probably the warmest wall. I've got bottled water out there right now, and though it's cold, the water hasn't frozen. Right now it's 20 degrees outside, but 42 degrees in the garage. We also have some scary-looking bugs around here to whom I'd rather not play host. Which of these foods would probably be okay in the garage, and which foods would be "dead" or "bug hotel" within a week?

Commercially canned foods (fruits, veggies, broth, soups, tuna, spam, etc.)
Glass-jarred food (honey, jams, preserves, salsa, spaghetti sauce, etc.)
Plastic jarred/bottled food (ketchup, mustard, mayo, peanut butter, fruit juice)
Shelf-stable milk, rice milk, almond milk
Boxed mixes (cake mix, pudding mix, jello gelatin, etc.)
Boxed/Bagged baking goods (sugar, flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, powdered milk, pasta, etc.)

*Note - none of these items have been prepared for long-term storage, yet. I've not gotten the mylar or buckets. No O2 absorbers. I just know I've got to start somewhere, and this is where I am at the moment. I know I won't be able to expand to more/better food if it bothers DH. You all know your stuff, so which items should head to the garage? Thanks SOOO much!
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:23 PM
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As long as it's above freezing and everything is protected from critters (mice etc) you should be okay!

You'll like storing food in the 5 gallon buckets and the meals they represent. I bought my buckets for $1 at a local bakery (2# food quality) My o2's and mylar bags around $40 and rice for $15-$16 for per 50lb bags. Pasta, beans etc
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:05 AM
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May be a dumb question, but the only dumb question is one that isn't asked. What is DH? I think this is a great question. I too have wondered about this, but I'm more worried about the extreme summer heat. We are talking the garage nearing 100-degrees for weeks on end in the summer.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:29 AM
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What is DH?
It stands for Dear, Darling, Dumb*ss or D*mned Husband - as the case may be.
Old 01-04-2010, 12:31 AM
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What are the summer temperatures like?
Old 01-04-2010, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newberrie View Post
... what would you put there? DH is making me move the majority of my increasing pantry food to the garage. It's connected to the house, sheet-rock walls, but not heated. I've got a great shelving unit along the wall that joins the house that I can use for the food. I figure that's probably the warmest wall. I've got bottled water out there right now, and though it's cold, the water hasn't frozen. Right now it's 20 degrees outside, but 42 degrees in the garage. We also have some scary-looking bugs around here to whom I'd rather not play host. Which of these foods would probably be okay in the garage, and which foods would be "dead" or "bug hotel" within a week?

Commercially canned foods (fruits, veggies, broth, soups, tuna, spam, etc.)
Glass-jarred food (honey, jams, preserves, salsa, spaghetti sauce, etc.)
Plastic jarred/bottled food (ketchup, mustard, mayo, peanut butter, fruit juice)
Shelf-stable milk, rice milk, almond milk
Boxed mixes (cake mix, pudding mix, jello gelatin, etc.)
Boxed/Bagged baking goods (sugar, flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, powdered milk, pasta, etc.)

*Note - none of these items have been prepared for long-term storage, yet. I've not gotten the mylar or buckets. No O2 absorbers. I just know I've got to start somewhere, and this is where I am at the moment. I know I won't be able to expand to more/better food if it bothers DH. You all know your stuff, so which items should head to the garage? Thanks SOOO much!
I wouldn't put ANY boxed or packaged stuff out there unless they were in mouse and insect-proof containers. Even hard plastic containers are not rodent proof. I would put the boxed stuff in metal containers with tight-fitting lids, preferably with oxygen absorbers, or in glass canning jars packed tightly.
The winter and freezing is not what will affect the quality of the food...it is the hot summer temperatures that will ruin it.
Could you move some non-food items out to the garage instead? And somehow put out of sight and mind the food items indoors? He may object just to seeing it all, but if it isn't staring him in the face, he might forget about it. Could you store some of it with a close relative, if that's not possible?
The food will be alright during the winter if the insects and rodents are kept out, so you've got some time to think of a plan.
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:15 AM
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nothing in boxes and bags; between bugs and condensation from heat-thaw cycles they will be contaminated or moldy or just gross to eat.

Anything in a container made of cardboard or paper or the like will be attacked by bugs, wet from condensation, then you get mold and bla bla bla dont do it.

Cans are good but if you leave them in there wayyy to long and its damp they could rust. so keep them off the ground. also, since i doubt you want bug footprints in your food, i suggest when you do open the cans you open the bottoms. Now, when 2 different metals are touching the rusting is much worse as one metal "steals" electrons or something similar. So dont let the cans touch rusty nails or the like i guess. a metal shelving unit is also bad.

Jars are okay, except you cant open them from the bottom. Plastic should be okay.

Just keep in mind any container with sweet juices inside should be inspected and cleaned as needed to avoid sticky residues on the outside, or you will have a nice bug population boom. Supposedly there were leaky juice boxes a while ago, since then ive inspected my canned fruit before storing it.
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:55 AM
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I think I would be more worried about the summer heat drastically reducing your shelf life.

Can't you threaten to ... you know ... uh ... *withhold* ... certain things if he makes you move all that out there?
Old 01-04-2010, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spero View Post
Commercially canned foods (fruits, veggies, broth, soups, tuna, spam, etc.)
Glass-jarred food (honey, jams, preserves, salsa, spaghetti sauce, etc.)
these will hold up decently but if i was you i would invest in a few metal containes to store them in just in case but i always store there as a last resort. what you could do is clear a section in the basement or attic and store them there. also this allows for a temperary shelter to be prestocked in a shtf situation. and basements tend to stay sames temperature. just keep the of the floor about 2 feet becasue then you aare above cool air on floor plus less likely to get wet.
I'd give my right arm for a basement... except that it might hurt my chances of survival in a worst-case scenario! The attic is difficult to get to, and I know I wouldn't be rotating my foods if they were up there! That WILL be a priority in our next house, whether we rent or buy. We really don't have any sort of shelter, and I really miss our basement for the safety aspect.
Old 01-04-2010, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boldimagery View Post
I'm more worried about the extreme summer heat. We are talking the garage nearing 100-degrees for weeks on end in the summer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifiwaves View Post
What are the summer temperatures like?
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanahi View Post
The winter and freezing is not what will affect the quality of the food...it is the hot summer temperatures that will ruin it...
The food will be alright during the winter if the insects and rodents are kept out, so you've got some time to think of a plan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowdog650 View Post
I think I would be more worried about the summer heat drastically reducing your shelf life.
There is an incredibly strong possibility that DH's job will be moving us to the Colorado area in the next 6 months, so I'm hoping to be out of here before the worst of the heat. If not, I've got that much time to find a better storage solution... one that will not upset our landlord!
Old 01-04-2010, 11:21 AM
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We are in Atlanta. All canned goods, dry packaged goods and other food are in the garage.

Even when it is 21 degrees outside as it has been lately nothing freezes. It's a great place in the winter to keep drinks cold and fresh veggies. I've had nothing freeze in three winters here.

So the garage works just fine, even without the insulation. Now, farther north, it would probably freeze because the external temperature is lower there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newberrie View Post
... what would you put there? DH is making me move the majority of my increasing pantry food to the garage. It's connected to the house, sheet-rock walls, but not heated. I've got a great shelving unit along the wall that joins the house that I can use for the food. I figure that's probably the warmest wall. I've got bottled water out there right now, and though it's cold, the water hasn't frozen. Right now it's 20 degrees outside, but 42 degrees in the garage. We also have some scary-looking bugs around here to whom I'd rather not play host. Which of these foods would probably be okay in the garage, and which foods would be "dead" or "bug hotel" within a week?

Commercially canned foods (fruits, veggies, broth, soups, tuna, spam, etc.)
Glass-jarred food (honey, jams, preserves, salsa, spaghetti sauce, etc.)
Plastic jarred/bottled food (ketchup, mustard, mayo, peanut butter, fruit juice)
Shelf-stable milk, rice milk, almond milk
Boxed mixes (cake mix, pudding mix, jello gelatin, etc.)
Boxed/Bagged baking goods (sugar, flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, powdered milk, pasta, etc.)

*Note - none of these items have been prepared for long-term storage, yet. I've not gotten the mylar or buckets. No O2 absorbers. I just know I've got to start somewhere, and this is where I am at the moment. I know I won't be able to expand to more/better food if it bothers DH. You all know your stuff, so which items should head to the garage? Thanks SOOO much!
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:41 AM
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I actually have a similar problem in that im storing food in my cold storage which can literally freeze over in winter if it gets cold enough.

Fortunately, my electronics knowledge has suggested a solution; you wrap the cans in a turn of duct tape, to electrically insulate them, then you put a few turns of ni-chrome wire around the cans. connect it all through a micro-controller to a power source and ta-da; heated cans. In phase two ill try it out, but i dont have a source of nichrome wire ATM.
Old 01-04-2010, 11:52 AM
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I agree with Lanahi. It's the summer heat that'll kill your foods fast. If you don't have to worry about rodents, I'd pack up all the dry stuff into buckets to keep the bugs out. Your foods in jars would be ok out there too if it doesn't get into freezing temperatures inside. If it stays 42 in the garage when it's 20 outside, you probably don't have to worry unless your climate gets a lot colder.

Remember, space doesn't just exist. You have to make it. Maybe take a look around the house to see if you can create some. You can put a layer of foods in the bottom of a closet, under the bed or behind the couch for example. I've shoehorned food into all sorts of odd spots here. I put a layer of #10 cans in their boxes on the bottoms of all the closets. I just set things on top of them as if they were the floor.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:11 PM
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Growing up I remember my idiot friends walking into people garages who had refridgerator in them to see if they had beer in them. They would take like three beers and leave behind the rest so the owner would never know they were gone. There was like 6 houses they knew kept beer in their garages. One guy kept a keg in this little fridge and they would fill an empty plastic milk jug. They always bragged that they only took beer and never stole anything claiming to be like Robbinhood. Then one day they decided to make speggetti so they took some canned tomatoes then it got easy for them to steal and they took some jam, and even bowling balls one time to throw off a bridge to see who could make the bigger splash.

If I had to put my storage goods in my garage I would make a fake wall or a good floor length curtain facing the entrance so no one could see the preps. The ones who can see it but don't steal your stuff will at least know they are there. If something happens where do you think they are going to go when they need food. Small space heaters to help protect against freezing for the winter and maybe a small fan for the summer months. When you stack your food in pails make sure to have it on one of those wooden pallets at least an inch away from the wall to help circulate air. I use to work at a resteraunt and we kept food in a small shed when our storage area was over stocked for the holidays. These techniques worked for us.

I had a friend who moved his couch and love seat away from the wall far enough to stack food pails when they go to the top of the couch they laid one board ontop the pails and one on the side. You would never know the pails were there. They had their kids trophies and other bricker-brack sitting on top. Their side of the bed facing the wall had pails done up the same way but with a blanket along the side. They had blankets and pillows sitting on top of it. You would never know the pails were there. he was a master at hiding pails and making them look like furniture or cabinetes. We use to joke that if he had a new kid standing around the house it was because he found a way to disguise a pail stack to look like a kid.

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Old 01-04-2010, 05:16 PM
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I stored some cans in the garage thinking it would be ok. Well, many rusted, even though I had them on a shelf that was 6' off the ground. The ones that didn't, tasted like ass. Even stuff like corn had the liquid turn real cloudy and unnatural and smelled funny. Tomatoes got funk nasty, was truly afraid of food poisoning. You could do it, but you better rotate through the stock much quicker than usual.
Old 01-04-2010, 05:36 PM
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i kep all our in the garage its cold here but not freezing in the garage
Old 01-04-2010, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by corndogggy View Post
I stored some cans in the garage thinking it would be ok. Well, many rusted, even though I had them on a shelf that was 6' off the ground. The ones that didn't, tasted like ass. Even stuff like corn had the liquid turn real cloudy and unnatural and smelled funny. Tomatoes got funk nasty, was truly afraid of food poisoning. You could do it, but you better rotate through the stock much quicker than usual.
like i said; you cannot use metal shelves or you will wreck the cans really fast. i think a light coating of cooking oil (PAM?) will help protect the cans.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:59 PM
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i kep all our in the garage its cold here but not freezing in the garage

OK, maybe a little less drinking before your next post?
Old 01-04-2010, 07:05 PM
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Being your neighbor to the near south, I would be concerned about keeping glass jars in the garage, or even canned for that matter. Yes, I know you mentioned it's 42 in the garage currently, but you and I both know what it can drop to temp wise here. I'd try to be crafty and shoe horn it inside. I speak from experience considering I live in a single wide trailer
Old 01-04-2010, 07:18 PM
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Mice WILL get to the food if it's in a garage. Even if they don't access the food itself, their poop carries hantavirus. If they poop on the top of a can of beans, unless the whole can is washed before oprning, you run a substantial risk of contaminating the food. Read up on it. I would not want my preps exposed to that.

There are ways to fight off the mice but they always seem to find another way ... they're mother nature's terrorists.
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