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Old 09-17-2012, 09:30 AM
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Default Common man food storage anyone else doing it this way?



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I have been storing can goods and other dry foods but its time to ramp up our food storage to get a years worth of dry foods. I have been researching and found some good ideas to store up food but there are a lot of options. First off I don't have tons of spare cash to buy $200-300 worth of freeze dried foods. That stuff looks cool but the price is out of my league. So I'm going to buy rice, beans, pasta, and other stuff at Walmart (I know the evil store) because it's cheap and I can get a little every week.

5 gallon bucket--I like the bucket idea but I'm not really liking the idea of opening a 5 gallon bucket of rice every time I want to make dinner. That leaves a lot of rice sitting and waiting to get used. I have found food grade buckets from the local donut shop for $1 each so the price is good just the size that turns me off.

2 litter bottle-- these are small so opening a bottle means I shouldnt have to worry about any thing going bad before I use it all. And being smaller means I can spread them around a little more. The bottles are free also so that is a more savings.


I have not started this yet but I have 15 bottles I plan on cleaning out tonight and set them to start drying so I can pack them this weekend.


Anyone know how much rice will fit in a 2 litter bottle? I'm guessing about 10 pounds


How many O2 absorbers would you use? I'm guessing 200-300cc worth per bottle.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:48 AM
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The only issues I see with the bottles are these...

For one, the plastic is very thin, and it may be possible for oxygen to leak through the bottle itself. I'm not 100% on this, but I've heard some things about it.

Also, the lids are questionable, with an O2 absorber inside the bottle, it may cause enough internal difference in pressure that the lids or bottle opening may bend or leak as well.

Maybe if you were to seal the top by dipping it in silicone or wax? Just to cover down past the cap?

I'm no expert, but it would seem like it should help against any leakage.

Just my $0.02.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:06 AM
wereallgonnadie wereallgonnadie is offline
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Consider mason jars or mylar bags.

I started prepping by getting a years worth of rice only. Then I added a few hundred pounds of lentils, beans, flour, salt, sugar and things like that. This is my long term storage, food I don't need to worry about for a few decades.

My short term storage (couple years) is rotated in and out and consists of canned goods that are either meals themselves or that would complement the rice.

Rice is cheap, stores well and is a great base food for anything.

2 liter bottles aren't made for long term storage.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:58 AM
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You do have options in between those two.

If you can get food grade buckets for a buck...you should grab that chance and work a way to use them. That is a great price.

The 2 liter bottles are iffy if you are looking at LTS foods. I wouldn't risk messing up my food supply using them.

If you'd like to utilize them in an in between sort of way, you can get mylar bags at very good prices now for the one gallon size. To use them for your rice, fill them and then put your O2 absorber in and lay them flat. They'll deflate to the shape you've laid them down for the most part. Then do another layer of the bags on top of those. (Picture a row of buckets and you fill them from the bottom with bags.)

Since the 1 gal bags (you can get a thinner and cheaper bag since they will be in buckets) often come in packs of 20 with enough absorbers for that number, you can get those packs. Lay out 5 or 10 buckets. Put one layer of bags of rice in the bottom of each. Then put in another.

If you are doing 10 buckets at a time, you can go two layers and then let them shrink down to size before going to the next round. If you are doing 5 buckets, do 2 layers and then one on each side and let them shrink down.

Once all shrunk down, do it again with a new pack of 20 bags/absorbers or fill up with other goods like spices and stuff that you'll use with that much rice.

Far less chance of spoilage, the rice is safe and you can stack the buckets far better than 2 liter bottles.

Give it a try!
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:03 AM
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I'm another person who would caution you against using 2 liter bottles. They are a pain in the behind to fill (and empty) and are not opaque so, all other things considered, need to be kept in a dark place.

I think you will be a lot happier with mylar bags of a reasonable size stored inside food grade buckets, like Christy suggests.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:13 AM
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To pack properly for long term, you would be using mylar bags inside those buckets. You can use smaller bags and not have to open the entire 5 gallons at a time that way. Though a lot of dried foods have a very long shelf life after opening, so even 5 gallons wouldn't be any big deal.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:25 AM
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If I can't keep 2Lt coke fizz trapped long enough to drink it without it going flat, I'm not going to trust the same bottle to keep out O2.

Mylar bags, a $6.99 hair straightener from the thrift shop, and 02 absorbers PLUS a handy dandy $10 attachment for my food vac food saver to easily seal mason jars are my choice of tools. You CAN store foods properly AND on a budget with a little bit of thought and effort.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warhawk-77 View Post

5 gallon bucket--I like the bucket idea but I'm not really liking the idea of opening a 5 gallon bucket of rice every time I want to make dinner. That leaves a lot of rice sitting and waiting to get used.
I buy my staples in bulk and put them into 5 gallon buckets. From there it is into #10 cans that fit into my pantry. They have plastic lids that snap on/snap off quite easily. I like the idea of using mason jars. They come in quart and half gallon size and are glass for sight and rodent protection. Truly, ask around to any old ladies (and I mean this in the nicest way...) and they will GIVE you their jars, just knowing that they are in a good home. They can be found at thrift stores easily, but I have never paid for a canning jar, and you shouldn't have to either.

Good luck on your preparedness. We are all behind you!

Jenn
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:35 PM
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I use 5 gal. buckets and the 23 lb. icing buckets from the local bakery. I put my rice, beans, bags of sugar etc. inside individual ziplock bags and then put the bagged items in the bucket. That way when I need a new bag of sugar or some rice, I open the bucket and pull out a bag.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:40 PM
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I use 1/2 gallon Mason jars, vacuum sealed. Reusable, bug and rodent proof.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:45 PM
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I dehydrate mine and put them in a dark tupperware container. They cost about 8 dollars, and they have handles (walmart, dollar stores, etc. There is 3 things you need to look for, O2, sun, and moisture. I take and break up everything I buy in bulk and put in smaller bags, dehydrate, and wala! This way I can check my stores because you can see through each dehydrated bag. I also have wise grab and goes and I open the container and add food in dehydrated bags (Rice, pancake mix, salt and pepper, etc)because there is extra room in the grab and go bucket.
I am not downing mylar bags, but this is how my family has done this since the dehydrators were made (you should see the OLD dehydrator my mom has) and none of us has ever had a problem. When I dehydrate, I also put the date on the bag. Remember, if you want to store something that goes to seed (like wheat or seeds) DON'T use and O2 obsorber
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:46 PM
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store what you eat and eat what you store. Just buy your normal groceries and buy extra when they are on sale at discount prices. If you normally buys soup at $1 per can, when it goes on sale at 2 for $1 buy a case or two. No need to repack unless you have a multi-year supply. Same deal for your rice, pasta etc. whne it is on sale stock up. No need to repack it. It will not "spoil" on your shelf any faster than in the grocery store or manufacturer warehouse. It is al;ready packaged to store for a year or more. This means that unless you have a full year's supply (50+ pounds) there is no need to repack it. Just keep it dry and use as needed.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wandering View Post
I use 1/2 gallon Mason jars, vacuum sealed. Reusable, bug and rodent proof.
Vacuum sealing is fine for shorter term use, within a few years. But it doesn't remove nearly as much O2 as O2 absorbers do, so it's not a long term storage solution.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:24 PM
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I am sure the Mylar and bucket is the proper real long term storage method but I am on a strict budget. So what has worked for me the last four years.
I drink a lot of sugar free juice. Crangrape types. I wash out the bottles and let air dry. I bought 20lb bags of rice from Wallyworld. I put them in the deep freezer (not the one in the fridge, a real -25 degree type chest freezer) for two weeks. Pull them out and using a plastic funnel with the tip cut off I fill 8 cups dry into each and bottle. Then they go under the bed (space is really tight at my house). I finished off the 2008 vintage about two months ago and are using the 2009 now. No bugs, no problems with taste. I have about 120 lbs stored now. I has worked for me. I see no problem with using 2 liter bottles for the same. I have read some say that the bugs can survive in the deep freezer but I have had no problems. Just do something now while you can. I do keep the rice frozen for a full two weeks before packing (I also let it come up to room temp before storing in the bottles).
Being a really old geezer I cannot do much lifting of big buckets. The juice bottles, no problem.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:40 PM
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I have buckets of LTS rice, mylar and O2 absorbers, put away but they are very LTS. If I have to open them to use them, I expect to use it up in a time frame where I should have no issues with shelf life.

When I started storing items in buckets, I used 1-gallon bags for the smaller "portion" sizes. What I learned is that I can only get four 1-gallon bags in a 5-gallon bucket, which meant I needed 25 percent more buckets for the same amount of food.

So in the interest of storage efficiency I moved away from the 1-gallon bags and to the 5-gallon mylar in 5-gallon buckets.

If using up the food is a concern, one way you can address it is by transferring to smaller sealed containers after you open the bucket. Another is to use Gamma Seal lids on those containers you open. Gamma Seals aren't cheap, but you don't need 'em on every bucket, just a few.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:57 PM
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using the liter bottles is by no way LTS (long term storage) food storage ... the thin poly and no mylar bag isn't much better than just leaving the dry food in the original factory packaging ..... you'll get less than 5 years at most

if the packaging concept had any merit, what-so-ever, the LTS commercial food packers would be using it ..... they all use either cans or for bulk, the food grade bucket/mylar bag/02 absorber packaging system ....

you need to remember in food storage .... the food is the most important prep item there is .... it's a "feel good" "piece of mind" insurance policy you're betting on that will be necessary sometime in the future ..... a policy that will possibly save your family's life ..... you need that food edible 5-10-15-20+ years in the future

spend the couple of bucks per bucket to do it correctly .....
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:00 PM
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Wide mouth mason jars - on sale at walmart. Beans, rice, rolled oats, potato buds - all with an O2 absorber or two and "POP" they're sealed.

Raisins, Pasta Sides, Wise Food outdoor meals (yes, I did listen to Mike) and coffee. You be surprised at how many you can stuff into a $10 cabinet off Craigslist that looks good in the cabin -

I keep a rather large amount of descants vacuumed sealed to place in my 5 gallon buckets once they're opened - if it comes to that, they will help as we eat our way through buckets that could take week. I open many sealed pouches at work with them inside, stick 'em in a bag and bring them home. I do however, stay away from the ones with cobalt blue.

2 liter soda bottles seem just a tick to flimsy for me, although in a pinch and if I knew I was going to be eating the contents with in 6 months or so I think it would be fine.

Portion control and a reusable storage vessel etc...
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:03 PM
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Default 2 liter bottles

A 2 liter bottle will hold approximately 4.4 lbs of rice, or 6 lbs of salt or sugar, 4 lbs of pinto beans.

I have a far amount of stuff stored this way, for ease of storage, to give to family members if needed etc.

I also have Rice, Salt, Sugar, Pintos, Pasta etc stored LTS with mylar and 02 absorbers. I have started making buckets of misc stuff for meals for a family for a week or so. Easier to use those to!

I am a firm believer in storing what you eat. I have been breaking my family in on real rice, not long term (easy to get them to use the 2 liter bottles vs a 5 gallon bucket.

I keep at least a couple dozen of the two liter bottles ready to be filled with water if needed, along with 10 or so in the freezer. Also don't forget that the 2 liter bottles are going to be a lot easier to carry when you have to pack your water around. I have practiced with a medium alice pack and can easily carry 4 bottles along with other stuff when on a "water" run.

55 gallon barrels are great but a little harder to move!

I would agree the 2 liter bottles are not for LTS but to bridge the gap between everyday and LTS they work great.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:04 PM
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Default common man food storage

I use five gallon buckets to store bulk food in the pantry but for convenience in the kitchen I wash and reuse plastic mayonnaise jars. They are unbreakable and "free".
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