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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a place that is selling 5 gallon food grade buckets with lids for 2.00 each. My question is how many do you think I should get? Grains, legumes, dry milk, rice, beans. Three people. Or better yet does anyone know how many pounds there are in a 5 gallon bucket? For example I need 400 lbs of wheat 62 lbs of oats 125 lbs of rice. Then also has anyone had any problems with storing in buckets with o2 absorbers? I dont want to make any mistakes and ruin my storage food. How many absorbers are you putting in each bucket? Good site to purchase them? If its a food grade bucket do I need the mylar bags? Do you put the oxygen absorbers on a paper towel or anything? I have heard that you can really mess this technique up so I dont want to be one of those people. Any direction you can give will always be greatly appreciated. Planning on the huge food purchase in February (tax money) so want to get my ducks in a row so to speak.
 

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Stop being on my side!
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I found a place that is selling 5 gallon food grade buckets with lids for 2.00 each. My question is how many do you think I should get? Grains, legumes, dry milk, rice, beans. Three people. Or better yet does anyone know how many pounds there are in a 5 gallon bucket? For example I need 400 lbs of wheat 62 lbs of oats 125 lbs of rice. Then also has anyone had any problems with storing in buckets with o2 absorbers? I dont want to make any mistakes and ruin my storage food. How many absorbers are you putting in each bucket? Good site to purchase them? If its a food grade bucket do I need the mylar bags? Do you put the oxygen absorbers on a paper towel or anything? I have heard that you can really mess this technique up so I dont want to be one of those people. Any direction you can give will always be greatly appreciated. Planning on the huge food purchase in February (tax money) so want to get my ducks in a row so to speak.
Here are a few resources that might help:

https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/...storage/how_much_food_fits_in_a_container.htm

http://preparedchristian.com/food-storage/how-much-can-we-store-in-a-5-gallon-bucket/

http://www.survivalistboards.com/search.php?searchid=3994926



http://www.providentliving.org/channel/0,11677,1706-1,00.html

and the "how much in a bucket" thread from Hades: http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=42500
 

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Don't panic!

People have been storing food for thousands of years without plastic buckets, mylar bags, or oxygen absorbers. The purpose of the buckets is to:
keep the food in one place,
in an easy to move size,
away from water,
away from bugs,
away from air,

Doing these things will increase the shelf life, but basically you can expect a bag of rice, wheat, or beans, or milk sitting in your cupboard to be edible a year or two later. You do lose some nutritional value (about 70 - 80% vitamins remain and all calories remain) and you'll notice absorbed food odors.

Just putting it in a plastic bucket with a lid will stretch that another year or two.

Adding an oxygen absorber lets you store a few more years, but plastic buckets allow some oxygen to get in. This is why people use mylar - it does a good job of blocking oxygen so the absorber doesn't have to work so hard.

Put them together, rice in a sealed mylar bag with oxygen absorber in a sealed bucket and you can expect 20+ years storage life. This is what justifies the expense of the oxygen absorber and mylar bags - you don't end up replacing the food in 5 years.


Alan Hagen has an excellent FAQ online at http://athagan.members.atlantic.net/PFSFAQ/PFSFAQ-1.html

For estimating, I figure 30 pounds of food per bucket. Search the forums for "food storage bucket" and you'll find lots of other people with similar questions.
 

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When I first started packing buckets away I thought (10) would really get the job done, then that went to (20), then some more math and other considersations and that went to (40), I did a count last week and I have (88) of them now...HELP ME!!

When I consider the price of a bucket (free-$2), a mylar bag and a few 02's and the price of 30lbs of rice ($10) or beans/pasta etc and realize that represents 200 plus meals...it's a great deal!

Over-kill is always better. If it's cheap, stock it deep!
 

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Why is the Rum gone?
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I found a place that is selling 5 gallon food grade buckets with lids for 2.00 each. My question is how many do you think I should get? Grains, legumes, dry milk, rice, beans. Three people. Or better yet does anyone know how many pounds there are in a 5 gallon bucket? For example I need 400 lbs of wheat 62 lbs of oats 125 lbs of rice. Then also has anyone had any problems with storing in buckets with o2 absorbers? I dont want to make any mistakes and ruin my storage food. How many absorbers are you putting in each bucket? Good site to purchase them? If its a food grade bucket do I need the mylar bags? Do you put the oxygen absorbers on a paper towel or anything? I have heard that you can really mess this technique up so I dont want to be one of those people. Any direction you can give will always be greatly appreciated. Planning on the huge food purchase in February (tax money) so want to get my ducks in a row so to speak.
I get my five gallon food grade buckets from the bakery at Sam's for free. They come with an o-ring seal in the lid and originally contained cake icing, so you don't need mylar. Just scrub them out good with hot soapy water, paying special attention to the O-ring seal cavities.
As far as how many to get...if you can get them for free, get all you can. There will be other uses for them.
Three of these buckets will hold 100 lbs. of rice, (1,000 servings) but they are full to the brim. 125 lbs of rice will leave a lot of dead air space in the fourth bucket. Try spreading out the 125 lbs. evenly into four buckets.
I got some 8"X11" shipping label blanks from Wally World and made my own labels for the buckets on the computer. It just looks neater. Info on the labels include: contents, date packed and cooking instructions.
I spoke to the folks at safepackus (or something like that), who made the O2 absorbers I had bought from Honeyvillegrain.com. They told me that 2 500cc O2 absorbers will be plenty for a 5-gallon bucket and will actually pull a vacuum in the bucket as they remove all of the O2. They can be laid on top of the grain will no problems. Including shipping, I spent $18.00 and change on 75-500cc O2 absorbers. That's enough to take care of 37 five gallon buckets. You may be able to find a better deal though, google around some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Its good for you to do your own homework educating yourself about how many calorie intake per day per person per year. Rice and beans go a long way.
I was going by the LDS website where you put in the people and it generates a numerical value. Is this sufficient?
 

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Quick question.
When storing foods like, dried beans, rice, etc in buckets using a mylar bag as a liner with oxygen absorbers, do you put these absorbers inside the mylar bag, or loose inside the bucket? (and not the mylar bag.)
 

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Quick question.
When storing foods like, dried beans, rice, etc in buckets using a mylar bag as a liner with oxygen absorbers, do you put these absorbers inside the mylar bag, or loose inside the bucket? (and not the mylar bag.)
Oxygen absorber goes inside the Mylar bag, on top of the grains. Don't use them for sugar or salt as it tends to make them turn into a rock.

For a 5 -6 gallon bucket I use the 2000 cc absorbers. They are available from many places. Some are sponsors of this site, like Emergency Essentials.

As far as not using the Mylar bags, food grade buckets, even with a good seal is no guarantee that air can't get in over time. The plastic bucket itself will allow air to permeate.
http://ndfs.byu.edu/Portals/9/docs/research/long/disinfestation in HDPE 5g buckets.091810.pdf

As to the original question of how many to get, I'd get all of them. There's just me and the wife and I already have over 50 buckets. That's only about 1 years supply of the basic grains and beans, plus some sugar and salt. Most buckets, when using the Mylar bags can't be filled fully and you only get about 30-35 pounds of food in a bucket.

There's a similar thread here in the last couple of days were I posted a link to some youtube video's on how to properly package food in Buckets with Mylar bags and O2 absorbers. I'm at work right now and unable to get to youtube to copy the link, so just look through this section and you'll find it here in the last day or two.
 
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I would strongly suggest using mylar bags and O2 absorbers. When I first started my food storage back in the '90s, it was common to just pack the foods in the bucket with the absorbers. But there is just too much that can go wrong. I used new gasketed lids and visually, it doesn't look like any of them leaked air. But who's to say that my food wasn't sitting in a 5% O2 atmosphere rather than the .2% it would have been if protected by mylar. I also didn't plan on long term storage, but rotation within a few years.

When it comes to something as critical as food storage, it's just not worth trying to save a couple bucks by skipping the mylar. Mylar isn't that expensive and it adds an airtight barrier. I use mylar now and will continue to do so until something better comes out. It's cheap insurance.
 

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I get about 33# of wheat and rice in one of them. So if I buy 100# I know I need three buckets.

I get my O2 absorbers from Sorbent, they're 1500cc absorbers, and they work FAST. Good stuff those. They're almost to the bottom of this page: http://sorbentsystems.com/order_O2.html

They work fine for a 5-gallon bucket.
 
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Before I put my supplies in the 5 gallon bucket I vacuum seal it with a Foodsaver sealing system. I use the 11" sealing system and bag in 5 lb lots because once you open it you need to use it, makes it easier to distibute to others if need be without giving away the whole bucket and you can see if the seal fails with a quick visual review. The units and bags are all over the internet and you can pick up the sealer for under $50 and 50yrds of 11" wide bag under $20 a roll. I included a photo of one like ours and it's kind of fun spending about an hour putting up a couple of buckets of bulk items with the wife and kids.
 

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Grains, legumes, dry milk, rice, beans ... I dont want to make any mistakes and ruin my storage food.
Storing these things is one thing ... knowing how to use them is another. Do you have a grain mill to grind down your grains? Once you do that, do you know how to cook with your grains? Do you have sufficient water to rehydrate your long-term legume, rice, and bean supply? The general rule to food storage is store what you eat, and eat what you store. If you store a bunch of food you never prepare in the event of an emergency, you might find that your food stores are not worth very much when you are stuck sucking on hard beans for dinner.

I think many folks here would agree that the best way to start a long-term food supply is to figure out what you eat on a monthly basis, and stock up on those items over time. Before you know it, you will have 3, 4, 5, 6 months worth of food. Once you can go 180 days on the things you normally buy, then it might be time to start thinking about 5-gallon buckets of hard red wheat and the like.

Good luck.
 

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Before I but my supplies in the 5 gallon bucket I vacuum seal it with a Foodsaver sealing system. I use the 11" sealing system and bag in 5 lb lots because once you open it you need to use it, makes it easier to distibute to others if need be without giving away the whole bucket and you can see if the seal fails with a quick visual review. The units and bags are all over the internet and you can pick up the sealer for under $50 and 50yrds of 11" wide bag under $20 a roll. I included a photo of one like ours and it's kind of fun spending about an hour putting up a couple of buckets of bulk items with the wife and kids.
Nice. I do the exact same thing. :thumb:
 

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Storing these things is one thing ... knowing how to use them is another. Do you have a grain mill to grind down your grains? Once you do that, do you know how to cook with your grains? Do you have sufficient water to rehydrate your long-term legume, rice, and bean supply? The general rule to food storage is store what you eat, and eat what you store. If you store a bunch of food you never prepare in the event of an emergency, you might find that your food stores are not worth very much when you are stuck sucking on hard beans for dinner.

I think many folks here would agree that the best way to start a long-term food supply is to figure out what you eat on a monthly basis, and stock up on those items over time. Before you know it, you will have 3, 4, 5, 6 months worth of food. Once you can go 180 days on the things you normally buy, then it might be time to start thinking about 5-gallon buckets of hard red wheat and the like.

Good luck.
VERY good advice all the way around. When I first began storing bulk beans and grains, I had to adapt to them since I didn't currently use them the way I do now. But that was my method for eating what I stored. I'm glad I did because it took a lot of experience to truly learn to use them in my daily meals.

Which brings me to a related point. Learning different ways to use what we're storing. Cooking is a basic life skill. It doesn't make sense to have the same boring beans and grains over and over to the point of appetite fatigue. Not when there are so many cultures around the world using them as their staple food too. Gather tasty new recipes, learn new ways to use the same staple foods. The only real difference is in the way they're prepared and seasoned. So stocking a good variety of herbs and spices (or better yet, grow your own!) is a must also.
 

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Before I put my supplies in the 5 gallon bucket I vacuum seal it with a Foodsaver sealing system. I use the 11" sealing system and bag in 5 lb lots because once you open it you need to use it, makes it easier to distibute to others if need be without giving away the whole bucket and you can see if the seal fails with a quick visual review. The units and bags are all over the internet and you can pick up the sealer for under $50 and 50yrds of 11" wide bag under $20 a roll. I included a photo of one like ours and it's kind of fun spending about an hour putting up a couple of buckets of bulk items with the wife and kids.
I'm not certain this is the best way to do it. One, because there's no commercially packed food done this way. Second is that the foodsavers don't draw a perfect vacuum of 30", more like 22". Which means there still air (and Oxygen) around the food. Adding the O2 absorbers into the Mylar bag all these foodsaver bags go into, if done that way, won't take the Oxygen out of the foodsaver bags.

I've tried looking for research papers on this, as well as just drawing a vacuum on the Mylar bags, but no success so far. If it were a viable way of storing food I'd expect to find some research on it and some professionally packaged food company doing it.(granted my Google-fu isn't always up to snuff.) All the research I've found recommend Mylar and O2 absorbers (or CO2 purging). Even a Nitrogen purge isn't 100%.

Anyone that can find viable research on this I'd greatly appreciate it.
 

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I'm not certain this is the best way to do it. One, because there's no commercially packed food done this way. Second is that the foodsavers don't draw a perfect vacuum of 30", more like 22". Which means there still air (and Oxygen) around the food. Adding the O2 absorbers into the Mylar bag all these foodsaver bags go into, if done that way, won't take the Oxygen out of the foodsaver bags.

I've tried looking for research papers on this, as well as just drawing a vacuum on the Mylar bags, but no success so far. If it were a viable way of storing food I'd expect to find some research on it and some professionally packaged food company doing it.(granted my Google-fu isn't always up to snuff.) All the research I've found recommend Mylar and O2 absorbers (or CO2 purging). Even a Nitrogen purge isn't 100%.

Anyone that can find viable research on this I'd greatly appreciate it.
Some coffee is done this way. Freeze dried backpacker meals.

Seems to work well on sweaters and blankets for storage.:D:

Not looking for super long term storage but about the same as canned goods, 1-2 years.

FWIW - Here are a few sites about Vacuum Sealing:

http://www.fantes.com/vacuum-packaging.html

http://www.backpackingchef.com/vacuum-sealing-food.html

https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/information_center/food_storage_faq/vacuum_sealing.htm

Not research paper quality but my experience has been good and these sites kind of back up the added storage time we have been seeing.
 

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I like to toss an O2 absorber into the foodsaver bag before sealing. I figure the foodsaver pulls a pretty good vacuum, and what little is left will be picked up by the absorber. As to the pails, I use a mylar bag, put the absorbers in, then seal most of the seam up. With just about 1 or 2 inches unsealed, I put the crevise tool of my vacuum in and pull out a lot of the air, then heatseal the remainder, with the vacuum still running. I realize this doesn't pull a serious vacuum, but you would be suprised how tight the bag will get. My thought is that all air I can remove first just makes it that much easier for the absorbers to get the rest.

Sharpshooter.
 
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