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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I'm about as poor as poor gets. 2 weeks ago, I set aside a little money to buy some food to store. However now I am faced with figuring out the cheapest way to store it. I don't suppose I can take a box of powdered milk and put it in a space bag, suck the air out, and expect it to do okay long term, can I?

Can anyone suggest the cheapest way to store dry milk? Should I unbox it and find something glass to put in?

Did I say i am dirt poor?

Advice greatly appreciated, TIA.
 

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born to hold out
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i think the cheepest way to store powdered milk would be to vac seal it...another option might be to buy enough to fill a 5 gal food grade bucket and dry ice it..but you would have to buy a mylar bag for that to work long term. but the way things are looking you might just wanna stock up because you might not have to worry about long term storage.
 

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I hear the bagpipes
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I know you asked about powdered milk, but I think you may need more a plan than just the milk for now. You say you are dirt poor. But what are your skills? Your skills and your willingness to help in a SHTF situation may be the best currency you have to spend. It is valuable, so stop thinking of yourself as dirt poor. Working into the place of being independently stocked up enough and remote geographically so as to need no one takes a lot of money and time. Any one with money and time can do it. Truly surviving in the long term for many people will eventually be a community effort though. The currency there will be effort, responsibility and a good attitude. Find like minded people in your area, and talk about this.

In the mean time, read the many good articles on this board regarding starting out in preps, and see what suits you as an individual. Storing powdered milk may be a good thing to do, but what about the water you will need to make use of it? Try to get an overall view of what you are trying to prep for, that is to ask, what do you expect to have happen, and for how long will you need to live off of your preps, and how do you see yourself surviving afterwards? When you know these things, then whatever actions you take in response will not be wasted or misirected efforts. This is a time for efficiency of preparation, as markets are tanking, and the political situation is edgy. Start with a plan.

The following thread is a good start;

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=6878
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the answers so far, but I am trying to figure out the most cost effective way for me to store food, such as dried milk. Can anyone help me?

I have my own well, so I am good on water. I know there are other things to worry about, but I am starting where I feel I must. Containers can be a little expensive, so I am trying to find out from other's experience what they think the cheapest methods are.

I have skills and work very hard, so no worries there.
 

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Dog bites - Owner shoots
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My suggestion would be as your low on funds tupperware it and put in freezer (depending on amount). Use it and replace in same. Invest in beans and rice also. cheap and easy to store long term. clean glass jars from food and use them. you already paid for them, theyre designed to keep food fresh. reuse those silica bags to keep stuff dry.
 

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Perfect for home defense!
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If MRE's weren't so expensive I would suggest that. Those bad boys keep themselves for a long time. You could always keep ur eyes out for a good deal on bulk. Other than that, for sure vacuum sealing is the cheapest.
 

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Gallon size ziploc bags might be one way to go, since a vacuum sealer would set you back about $125 - $150. You could squeeze all the air out and put in an oxygen absorber [sort of like those 'do not eat' packets you find in stuff] before you do the final bit of sealing the seam.

Two things would be problematic with long term storage of stuff like dry milk: moisture and deterioration of quality, like with exposure to light. Keep out the moisture and keep out of the light, and that should prevent most nutritional loss.
 

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Two things:

First I would go to http://www.beforethestormhits.com/ and listen to the family preparedness class.mp3. Its a long listen but worth it especially since your short on funds.

Second: Concerning dried milk I found this info at
http://www.survival-center.com/foodfaq/ff7-milk.htm
I think using the 2 liter soda bottles might be a viable option.

Storing of Dry Milks

Dry milk products are especially sensitive to storage conditions, particularly temperature and light. Vitamins A and D are photo sensitive and will break down rapidly if exposed to light.

The area where your dry milk is stored should be kept as cool as possible. If it is possible to do so, air-conditioning or even refrigeration can greatly extend the nutrient shelf life.

If the storage container is transparent or translucent then it should be put into a second container opaque to light or stored in a dark room.

Dry milk will absorb moisture and odors from the air so storage containers should be impervious to both air and moisture. The dryer it can be kept, the better it will keep. Oxygen also speeds decomposition. Powdered milk canned with nitrogen or carbon dioxide to replace air (which contains oxygen) will keep longer than powdered milk exposed to air. Vacuum canning also decreases the available oxygen.

If the dry milk purchased was not packaged for long term storage then it should be repackaged right away.

I purchase the instant variety at my local grocery and repack it when I get it home. I've seen a number of methods used for this and any of them should work.

The method I now use is to pour the powder into clean, dry half-gallon canning jars. Once the jars are filled I add a small desiccant pack and seal. They are dated and stored in the ubiquitous cool, dark place. They must be guarded against breakage, but they offer the advantage of not holding odors, thus allowing for reuse after suitable cleaning. Since they are as transparent the contents must be protected against light. Vacuum sealing and then storing in a dark place may be the best method. Larger jars of 1 gallon size could be used and then re-vacuum sealed after each use. An O2 absorber would take care of any remaining oxygen and would, itself, last longer when used in conjunction with the vacuum sealer. Being glass, the jar can be reused as well as the lid and ring if they're properly cleaned.

Clean, sound plastic one and two liter soda bottles can also be used, but probably should be used just once since the plastic is somewhat permeable and will hold odors.
 

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Try and find similar minded people in the area and set up a food coop type group. Do group buys to help defer some of the rising cost.
 

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getting 5 gallon buckets for free, go to the grocery store to the bakery or go to a donut shop/ bakery some stores will charge you $1 for the buckets but some will give them to you FREE. they have differnt types depending on what was in it. you want the ones that have a rubber gasket on the lid.
places to get food. look in the phone book is there a cannery near by? there is 1 in the town where i live. up until about a month ago they would sell unlabled can good for $5 for 24 cans. they knew what each pallet was. it was up to you to keep up with what they are once you buy them. i would ask what do we got today? they would say that pallet is black eyed peas ,that 1 is green beans, and the other one is homny.these where freash cans most undented the only thing wrong is they ran out of labels so they emptyed the vat filling unlabled cans. they have been doing it for many a year now and for some reason they suddenly stoped i did notice every time i went there was more and more new ppl getting some.

there are places that sell closeout stuff many of them have food items you can get stuff like seasonings, hot sause,zip-locks ...ect i got ALOT of rice from one of those 2-20lbs bags for $5 (this was when walmart was selling $9)
estate auctions you can get DAM good deals at auctions (items not food ) stuff like a vaccum packer for $5 or about 50 canning jars for $2...ect i got a never NIB coleman stove 2 burner/propane for $5 still in the box (never used by a little old lady) .some auction houses will have regular sellers who sell food items, alot of items you can get cheap.

look in your city for food manufatures many of them sell stuff from the factory for real cheap for something that just inst right. like the chicken plants sell miss cuts ,the cutter didnt cut the chicken right so the throw it into the miss cut pile or the wrong pieces was diped in the wrong batter. it doesnt hurt to just call and ask or stop and ask the guard they will know if they do. almost ALL factories have damaged goods for sale
 

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I would look on craigs list and type in "food grade buckets" people got em cheap and lots of sizes too, but you probably dont need the 55 gal ones since you got a well. after that you could save up for some mylar bags OR since $$$ is an issue you could double ziploc bag them and tape the tops. its not going to be as good as mylar but its better than nothing

Kid_M
 

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Here is a tip. Buy the food saver vacuum sealer attachment for jars. Then get an automotive store vacuum brake bleeder. We use these to degas wine at 20-25 inches of vacuum.

The jars will probably implode at that level. some of the glass wine vats do if they have deep scratches or chips. 10-12 on the dial should give the same seal as a waterbath canner without the damaging heat.
 
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