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So you’ve seen the wacky news headlines of food shortages or you have gone to the store and seen the empty shelves firsthand and now you want to start a home food storage. Let me help you build your food storage! I’ve been working on mine for a few years now with the goal of having a year’s worth of food on hand to thrive—it’s going pretty well! I recently filmed a vlog showing part of my food storage and other supplies I stock up on. The most important tip for food storage is to buy what you eat!
Where is the best place for food storage?
When thinking about building a food storage, you need to keep in mind the 3 most important things for choosing your food storage location: temperature light, and moisture. Food will last longer if it is kept in a cool, dry area and away from light. Nothing ruins your food faster than light, hot temperatures, and water finding its way into your 5 gallon buckets or bags of flour. All of these things will drastically lower the shelf life of your food.Food storage tip: DO NOT store your 5 gallon buckets directly on cement. Moisture will seep into the bucket from the cement.
How do I store bulk food?
In my vlog, you can see that a majority of my long-term (25-30 years) food storage is stored in #10 cans on shelves in a closet in my basement. Although the wood stove is down there, it stays relatively cool in the closets along the walls. The closets border the cement foundation so cool air circulates around them. My mid-layer food storage that is directly used to replenish my pantry is stored in clear totes! It is important to use clear totes, so you can easily see what food you are storing. If there was sunlight around my storage area though, I would use solid totes and label what was in them so the sunlight couldn’t affect my food.
Label what is in your food storage boxes, so you can see what you have at a glance. In my solid #10 can boxes, I have labeled on the outside how many of each type of product are within the box. For solid totes, use labels like these that help you keep organized and can help you manage your food storage.
What do I store bulk food in?Glass jars, 5 gallon buckets, 3 gallon buckets, mylar bags, tote storage containers. There are many options for bulk food storage! My personal favorite way to store book food is a mix of all of these! You can watch me fill a 5 gallon bucket with a 25 pound bag of cane sugar I bought from Azure Standard here to see how simple and easy it is. After I poured the bag into the bucket, I topped the bucket with a gamma lid for easy access.
What is a gamma lid?
A gamma lid modifies a gallon bucket into a reusable container. The seal is mostly air tight and leak proof—great for food storage! I would suggest to use these for easy access into your food storage. I use these on my buckets of baking supplies, rice, and anything else I want to have an air tight closure.
How do I use Mylar bags?
You fill the mylar bag with the food you want to store (not all foods/ingredients can be stored in Mylar,) add the appropriate oxygen absorber according to the size of the Mylar bag, seal the top, and you’re done! Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers are amazing for long term food storage. Once I get my freeze dryer, I plan to utilize Mylar bag storage a lot more!
A great way to reuse old canning lids is to use them for your pantry food storage. I store baking soda, sugars, and other items in glass jars that you can see in my pantry tour vlog. You can also use reusable leak-proof jar lids for storage if you don’t have any old canning lids. I use a mixture of both! Keeping food in an air tight container also helps with the shelf life. You can get a vacuum sealer and a mason jar attachment to vacuum seal foods.
One problem you might run into is thinking you don’t have enough space for food storage. Get creative! Think about the area under your bed, couch, or entertainment center. Are you using all of the space in your kitchen? You can stack buckets and place a decorative sheet over them for decoration or use as a nightstand. Use the KonMari method like I do to tidy and organize your house and find an area or areas for your food storage! Make room because food is essential.
I hope these tips and tricks for how to store bulk food storage help you on your journey to becoming self sufficient and prepared for the future!