Several years ago, my husband took on the job of cleaning out his parents’ storage room. They had stored several bags of wheat in this room and thought they were safe…by the time the cleanup happened, the bags (and a good part of the wheat) had been chewed by mice. It was disappointing for my mother-in-law to realize that the food storage she thought she had was no longer fit for consumption.
Storing your Long-Term Storage is just as, if not more, important that buying it! Make sure you are storing your food in a way that keeps rodents, mold and bugs out and nutrition in! When the time comes that you need to use your storage, you will want to make sure it is there!There are several ways and price points to store your food storage safely!
These tight-sealing plastic containers work well for storing several different food varieties in a small space. They seal wonderfully keeping bugs out and are easy to rotate the food. The cons are that they can be pricey and they do not hold a lot of food.
These bags are made from a polyester resin laminated with tin foil, basically creating a flexible tin can. These bags are sealed tight with an oxygen pack and can easily be stored in boxes or on closet shelves, under beds, etc. Winco and Amazon both sell Mylar Bags and oxygen packets. They do need to be sealed with a bag sealer. Last I heard, the sealers are available at the church canneries for check out (A foodsaver appliance will also seal these bags). They are reusable, but the bag will get smaller each time it is re-used. The biggest cons are that these bags do require the extra step of sealing with special equipment. Because they have been specially-sealed the likelihood of rotation may be low.
Food can be sealed in #10 cans. These cans and lids can be purchased from the church cannery and need a can sealer to seal the cans. Like the Mylar bags, they also need oxygen packs to remove excess oxygen from the can for the food to be sealed properly. Cans are easily stackable. Plastic lids can be purchased separately so that contents of opened cans can be stored safely until food is used. Cons are the cans cannot be re-sealed, special equipment must be used, and rotation is a bit more difficult as with the Mylar bags.
These are by far my favorite food storage option! They are easily obtainable in 2 or 5-gallon sizes. The best prices I have found are at Winco (near the bulk section) or Lowes.com (search food-grade buckets). Lids will also need to be purchased; you have the option of regular plastic lids—don’t forget to buy a bucket opener—or spin-top gamma lids. Buckets are washable, stackable, reusable, and store a lot of food. They make rotating very easy and work well for those continually using their food storage. If you do not plan to use your bucketed food for a bit, oxygen packs are recommended. The biggest con is that they can take up more space and if left in the sun, the buckets will crack. If you are looking for the smaller buckets, check your local grocery store bakery, some stores will give away frosting buckets for free or a low cost.
Foodsaver Appliance & PouchesI am not terribly familiar with this appliance, but know a lot of people who really love them. There are several different models that range in price from about $60 to $300. They seal many different packages including Mylar bags and plastic. Many use them to store meat for the freezer. If you determine a bag is the best fit for your family, you may seriously consider this investment.
I Challenge you...
Determine what type of container works best for your storage space, your frequency of rotation (remember, store what you eat, and eat what you store!), and the foods you plan to store.
If you have questions about containing your food storage, please ask! That is why I am here!
Previous months’ long-term storage goals can be found on my blog: www.ByesBoos.blogspot.com
Additional Storage Items
If you would like to add more to your long –term storage and preparedness, consider the following:
· Jams & Jellies
· Water Jugs & Bleach
· Canned Meats: 15 lbs per family member
· Bath Soap
· Facial Tissue
· Condiments—Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Mustard, Salad dressings, etc. (They are often on sale for the 4th of July!)