Friday, February 12, 2010

The Storing of Bulk

I had a friend ask a few weeks ago (sorry it took so long to respond) about how we store the food we buy in bulk. Between doctor visits, finger pricks, stategic planning of meals and snacks, raising two godly little girls, and a broken camera it's taken me much longer than I anticipated to get this together. 


We buy wheat (hard red and soft white) in 50lbs bags, evaporated cane juice crystals and brown rice in 25lb bags, and organic coconut oil in a 5 gallon bucket. The first wheat we bought years ago we bought from the Bread Beckers in a nice quality 5 gallon bucket. We no longer buy our wheat from them, although occasionally we do buy a few other things. We now get all our bulk products (except the organic coconut oil) from a local seventh day adventist store. They do no sell the 5 gallon buckets so we were forced to either buy empty buckets from Lowes or somewhere online or find an alternative source. We were able to score about 10 5 gallon buckets for a couple of bucks from a local donut shop (who had gotten icing in them). We did buy the gamma seal lids as they are a lifesaver. They can attach to any 5 gallon bucket and screw off with ease and keep the food fresh, dry, and bug free. We bought a different color for each item so we could easily tell them apart. 


We store all our 5 gallon buckets in the basement in a dark corner away from any windows or moisture. I keep several old ice cream buckets full of each kind of bulk food item stored in my kitchen. All labeled for easy as access within easy reach for daily use. We have do not have any of items stored "properly" for long term storage but then we usually use the item in 6-12 months, depending on how we and my mom uses. Here is a great source for some articles on long term storage. If anyone is interested in more articles on long term storage just leave a comment or email me. I have lots bookmarked on the computer. We have bought the supplies but have never used them. We usually keep one extra back up bag of each item. And those bags are stored downstairs with the buckets. We don't open the bag but we do "stuff" into one of the empty 5 gallon buckets. 

For use it's been a what works for us mentality. ]For now we are not doing long term storage (mostly due mostly to paying off debt rather than saving food for future) but it on our agenda for the future especially since food prices continue to rise. 

Do any of you store food? If so what kind and how do you store it?

6 comments:

Quinn said...

We get all of our 5 gallon buckets for FREE!

We contacted the local bakery and asked them if they had any buckets and after a couple tries we spoke to the right person and now they call us begging to come take them off of their hands! We bring them home, wash them, and store them in the basement and use them for everything. My husband even fashioned a hog feeder out of several saving a ton of money.

The kids really like it when we pick them up near closing time, because we've been know to get free donuts a time or two. :D

Christine said...

Many people are involved with Bread Beckers, at my church. I was interested in getting some supplies from them. May I ask why you stopped buying from them? I would appreciate your advice. Blessings!

Emily said...

Quinn,
That is awesome that you get yours for free. Dunkin Donuts recently bought the donut shop we got ours from. I can't imagine them giving any hand outs but we're planning to call them anyway. : )

Christine,
I totally support the Bread Beckers. They have taught me so much and their ministry and family is wonderful. If it weren't for shipping cost (even local co-op shipping) I would still be buying all my wheat and such from them. But we can get it a good bit cheaper local from the seventh day adventist store. Sometimes when I visit my sister in Atlanta I can go by their store and buy items. Have you heard the Sue Beckers cd "Do not eat the bread of idleness?" If you haven't you can order it free off their website. It's awesome!!!!!!

Christine said...

Thank you so much for the info, Emily. I would love to hear that cd. Blessings!

Dear Abbi said...

Your storage looks great! We are incorporating more "bean meals" into our weekly menu and I'm having a hard time finding beans in bulk for a decent price! The Amish/Mennonite bulk food stores around here are more expensive than the 1lb bags at the grocery store! And Wal*mart isn't any better. There is a large Hispanic community in the Valley though, so I have a question out to my Puerto Rican friend to see where she gets beans, because I know that she doesn't pay retail, and I'm pretty sure she buys in bulk. I'm glad that the bulk foods are working for you! I love going to the Country Store to buy stuff. :) It's a good thing it's not TOO close and that my mom can pick up stuff for me when she goes, or I would be poorer. :)

Emily said...

Abbi,

It's funny. The prices on beans at our local country store are more than Wal-mart too. I don't usually buy our beans in bulk although we do have an unopened 5 gallon bucket of Great Northern Beans downstairs. : O) THat's great that your mom gets you stuff when she goes. I wish we had an Amish/Mennonite place close. I am so intrigued by them!

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