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Need tips from food storage gurus

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We're part of a coop and thus are buying in bulk but need some help figuring out how to store all this stuff. We're trying to move away from processed food (trying is the operative word here), and have been getting 15 pounds of quinoa etc. We have an extra freezer downstairs that has some room and I'm wondering what you would recommend putting into it (dried beans, grains, dried fruit, nuts, flours)? Would any of these things be bad for a freezer?

Also once you open that lovely 15/25 pound bag, what do you put the remainder in for storage? I just feel a little nervous about letting our flour hang out in our basement freezer without being fully covered.

Thanks for any help. We're heading to HQ this weekend for shelving for the cans and box kind of stuff.
post #2 of 7
When I was little my mom belonged to a co-op and she put her bulk brown rice (50 pounds or so) etc into clean metal trash cans with lids. She also put Bay Oil (essential oil from bay leaves) on the inside of the lid as this keeps insects away. It's a very nice smell. If I smelled some now I would flashback to 4 years old!
post #3 of 7
Nuts and grains are great in the freezer, it reduces rancitidy in nuts especially.

I store my bulk stuff in a combination of glass canning jars, tupperware and large plastic canisters. My mom gave me a set of huge plastic containers that she bought at Costco years ago. The biggest one holds at least 25 lbs flour.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your ideas, etoile and arduinna. I should probably look for some "big" containers. We'll see if I can find an alternative to plastic (though maybe if it's in the freezer, then the risk of leaching and taste is almost non-existent, hmmm).

The idea of using garbage cans is a good one, but I'm sure dh would think it was a little gross (though I'll mention the bay oil).

Oh, the joys of buying in bulk...

Thanks again
post #5 of 7
I use gallon jars I got at a food co-op I used to work at. They are glass and they originally contained mayonaise, mustard, pickles and the like. You may be able to get some for free at local restaurants/delis.

I also use large plastic tubs I bought at a hardware store to hold flours (25lbs). And put nuts and seeds in the freezer. I pick up old quart jars at yard sales, I especially like the kind with glass lids.

Buying bulk can be addictive. I must have 15 varieties of dried beans in bulk, a wide selection of nuts and seeds, but I'm always running out of popcorn. Have fun,
post #6 of 7
We use big storage buckets (you can sometimes find them that are specificly for food storage with super tight sealing lids, etc...). One thing that I heard that you could do (since you have a big freezer) is that putting your dry-goods food in the freezer for at least 24 hours before putting into storage buckets/tubs will kill any and all eggs and/or little creatures that may be in the flour, beans, etc...that way you know you are starting with fresh, clean food that will not get infested if kept in an air-tight container. I can't wait until we get a deep freeze this fall!!! They are wonderful!
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

great idea


thanks for the info about freezing killing bug larvae. when i mentioned to dh that we could get bay oil to put on jar lids to keep bugs out of the grains, he said that would be a great way to keep the bugs already in from getting on the lid (said sarcastically). so i'll pass this thought onto him. seems like the freezer's where we have the most room now so everything bulk is going in there. at some point, we'll probably have to prioritize and take some of it out, if I keep buying more and more and more...

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