Managing bulk foods w/o a pantry - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-18-2012, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How do y'all manage your bulk foods (grains, beans, flours, etc.)? 

 

Right now, mine are all in the original baggies from the store kind of piled on top of each other in a cabinet and it's (obviously!) not working.  I have a little cabinet space, but no real pantry, and I don't want to clutter up my counters. 

 

So, how do you do it?  Photos appreciated! 


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#2 of 14 Old 01-18-2012, 10:54 AM
 
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Hi,

 

Unfortunately I can't do photos, but basically I have metal storage shelves (kinda like this http://www.amazon.com/Whitmor-6060-322-Supreme-4-Tier-Shelving/dp/B0007MHD1K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326912684&sr=8-1), and bins on the shelves in varying sizes.  The shelves are nice because we have a really small space, and I move them around as needed.  My container garden is actually behind the shelves near the window, so I move them around 1- 2 times per day.  They also have really tall spaces, so I can keep large bins with flour, dry beans, etc. 

 

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#3 of 14 Old 01-18-2012, 02:15 PM
 
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If I didn't have a pantry, I'd put them in something like big tupperwares or glass ball jars and put them wherever I had room, even if it was in the coat closet or under teh bed or somewhere weird.

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#4 of 14 Old 01-18-2012, 06:33 PM
 
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I have 1 L-shaped shelf on the 2 walls surrounding my kitchen table (it goes around the corner). It's about 18 or 20 inches from the ceiling and doesn't get in the way because it's where we sit at the table. It was built by the previous owner. For years, I used it for decorations, but finally I started putting extra food in canvas bins up there. I have each one labeled. One for pasta, one for my extra jars, and one for beans, etc. I also have a jar for each grain that is just an old spaghetti sauce jar with a plain black or gold lid and I line those up on my window sill for quick and easy access.I also think it looks pretty to see them. I like the fact that I can just climb on a chair to reach my shelf since it's right by the table. However, in the middle of cooking, I prefer to have my most used grains handy. I stink at taking the time to upload photos, but another trick I use is to cut out the directions for say steel cut oats and then tape that inside my cabinet between the jars and my stove. I also like the "label once" labels because you can erase permanent marker off of them and change your label at any time.

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#5 of 14 Old 01-19-2012, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkksmom View Post

I have 1 L-shaped shelf on the 2 walls surrounding my kitchen table (it goes around the corner). It's about 18 or 20 inches from the ceiling and doesn't get in the way because it's where we sit at the table. It was built by the previous owner. For years, I used it for decorations, but finally I started putting extra food in canvas bins up there. I have each one labeled. One for pasta, one for my extra jars, and one for beans, etc. I also have a jar for each grain that is just an old spaghetti sauce jar with a plain black or gold lid and I line those up on my window sill for quick and easy access.I also think it looks pretty to see them. I like the fact that I can just climb on a chair to reach my shelf since it's right by the table. However, in the middle of cooking, I prefer to have my most used grains handy. I stink at taking the time to upload photos, but another trick I use is to cut out the directions for say steel cut oats and then tape that inside my cabinet between the jars and my stove. I also like the "label once" labels because you can erase permanent marker off of them and change your label at any time.


Thanks, everyone!  It seems like people have some pretty different ways of storing stuff.  We rent, so I'm not sure I can add shelving to the walls, but I'll see.  It would be really nice to have everything that I use the most visible but off the counters. 

 

Considering what kind of storage containers to get.  I like those Oxo pop-and-seal containers, but that's plastic.  I have seen some glass containers that look decent.  I think Ball jars sound cool, but not super easy to open in a pinch.  They are affordable, though! 

 

I need to get some of those markers!  They sound kind of magical. :)

 

Keep the ideas coming!  And thanks again.

 


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#6 of 14 Old 01-20-2012, 06:55 PM
 
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:) I moved to (almost) all glass two years ago.  It feels so much better than plastic!  I bought mostly pyrex and lots of Ball jars.  My favorites hands down are the Ball canning jars...and they're the least expensive.  They do not stack well in my spaces, but I feel like they keep bugs out and are easy to sterilize (after kids collect misc. animal creatures in them or mix paint in them, etc.). 

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#7 of 14 Old 01-21-2012, 07:40 AM
 
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i have this problem too. whatever fits and can go into my deep freeze, i put in there. lots of stuff is on big gallon jars and smaller mason jars. right now i have a big bag of brown rice, black beans, quinoa just sitting on my kitchen floor in a corner needing somewhere to go.. sometimes i put things in my laundry room in bins, but atm its a mess! i really need to get more organized.dizzy.gif


 

 

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#8 of 14 Old 01-21-2012, 02:02 PM
 
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I have one cabinet in the kitchen which stores my most used bulk and pantry type items. Dh installed a rolling shelf inside for canned tomatoes which saves a bit more rooom in there. Most of it is in some type of jar container, either glass or plastic. All of my back up pantry is on a couple of shelves in the laundry room.  I don't have quite as much bulk pantry as I used to have when I actually had a pantry, which has turned out okay. It forced me to get rid of some OLD grains and legumes I really didn't use much but had on hand.

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#10 of 14 Old 01-29-2012, 09:59 AM
 
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Jimblejamble, love your counter! I'd like to do that with my rice and flours. I have SO many gluten free flours and they're nowhere near being organized.


 

 

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#11 of 14 Old 01-30-2012, 12:20 PM
 
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I have a similar problem and I'm a renter too, so there's not much in the way of carpentry I can do. I have seen awesome ideas about mounting Ball jars to the underside of the cabinet by their lids or using a magnet system. I don't love using plastic, but it's what I have now. I use the Snap Ware set. When I got sick of looking at them I ended up putting the jars in the cabinets andrelocating the dishes that I wasn't using often. Food storage


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#12 of 14 Old 02-03-2012, 12:10 PM
 
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I have bail top glass jars - the kind with glass lids and a metal fastener.  I got them at Cost Plus (World Market), in a variety of sizes.  Everything from a gallon to a pint.  Like these ones.  I also have some of these.  I dedicated one shelf in my cabinet to them (2 layers deep), and since they stack nicely, I stack them as possible.  When I ran out of those jars, I started using standard canning jars, in various sizes, with one piece lids. 

 

I live in an old Victorian with a tiny kitchen, so I had to get creative with pantry space.  I found a pie cabinet (sometimes called a jelly cupboard) at a local bare woods place and turned that into my pantry.  The nice thing about a pie cabinet is it's only about 12 inches deep, so it can fit in spaces that otherwise might go unused.  I got a tall one - about 6 ft tall, most of the ones I'm finding with google are only waist high.  The top half of my cabinet is used for my regular grocery store purchases (cans, bottles, jars, boxes, etc.), and the bottom half of the cabinet is used for bulk storage - again with the mason jars, or even in the original packaging if it was bought in a large pkg (instead of from a bin). 


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#13 of 14 Old 02-03-2012, 04:43 PM
 
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Oh I found this and thought of you...

http://www.specialtybottle.com/index.aspx


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#14 of 14 Old 02-04-2012, 03:36 PM
 
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my best friend built a bench that her kids sit at to eat. The seat of the bench lifts up to reveal a big box for storage beneath. that's where she keeps flour, etc.

 

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