A few years ago I asked our readers for suggestions on finding affordable, quality food storage options for bulk foods. You guys delivered with a ton of great comments and ideas! I’ve consolidated the comments and bring you 12 awesome suggestions for storing bulk foods in your home.
PLEASE NOTE: These are suggestions from readers, in their words (with just a few minor edits).
Be sure to check out this great list of foods to stock in your fridge, freezer and pantry to save time and money!
1. Food Grade Buckets
✓ My mom has used the food grade buckets for 30 years and they work great.
✓ Just ask any local story with a bakery for them. You will want to wash and sanitize them but they hold up great and are air tight. In case of a flood or earthquake they shouldn’t break like glass.
✓ I went to the bakery area at our local grocery store and asked for their food grade buckets that their icing comes in. I just got 3 for my rice and milk. Even though I wash and disinfect it, I’ll use a plastic bag in it. So far so good!
✓ Cash & Carry has a ton of food storage containers for very reasonable prices (especially considering they last FOREVER). We bought buckets to hold flour, wheat, and sugar for about $14/bucket. These buckets hold a 25# bag of flour. I know some people who bought buckets from home depot for $5 BUT they aren’t technically food safe. You just have to decide what works best. The Home Depot buckets are a solid orange color, the Cash ‘n Carry buckets are clear with measurements marked on the sides.
2. Reuse and Recycle
✓ Empty candle jars with lids. Just clean and disinfect. If candle wax remains inside, put in the freezer for about half an hour and you should be able to pop out the remaining wax with a butter knife.
✓ Rinse and disinfect glass applesauce or pasta sauce jars and use for smaller items like nuts, popcorn kernels and rice.
✓ Use the square animal cracker cookie jars from Costco. I bought the cookies for $7.99 and because the containers are square, I can store them easily on shelves without losing much space.
✓ Check the glass sections at Goodwill or other thrift stores. They will often have all sorts of inexpensive jars.
3. Canning Jars
✓ I use half gallon canning jars in the cupboards for nuts and grains (around $15 for 12) and Cash and Carry buckets in the pantry for the bulk stuff.
✓ For smaller quantities I use quart and pint canning jars. If you buy them around canning season, then you can get a good deal on them.
4. Miscellaneous Storage Solutions
✓ We use Tupperware containers. Especially for pantry items that absolutely must be airtight to maintain freshness. I placed all empty containers (with lids on) into a tub of water with a brick for weight to see how effective the container is prior to use. If we see bubbles, then that one gets to be a sandbox toy!
✓ What I finally found for large amounts of flour and sugar is at Walmart in their pet food section. They have several large plastic containers for storing pet food. It sounds funny, but the lids snap on and then hinge open and lock shut, they’re air tight and also they’re BPA free. I was totally excited when I figured out this solution!
If you loved this crowd-sourced post, be sure to check out one of our most popular resources with comments and suggestions from readers — How to Remove Pee Smell from your Bathroom!
Amazon actually has a HUGE selection of bulk food storage options, in various sizes and shapes. Buy individual pieces to round out your pantry or buy a variety pack to fit various foods like pasta, flour and sugar, nuts and seeds and more.
Any other suggestions? How do you safely store your bulk items and baking ingredients?
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