We go through a fair amount of beans and buckwheat in this house. To save a bit of money to allow us to buy higher quality foods we try to buy in bulk. We’ve put our FoodSaver vacuum sealer into action to help store the larger amounts of these dry goods. I spent some time today storing this 50-lb bag of Navy Beans. Finally getting to the bottom of the bag in this picture!
We choose to vacuum seal foods when it’s appropriate to allow for longer storage in the cool, damp basement. We just don’t have room in the pantry to keep everything. Read the rest of this entry »
We began our food storage on a whim while living in our small 600 square foot apartment. The key for us at that particular moment was the absolute need for easy, space saving storage. We have since expanded quite a bit, our needs have changed and we now have much more storage space in our current home. Soon after moving our supply to our new home we sat down to make a plan and get organized.
Buy only things that are eaten on a regular basis. This ensures constant rotation. This is especially important with short term storage items that only last a year or 2. You want to make rotation a habit. This is the easiest way to do so with cans: cansolidator. Buy things that dont require refrigeration!
Water. Water. Water. Having an ample supply of water is obviously the key to survival and comfortable living. Think total water usage, not just consumption. Water is necessary for hygiene and cooking as well as drinking. Find a way to ensure access to clean water in the event that public water systems become contaminated or power outages prevent normal well function. The solution for us is one that we use regularly when we have our prolonged winter power outages. We run our well on a gas generator.
Know what you have, what you consume, and how long your supplies will last. The easiest way is to start an inventory list the day you begin your storage and add/ subtract as things are added and eaten. If you’re like me and didnt stay on top of things, set aside an afternoon and update your inventory. I found a spreadsheet is the easiest way to do this. Include sizes, number of portions, and expiration dates. This way you can tell at a glance what you use most of and what’s about to expire. It’s also a good idea to do a quick once over of your spreadsheet when making your grocery list. Whether you decide to buy a little extra each shopping trip, once a month, or 3 times a year, you can easily see what you’ve consumed and how much you need to purchase to replenish your supply. Read the rest of this entry »
To keep our canned goods rotating we’ve set up a Shelf Reliance Cansolidator Harvest 72″ unit. This unit holds up to 600 cans although we don’t have ours filled to the maximum capacity. It’s actually pretty empty at the time this picture was taken.
Assembly took about 2 hours and was a bit tedious. The frame work goes together easily with a little help from a mallet. For each slot there are multiple cross supports that snap into place and they each need to be fitted to the correct can size so the cans rotate smoothly which was the time consuming part.
Once the unit was put together we had to seriously consider which canned goods would get a spot in the cansolidator and which would remain on the shelf in the pantry. Only the foods that we use on a regular basis and felt we could get through before expiration got a spot. The other foods that we don’t keep many of on hand are living happily in our pantry!