Food storage ideas, please

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cindyc, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    I bought a bunch of grain based foods in bulk. Our home is VERY small. I need to transfer everything out of the large paper bags and boxes it came in so that I do not get mice in the winter.

    (BTW, when I say small, I am talking 900 square feet with a large family. Every nook and cranny of the place is full of stuff, and we got rid of most everything we did not need. ) We built a bench for the breakfast bar for the kids to eat on (place is too small for a table) and put book shelves on the outside of it, and left a storage space in the middle that we can access by taking the seats off. The bulk foods have to pretty much go in there. There is no plan B. (Well, moving, but that will not happen till after winter).

    The big buckets people buy are too big. Any suggestions?

    Cindyc.
     
  2. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Plastic under bed storage boxes?

    Rubber maid bins are my favourite for storing everything as they are rodent proof (at least no rodent I've met can get into one, I suppose with enough perseverance they'll get into anything but still...)

    Trash cans, stored outside? (I do that for my animal feed.)

    Just a few ideas! I live in a small house too. :)
     

  3. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    Cindy-

    Are the 5 gallon buckets too tall? or too wide? both? If it is the height which is an issue, check with your local bakery or grocery store. I used to get buckets which were probably 3, maybe 4 gallons, that held frosting. I got them free, with lids, and they were, obviously, food grade, and they had gaskets.

    Not sure what size packages you purchased, but if the smaller buckets are still too large, or you can't find any, maybe the Rubbermaid cereal containers would work for you. They'd be a little pricey if you needed a bunch of them, but maybe you could find some of freecycle.

    Maybe large coffee cans would work? They have plastic lids but they would be relatively easy to check on for rodent damage and you can probably find them free at a local cafe, restuarant, etc.

    If you will be storing these items long-term, you should probably rotate them through your freezer for a few days each to kill off any bug eggs that might be in them before you put them away.

    Good luck.
     
  4. annethcz

    annethcz Well-Known Member

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    That way my first thought, too.

    Depending on how much you have, glass jars might be an option. They can be left out and look decorative. Either use quart or half-gallon canning jars, or recycle old spaghetti sauce and juice jars.
     
  5. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    If you have a lot of stuff, maybe you could get an old (free) chest freezer and put it in an outbuilding? It should not hurt your grains if they freeze during the winter. You could keep a supply of small quantities in your kitchen and refill those containers as needed.
     
  6. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

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    I buy 1/2 gallon canning jars. I use these for flour,sugar, cornmeal,cereal, etc. and then can reuse them to put up pickles later.
     
  7. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    If you can come up with some type of box or container, you could make "end tables" and even a "coffee table". Place a piece of plywood on top and a cloth covering for decor. If you already have a coffee table or end tables that you don't want to part with, then place food containers in baskets and place under the tables. Under bed storage as some one already mentioned. Another idea is lining the floor of a closet with the boxes. If the floor has to be walked on, then put a piece of 1/2 inch plywood on top. This is especially good in a child's closet where having the floor "step up" allows easier access to clothing sometimes. Boxes can also be stacked to make a narrow "table" behind a couch, to make a "headboard" behind a bed.

    Any box can be painted, wallpapered, covered with fabric. Storage containers can be used like cinder blocks to make book shelves, room dividers.

    Fill a corner and place a screen in front.
     
  8. MaryNY

    MaryNY Well-Known Member

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    1 gallon used mayonnaise jars -- I use them for "canisters" in the kitchen for flour, sugar, pasta, etc. Glass containers and screw on metal caps will keep the critters out.

    Also check these out:

    http://www.lehmans.com/shopping/pro...=3991&itemType=PRODUCT&RS=1&keyword=lard+cans

    They're metal "lard cans" from Lehman's. The look like they would be a reasonable size and certainly metal will also keep the critters out.

    Good luck!

    MaryNY
     
  9. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    Using the 5 gal buckets that seal tight, it can be stored outdoors (shed, barn, porch) for the winter, and even the spring. Might be mostly gone by then. We have stored wheat and corn out side this way.
     
  10. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    I hang strong grocery bags on nails hammered into ceiling beams. I confiscated one of the bedrooms for a prep room (the kids don't like that). I stacked stuff up against a non-damp wall, making another wall. I doubled the books and used the exta shelves. I put stuff under and on top of a canopy bed. The stairs a more narrow, because I use half the width for storage. I dehydrate a lot of stuff.
     
  11. FUNKY PIONEER

    FUNKY PIONEER No I don't smell Funky

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    I livein a 900 sq foot place with 5 kids you can fit 456 #10 cans under a king size bed. :) 48 under a twin bed, double that if you go 2 high.
     
  12. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    This could work. How much grain can you fit in one of those cans, and where do you get them?
     
  13. Madame

    Madame Well-Known Member Supporter

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  14. FUNKY PIONEER

    FUNKY PIONEER No I don't smell Funky

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    I can fit about 5 lbs of wheat per can. I can mine at the local LDS cannery. You have to go with a member of the church to can there. Otherwise you can use 5 gallon buckets under the bed too, I think 20 of those will fit under a king.
     
  15. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    We bought the metal cans that pop corn comes in that is sold every year around Christmas. They hold 4 or 5 gallons, but are not as good as the ones that Lehmans sells, but not as expensive either. The can with already poped pop corn is about $4 bucks or just go to your local thrift store and buy them for about a buck as we do. :) Good luck.
     
  16. Theront

    Theront Well-Known Member

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    We purchased wheat in bulk around 99 or so and are still using it today. We bought large ziploc freezer bags and filled them with the wheat. We set an amount we wanted in each bag so that they were all the same. We then used a straw and removed as much air as we could (vacuum pack). We then layered them in a rubbermaid garbage can. Every bag I take out is still packed as we had 7 years ago. This is what we did for our storage issue. You could do the same thing and use popcorn tins or underbed storage containers. Your imagination is the limit.

    Theront
     
  17. Scomber

    Scomber Well-Known Member

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    I watch at the dump. People throw metal popcorn cans (with hideous paintings printed on them) onto the metal can pile all the time. I wash them out and use them for storage. They're more or less the same as the Lehman's lard cans, but cheaper.

    I once knew a guy who served on a submarine in the early '60's. He said they'd line the passageways with canned goods, then lay down plywood and walk over them until they were needed. Can you do something similar with the breakfast bar assembly?

    If the beds aren't already up in the air a ways, replace them. Build semi-loft beds. I have some friends who have their bed 3 1/2 feet up in the air, with storage underneath. (You have 900 square feet. They have half that in their 24' yurt.) You could just build solid wood storage boxes and put one under each bed post, using the beds you already have. Or you could put down the 5 gallon buckets in a layer, put a layer of plywood on top of them, and then put the bed on top of that.

    Dan
     
  18. menollyrj

    menollyrj Joy Supporter

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    You could increase under-bed storage also by putting risers under the bed frame legs. I have seen extenders made specifically for that purpose...somewhere..

    Anyone?

    -Joy
     
  19. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you don't want to buy half gallon jars for storage, you can buy the very large jars of pickles (Vlasic or other) for about $3 and eat the pickles and have a really nice wide mouth jar. I make kim chee in mine and just bought another today. Rita
     
  20. FiddleKat

    FiddleKat Mother,Artist, Author Supporter

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    Do you have a dollar store near you? They usually have food storage containers (different sizes and prices).
    i bought some that are air tight for $3 for a set of 3