Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#245982 - 05/17/12 03:08 PM Food prep: make more space or convert?
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
I've developed an interesting problem with food storage, I've run out of room. Every shopping trip I buy an extra $10-15 dollars of food stores. One week I'll focus on sugar, flour type staples, other weeks canned proteins, or canned fruits and veggies. Other weeks chemicals like bleaches, ammonia, vinegar, dawn soap, anti bac.

It is not the cheapest way to buy but it is the easiest as, we have no compunction to use single cans or bottles from storage but feel wasteful buying bulk items like #10 cans of fruit that we'd never be able to finish before it spoils. And at Christmas when we donate all our near expiration goods to our charities they can fill more bags with normal cans and single servings than giving one family a giant jug of say beans.

So, long story long, I am out of space. I'm thinking of repacking my flour and sugar in 5 gallon buckets but not sure how to do that correctly. I've been buying #10 cans of dehydrated food like meat and veggies but my family is not keen on using those for rotation, which justifies the excess. I've been thinking of no longer buying normal cans but buying dehydrated kits for 72 hours or 30 days. I've thought about MRE's but they are expensive, I've had Mayday bars which are very calorically dense but they expire rather quickly compared to cans and we wouldn't use them just to eat them.

In short my preps have been an ever expanding rotation of goods and I can't hold any more. To extend my goods I have to find a way to minimize the footprint it takes up but that means buying things that may not be consumed before expiration and not able to be used by our food banks.

How have some of you overcome this obstacle?
_________________________
Don't just survive. Thrive.

Top
#245984 - 05/17/12 04:21 PM Re: Food prep: make more space or convert? [Re: comms]
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1828
Loc: MINNESOTA
i'm not a prepper in our sense of the word but i do keep extra food around when i see good buys.when i built up a large supply of sugar in the smaller bags and was concerned about keeping it fresh and away from bugs i put it in a five gallon bucket,bags and all.
with the top of the bucket sealed and the sugar in the bags it was packed in i felt like i was not exposing it to the air and damp in the process of storing it.
when pasta was on sale at what i thought was really cheap i got $20 worth and sealed it up the same way.there may be air space in the buckets between the bags and box's but for me it's not a issue.

Top
#245986 - 05/17/12 05:18 PM Re: Food prep: make more space or convert? [Re: comms]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1534
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
COMMS... if you haven't looked at the Wendy DeWitt video, would suggest you do that first...I started vacuum bagging some long term staples with the food saver, and then storing in 5gal buckets, but after viewing her video have converted to vacuum canning in glass Ball/Mason jars, ... it is more expensive, but you can reseal them, repack in the box they came in, and it fits under the bed

I'm single, but if I were buying for a family, I think investing in one of the food racks with the in/out rail system would be worth while... I have a 5 shelve storage rack from Home Depot that I use for canned good storage... getting the cans out of the closed pantry made a difference... being able to see what I have and what I need.. it is not tight against the wall so I'm able to load it from the back, and use out of the front...

I'm noticing a change in my mind set... eg.. buying tomato paste with a 3 to 4 year use by date, and mixing with water instead of bulkier canned tomato sauce...I don't think I'll buy an heirloom $200 pressure canner, but can probably forsee a $60 canner and some 1/2 pint jars of ground beef and chicken being packed...

Top
#245989 - 05/17/12 08:21 PM Re: Food prep: make more space or convert? [Re: comms]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
My wife and I came to an agreement early on, if food prep was to be sustainable and not mark me out as an insane prepper, it had to rely mainly on foods we eat every day, and include a lifecycle check where I donate unused foods approaching expiration to local food banks. Hard part is, we don't actually eat canned foods every day, but reasonably often, at least to sustain an inventory of 3-4 months food supplies. Let me talk about food maintenance inventory and not how to compress down into less edible options.

I keep about 1 month of MREs for 3-4 on hand for longer term storage, and barely nibble my way through that - my family has tried them, and agreed they'll revisit once the regular food stocks are drawn down, and not before. I also keep some grains and legumes in bulk, but not too much. And rice I eat about 5 lbs every month so I keep a stock of that handy.

The dog and cat each have a 1 month inventory, just an extra sack of food purchased early on, when they finish one I pull the one in reserve to feed them, and I go buy a replacement which goes on the shelf as inventory. If they run out of food in a disaster, they'll either eat me, or we'll eat them. My dog has assured me that he loves me so much, he won't eat me until ~3 days after I am dead.

I last donated food to the USPS food drive last week, it included about $30 of food stuffs that was approaching expiration: with some dedicated eating of regular foods, I consider this to be normal, spoilage, the end result of stocking too much food, more than we can eat and cycle through the inventory. Since $30 is the price of 2 pizzas in this zip code, its an acceptable cost, for us anyway.

One enhancement I try to keep up with is color coding canned goods expiration: I bought a bunch of those round stickers in different colors, and when I buy new food for our pantry I write the month and year of expiration, and put that on it. Its a lot easier to look for all the blue labels (expires 2012) and red labels (expire 2013) etc than to individually poll each and every expiration date on every can and bottle. I can visually scan for things labeled "6/12" or "12/12" and put them in a bag for the postman (or Boy Scouts, whose food drive comes out later this year).

My wife has given me one closet to call our pantry and store my 3-4 months of food - I don't think she would give me another. Since I'm not stocking any more than that, it has enough room for us. If I felt the need to stock for a longer duration, I'd have to renegotiate with wifey.

Top
#245991 - 05/17/12 09:06 PM Re: Food prep: make more space or convert? [Re: comms]
desolation Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/21/10
Posts: 60
Loc: Sonoma County, CA
Excellent questions and suggestions. I have more questions than suggestions, so am not helpful in that regard!

I've got 2 boxes of MREs in the garage that are ready for short-term emergency. I've got two cases of assorted #10 cans of Mountain House freeze dried food for long-term storage (25-30 year shelf life). Then there's miscellaneous crapola in the pantry that desperately needs to be organized, including a 10# bag of rice that likely needs to be replaced.

I don't like storing food in the garage as it gets HOT in the summer. I don't have space in the house as cupboard space is limited as it is. Except that God-forsaken corner of the cabinet that you have to unload the contents of and then stuff yourself into to get to the back of. You know the one. Just to the left or right of your sink. I may start stashing long-term storage away in there.

And there's the possibility of the crawl space. I've been down there in the summer and it's still pretty cool. 1,200 square foot floor plan, about three feet high equals 1,300 cubic feet of food storage... But what to do about moisture? Anybody successfully use the crawl space for food storage? What modifications did you do?

Edited to add: putting all of my eggs in one basket also makes me nervous. I live in earthquake country and I'd like to be able to get to my food if I need it! Keep part outside in the shed? What about the heat?


Edited by desolation (05/17/12 09:10 PM)

Top
#245996 - 05/18/12 06:50 AM Re: Food prep: make more space or convert? [Re: comms]
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1828
Loc: MINNESOTA
OK..a 1:30 AM question/idea that struck me reading about desolation's earthquake problem.
has anyone just tried burying food in five gallon pails in the yard? a aluminum pot inside with a sealed bag of rice,salt,so on a foot or so underground and some easy to dig out soil maybe with a lot of those poly beads in it to keep it loose.
it's cool underground and if the house go's down or up in flame a few pails that could be dug up would help keep people fed.
yes i know about the hassle of replacing the chow every few years and you would need a E-tool of some sort handy out side but if you don't or can't have a shed that might work.
the Plains Indians kept stash's of dry buffalo underground for years at a time....

Top
#246116 - 05/22/12 11:13 AM Re: Food prep: make more space or convert? [Re: comms]
StephanieM Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/01/10
Posts: 28
Is anyone concerned about storing a lot of canned goods because there has been so much discussion of cans being lined with BPA? Just curious if folks are concerned about this or not.

Top
#246123 - 05/22/12 12:43 PM Re: Food prep: make more space or convert? [Re: StephanieM]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1534
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
Stephanie...I'm old... have a mouth full of mercury amalgum fillings, worked in a chemical plant during college summers in phosphoric acid environment, have had 4 basal cell and one squamous cell carcinomas removed, ran in the DDT fog of the mosquito control trucks as a kid, worked on lawn equipment that sprayed malathion, painted pentachlorophenyl on a lot of wood, ride a go fast motorcycle... to answer your question... not high on my list of worries YMMV

Top
#246126 - 05/22/12 12:56 PM Re: Food prep: make more space or convert? [Re: StephanieM]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6582
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: StephanieM
Is anyone concerned about storing a lot of canned goods because there has been so much discussion of cans being lined with BPA? Just curious if folks are concerned about this or not.


No
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

Top
#246138 - 05/22/12 06:10 PM Re: Food prep: make more space or convert? [Re: comms]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
The BPA scare was/is a scam.

As to the title of thread, I'm in the same position and looking at alternatives. I am full up with shelf items (normal consumer items) and considering a switch to mostly dehydrated or other packets storage to put more food in less space. Trade off is it won't get rotated into our normal food draw.
_________________________
Don't just survive. Thrive.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
October
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
Who's Online
2 registered (Jeanette_Isabelle, ireckon), 234 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
jackmiller, DaveL, Dale, rac, Boris
5266 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Time Capsule
by Jeanette_Isabelle
Yesterday at 11:35 PM
Florida residents desperate for food and shelter
by hikermor
Yesterday at 05:44 PM
Arizona Mine Rescue
by hikermor
Yesterday at 03:59 PM
Folder for Opening Boxes
by hikermor
10/19/18 03:18 PM
Best use of time, money
by quick_joey_small
10/16/18 07:54 PM
get a cheap laptop
by TeacherRO
10/16/18 05:45 PM
I'm Not Coming Home
by Jeanette_Isabelle
10/14/18 05:49 PM
Winter preps -- Time for the switch over
by dougwalkabout
10/12/18 03:01 AM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.