Month 1.5: Storing Bulk Items

Shopping List:
Aldis or Walmart:
     *16 bags of 5lb white flour.  $22
     *3 cans baking powder (8.1oz).   $3
     *1 box baking soda. 50 cents

Total: $25.50

Storing Bulk Items
I chose to buy 25lb bags of wheat for my year supply, and the bags of 5lb flour INSTEAD of the #10 cans. They are cheaper this way... I just had to figure out how to store them. At first I started looking up 5 gallon food grade buckets and quickly realized how expensive they were! That was NOT going to be an option. But I didn't want to buy #10 cans of these items for my year supply and not rotate them secondary to them being more expensive buying as a #10; also, I wouldn't use it in my every day cooking.  It's easier for me to buy the #5 flour and always have enough and easy to replace with a trip to the grocery store; and the #25 of wheat every 6 months when I need it.  So... back to, how do I store these without spending an arm and a leg?



Really you can.

It just takes a friendly conversation....

and some snooping around.

Find a local grocery store near you that has a bakery. One that has a bakery on the larger side... Like a Super Walmart compared to a small neighborhood one. Bakers and HyVees are also good. You go up to the bakery counter and ask “Do you have any big extra empty frosting buckets?” And sometimes they do! MOST of the time they do!  (Unless they say, "Someone just took our last ones!  Come back next week.") TIP:  They usually have MORE in the winter months!   Sometimes the managers are party poppers an say they throw them in the dumpster... but MOST of the time, if you can find a good store, they DO! The frosting buckets are mostly cleaned out, but occasionally they are caked in butter cream frosting which takes some extra time to scrub out. Nevertheless... they are FREE!

After trying 3-4 different stores, and locations, I finally found one that ALWAYS has extra buckets whenever I ask. They even try to make me take MORE then I want! You just can't be picky... some times they are circles, and some times they are rectangles.   These buckets are usually between 2-3 gallons so you'll need more than 5 gallon buckets but A LOT cheaper!  I like them because they are so much lighter when I fill them up.  

I pour my 25lb bag of flour into these buckets with a couple of oxygen absorbers and I'm good!

DISCLAIMER:  I have not tested this theory on wheat that has been stored for over 3 years though.   I do make bread quite often and try to use wheat to keep it rotated. 

With my 5lb bag of white flour, I can fit between 4-5 bags in a bucket (depending on the shape). I keep the flour in the bag for an extra layer of protection. Since I go through flour A LOT faster then wheat, I'm not too worried about putting oxygen absorbers in.

DISCLAIMER:  Again, I have not tested this theory out on flour stored for over 3 years.

I have read of people buying large Mylar food storage bags, put those in buckets then fill up to keep things fresh for longer.

P.S.  Those buckets... they make GREAT garbage cans, junk buckets, planting pots, and I'm sure a million and two other things we haven't thought of yet!  

Food Storage Challenge Introduction
Month #1:  What are #10 cans?

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  1. Wow!! I didn't know that tip about free buckets!! For sure gonna have to try it! I always wait till a case lot sale and they're $2 cheaper then normal. Gonna have to search out free buckets!!

    1. If your not picky about shape, they are great! They hold 2.5-3 gallons but it's easier for me to manage and carry than making my husband move around all the 5 gallon buckets. Glad I could help!