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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess I'm just confused about the methods of storage. Do you use a vacuum sealer first, then put the food in mylar bags, throw in the O2 absorbers and then all that in a sealed food bucket?

If I dehydrate green beans, do I put them in a vacuum bag and then inside a mylar, throw a couple of O2 packets in the bucket with that, close the lid and it's all good for the next 15 years? Seems like overkill to me to dehydrate, seal and then seal again, but I don't know.
- Don't you have to continuously resupply those O2 packets?
- Do you only buy enough O2 packets to package up what you have at any one given time because they don't store well?
- What about storing dry goods in canning jars? Do you put your stuff (flour) in a vacuum bag first and then put it in a jar?
- Do you put O2 packets into a canning jar?

I have lots of canning jars and lots of canned meat and other misc. canned things and I have packaged up dehydrated food just in zip locks and in the freezer for now. I haven't gotten any food buckets yet.
 

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I guess I'm just confused about the methods of storage. Do you use a vacuum sealer first, then put the food in mylar bags, throw in the O2 absorbers and then all that in a sealed food bucket?

If I dehydrate green beans, do I put them in a vacuum bag and then inside a mylar, throw a couple of O2 packets in the bucket with that, close the lid and it's all good for the next 15 years? Seems like overkill to me to dehydrate, seal and then seal again, but I don't know.
- Don't you have to continuously resupply those O2 packets?
- Do you only buy enough O2 packets to package up what you have at any one given time because they don't store well?
- What about storing dry goods in canning jars? Do you put your stuff (flour) in a vacuum bag first and then put it in a jar?
- Do you put O2 packets into a canning jar?

I have lots of canning jars and lots of canned meat and other misc. canned things and I have packaged up dehydrated food just in zip locks and in the freezer for now. I haven't gotten any food buckets yet.
after reading this, it sounds like you're trying to pull someones chain and that's the reason it hasn't been replied to like this question,What about storing dry goods in canning jars? Do you put your stuff (flour) in a vacuum bag first and then put it in a jar? you can seal foods right in the jar with a food savor.

Anyway, watch this, might save you time, and there are plenty more with this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, I'll watch that, thanks. How am I trying to pull someones chain? I just don't understand how to do it.
 

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The wanderer
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In the past I have had many of the same questions as lazydaisy67. I still wonder about some of these things. When I pack things tight in jars or air-tight buckets, I've often wondered if I'm also supposed to put in the oxygen absorbers (something I've still never bought) or if I've gotten out enough air by tamping and shaking it down. Others talk about lining the buckets with mylar bags, then filling them, but I'm lucky to be able to afford the food that goes into the bucekt, let alone buy mylar bags and oxygen absorbers!

I store a lot of dried foods in canning jars, and the best I can do with those and with the buckets I've filled is to store them in a cool, dark place. So far, so good. We get buckets, free, from one of the grocery store bakeries, but most of the other stores around here charge for them.
 

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If you're going to store wheat,rice, beans, lentils, split peas, groats,everything but salt or sugar, you should put oxygen absorbers in the sealed mylar to make sure there is in no oxygen in the bag, if there's any air in the bag, bugs and other critters can live and ruin the food.

I had some wheat here that I bought during the summer to plant as a cover crop, after planting what I needed, I got lazy and set the sack of left over wheat on the basement steps, last week we started seeing these real tiny black bugs on the steps, the eggs had been in the wheat, hatched and multiplied so bad some had to leave where as if it had been srored in an oxygen free pail, no bug could have survived
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you, gypsy for helping me not to feel so incredibly stupid. I don't know if I can afford a $300.00 vacuum sealer for canning jars, but it will be on my list, for sure. I don't have a Sam's club or a Costco close (70 miles away) to be able to buy in huge bulk, like 40 pounds or more at a time, so I have to buy smaller 2-5 pound bags of beans and rice on any given shopping trip. So another question would be...if you can't fill up several 5 gallon buckets at a time, so as not to waste O2 absorbers when you seal them up, how do you store the beans until you're ready to do a BIG bunch of sealing all at the same time? Is it ok for them to wait on the shelf in their store-bought bags until it's time to go into the buckets?
 

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I guess I'm just confused about the methods of storage. Do you use a vacuum sealer first, then put the food in mylar bags, throw in the O2 absorbers and then all that in a sealed food bucket?
I would think that would be kinda overkill, well maybe not. Are you meaning say you vac packed rice, beans instant potatoes, etc and then throw them in a big mylar bag lined 5 gallon bucket and throw 02 absorbers in there and seal the bag?? I know lots of the videos I have seen seem to do this. For me I haven't gotten this far yet. I do have some mylar sealed bags but they are individual in rubbermaid totes right now. I have not been vac sealing them in plastic first but that is me, others might. I just put mine in the mylar 1 gallon bags, throw in an O2 absorber and seal it with my old iron.
If I dehydrate green beans, do I put them in a vacuum bag and then inside a mylar, throw a couple of O2 packets in the bucket with that, close the lid and it's all good for the next 15 years? Seems like overkill to me to dehydrate, seal and then seal again, but I don't know.
I would maybe just go with either the vac pac or the mylar, not both in this situation. And the vac packing has already removed lots of the O2
- Don't you have to continuously resupply those O2 packets?
once you seal the bags with the o2 absorbers, they are good to go for what seems like forever unless the bag gets a hole in it. A sealed mylar bag with o2 absorber in it will suck down around the food. If you really wanted I could take some pix and post them of some of my bags, bet you could tell by the photo which ones contain macaroni and which ones pinto beans or rice, just by looking at the indentations on the bag.
- Do you only buy enough O2 packets to package up what you have at any one given time because they don't store well?
When I buy, I buy them from Amazon, some buy direct from the manufacturers. The ones I got were sealed into vac packs, like 20 in a pack. The package I opened goes into a half pint canning jar with the ring and lid. It will suck itself back down, and they put this little O2 detector pill in with each pack of absorbers that turns from pink to blue(or purple) when it has been exposed to too much and is no longer good. I have an opened package that had 4 leftover last time I packed. These 4 have been in my little jar for a good 6 months, I just got up and looked and the indicator is still a pretty pink color so they will keep a long time
- What about storing dry goods in canning jars? Do you put your stuff (flour) in a vacuum bag first and then put it in a jar?
- Do you put O2 packets into a canning jar?
I store stuff in canning jars. You do not need the vac bags, that would be a waste of a good bag that could be used somewhere else. Just put the food in the jars and use the vac attachment to suck out the air. OR put the food in the jar and throw in an o2 absorber and screw the lid on. I have a bunch of bulk spices stored in pint jars with absorbers. Within 30 minutes of putting them in the jar, the seals had sucked down.
I have lots of canning jars and lots of canned meat and other misc. canned things and I have packaged up dehydrated food just in zip locks and in the freezer for now. I haven't gotten any food buckets yet.
My first preparedness purchase was 4 6gallon buckets and gamma seals from Emergency Essentials. I use them mostly for sugar and one is used for flour. I have never purchased any more but I do have a couple of pickle buckets I gleaned from my concession stand work. I want to use them for the individual mylar bags just to keep them together and more compact and moveable than the totes.

I just started canning meat this year, more for the convenience and worry of losing power long enough for the freezer to defrost. It is so nice to open a jar of deer, jar of potatoes, throw some dehydrated onion in, and open a can of peas and carrots from the grocery store. Quick tasty supper, especially when you cook either cornbread or a pot of rice to go with it.
 

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Thank you, gypsy for helping me not to feel so incredibly stupid. I don't know if I can afford a $300.00 vacuum sealer for canning jars, but it will be on my list, for sure. I don't have a Sam's club or a Costco close (70 miles away) to be able to buy in huge bulk, like 40 pounds or more at a time, so I have to buy smaller 2-5 pound bags of beans and rice on any given shopping trip. So another question would be...if you can't fill up several 5 gallon buckets at a time, so as not to waste O2 absorbers when you seal them up, how do you store the beans until you're ready to do a BIG bunch of sealing all at the same time? Is it ok for them to wait on the shelf in their store-bought bags until it's time to go into the buckets?
daisy, I get my mylar bags and oxygen absorbers off Amazon. Some sellers sell the bags paired with the absorbers of the appropriate size. Others sell one or the other. The absorbers I got to go with the 10x14 mylar bag are 300cc absorbers. The seller sent them packaged in packs of 20. So I just plan on doing 20 bags at a time, or I can seal the leftovers of the open package in a canning jar, just use the smallest jar you have to minimize exposure.
I will buy up a little at a time and put the rice in the freezer to kill bugs, when I have enough beans/rice/macaroni/instant potatoes/ whatever to make it worthwhile, I will take an afternoon to put them in bags and seal them up.
 

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after reading this, it sounds like you're trying to pull someones chain and that's the reason it hasn't been replied to like this question,What about storing dry goods in canning jars? Do you put your stuff (flour) in a vacuum bag first and then put it in a jar? you can seal foods right in the jar with a food savor.
Thanks for replying to the question with a link I have many of the same questions myself.

This forum is very intimidating to new users because of this constant mentality that everyone is a troll or a fed or whatever everyone seems so up tight about.

I don't post many questions here because of this kind of stuff.
 

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Building the World Round
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Many foods store well with almost no prep. Dried beans will store well if kept in a cool dry place. We recently moved and found an open bag (about 15 lbs) of long grain brown rice in the bottom of a big wicker basket. It's at least 11-12 years old (Y2K?). We've heard lot's of stories about long grain rice going rancid due to it's high oil content. This rice, in an open bag rolled closed, is fine, no bugs, no mold, nothing. It smells a little musty, but cooks up great. We have several types of food that have been stored for years with hardly any prep.

About the only real problem we have ever had is bugs that got into pasta after a few years, we just rinsed them off and cook it up. Now, we freeze our pasta to kill the bugs and put it in a sealed bucket, have some now that's 3-4 years old with no bugs .And remember, in a survival situation, cooked bugs are a great source of protein, enjoyed as a delicacy in many parts of the world.

Start storing food so you have it, use some of it as you go, and worry about the storage as you have some extra $. Our FOODSaver vacumn machine came from the thrift store.:goodluck:
 

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The wanderer
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I've known people to freeze the beans, wheat, rice, etc. before packing them for storage, to kill the previously-mentioned bugs and larvae. I think what I'd do, if I were buying these items in small bags, is to freeze them for a few days, then put them in the bucket in their original bags, put the lid on tight, and keep accumulating them until the bucket is full. Then put in an oxygen absorber, it you want, but if it's main purpose is to deprive living creatures from oxygen, I think if I'd frozen them, I wouldn't buy oxygen absorbers. But then I'm financially-challenged and walk a tightrope in balancing frugality with potentially damaging my food storage! :D

One thing I picked up at a class on storing and caching is that your items and the container it's going in should sit in the same room for a few hours so the temperature of both is about the same, before you pack and seal.
 

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Hi lazydaisy67, There's really no need for a vacuum sealer. For things like, rice, beans, wheat, oatmeal, pasta, just put the product in the mylar bag, throw in a oxygen absorber, seal it up and you're good to go. The O2 absorber will (or should) pull enough of a vacuum that you'll see the bag tighten around the contents. Oatmeal, not so much. You don't need to change out the O2 absorbers, just throw it away when you open the bag and are ready to use what's inside. I do have some beans in canning jars with O2 absorbers inside too. Don't use O2 absorbers with salt or sugar. They will keep forever without any special handling at all.

As for dehydrated foods, I store mine in canning jars. I go through it fast enough that I don't give it any special treatment.

If you don't use all the O2 absorbers in a package you can put the remainder in the smallest jar they will all fit in along with the indicator pill. I then fill the remaining space in the jar with rice. The O2 absorbers don't have to work as hard that way. I've been able to keep unused absorbers this way for up to 5 months.

I can't tell you this is the "right" way to do things I just know its what I do and it works for me.

There are a lot of really great people here and they will answer your questions. Also, on youtube there are hundreds of "how to" videos. Check out LDS food storage videos. I'm not affiliated, but the LDS church knows a LOT about food storage.

Take care,
Moose
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you and thank you again! I really didn't want to sound like an idiot! Heck, before I started watching those videos today I would have thrown the O2 absorber outside the mylar bag instead of inside with the food (duh, I know). The only fear I have with storing a lot of things in glass jars is breakage, but it seems like for rotation purposes, the serving amounts are better for my family. I have absolutely no idea how long it would take for my family to eat a 5 gallon bucket full of white rice. I'd hate to go to all the work of storing it and then have it go bad on us before we could get it eaten. Same with flour and sugar. I think for now I'll probably go with the canning jars since I have tons of them already and can pick up gobs more for really cheap at farm sales.

Do you have to store baking soda and powder in something other than its container? The powder comes in a nifty little sealed can, which I would assume will last for a while, but that cardboard box the soda comes in won't last that long.
 

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Hi lazydaisy,

I keep baking soda in the package it comes in. My understanding is it'll last forever like salt and sugar. It needs to stay dry. Hope somebody will correct me if I've got that wrong. Baking powder is something I don't have a lot of experience with. I'm not much of a cook. I've read its got a pretty short shelf life. I do keep baking soda and cream of tartar so I can make my own if need be.

On another matter, with regard to how much you use, this may seem silly, every time I open something I write it down. Over time that tells me how much of, say rice, I go through in a month, six months, a year. I do the same for mayo, salsa, peanut butter, dishsoap, cat food, TP, whatever.
Take care,
Moose
 

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Hi lazydaisy,

I keep baking soda in the package it comes in. My understanding is it'll last forever like salt and sugar. It needs to stay dry. Hope somebody will correct me if I've got that wrong. Baking powder is something I don't have a lot of experience with. I'm not much of a cook. I've read its got a pretty short shelf life. I do keep baking soda and cream of tartar so I can make my own if need be.

On another matter, with regard to how much you use, this may seem silly, every time I open something I write it down. Over time that tells me how much of, say rice, I go through in a month, six months, a year. I do the same for mayo, salsa, peanut butter, dishsoap, cat food, TP, whatever.
Take care,
Moose
Yeah, I have started putting the opened date on things when we start using them. Like my coffee, I know now that the big can I opened Nov 20th didn't quite last a month. So I know that to get a year supply, I would need at least 14 of them, 15 or 16 to be on the safe side.
 

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Lots of great information here folks. Daisy, keep up with the questions. You're asking things I would have never thought to ask myself. I'm learning with you.:2thumb:
 

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What Salekdarling said. Keep the questions coming Daisy. I always learn something from someone asking questions. For example, gypsysue mentioning keeping the food and container at the same temp for awhile before sealing. Makes perfect sense but I never gave it a thought. Its 59F in my house this morning and 8F outside. When I go shopping later today the food will need some warm up time. Condensation is NOT our friend. :)
 

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When I go shopping later today the food will need some warm up time. Condensation is NOT our friend. :)
See, that is one reason I haven't frozen my beans before putting them up. I know lots of people do, but in my mind I imagine the beans picking up moisture and not doing right. Funny, because I have no problem freezing flour, cornmeal, rice to kill the bugs. I know they aren't hurt but just haven't tried the beans yet :D.
 

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BillM
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Mylar

When you put your beans or rice in the mylar bag along with your oxygen depleaters, use an iron to seal all but one corner of the mylar bag.

Use your vacume cleaner to vacume out any remaining air and seal the remaining corner with your iron.

There will be very little air left in the mylar bag. The oxygen depleaters will take care of any remaining atmosphere.

Any air tight bucket will do. You are only useing the bucket to keep out rodents and prevent damage to the Mylar bag. The bucket doesn't have to be food grade unless the food is in direct contact with it.
 

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I have absolutely no idea how long it would take for my family to eat a 5 gallon bucket full of white rice. I'd hate to go to all the work of storing it and then have it go bad on us before we could get it eaten.
If you are going to do food storage, you need to eat from your food storage -- then you'll know how long it takes you to go through things. Not only is that important for rotation, but so you don't waste money buying things that go bad or that it turns out you just don't/won't eat. Plus you will be used to eating those foods, you'll spend less on groceries and almost certainly you'll be eating healthier provided you supplement with fresh fruit and veggies.

White rice sealed in a mylar bag with an O2 absorber and put inside a hard container will last almost forever. It makes a good backbone for a long term storage plan, along with wheat and beans stored in a similar way.

Clean and well organized storage is also essential to reducing waste and making sure what you have is functional. Since you are just starting, start off right. You'll probably redo your system as your storage grows, but at least you'll know what you have from the get-go!

I have some food-safe buckets but I also re-use kitty litter buckets if the food is properly sealed inside. They are square, opaque, rodent-proof, incredibly strong, have handles and are stackable. Beans already in 1 pound bags (strangely, cheaper than buying in bulk) go in rodent-proof latching rectangular clear containers that stack and slide long-ways onto my shelves. I also use these containers for small odds and ends and other non-pest-proof boxes or bags.

I label everything with a sharpie -- date of purchase and date of expiration -- and use by earliest expiration date unless I see a package that has lost it's seal, which does happen from time to time. On reusable containers I write in on packing tape so I can update or remove the labels if needed. I'm just now started to track pricing and I wish I had been doing so all along.

I can take a clipboard into my storage room and make a shopping list without moving or opening up containers much. It makes inventory much less overwhelming.

When I first got started, I picked up fact sheets and download guides or all kinds -- storing, cooking, shelf like, etc. I organized it all into a huge notebook and I still refer to it. Shops like Walton Feed have great online resources and books like "Making the Best of Basics" are other good places to get started learning or keep for reference.
 
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