Recommendation for storage containers...

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Bandit99, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Recently, I put up 40 pounds of potato flakes in 1 gallon Mylar bags. Each bag contains ~2 pounds (actually 1 Kilogram). I normally don't use small Mylar bags and I see now I didn't think the problem completely through. You see the storage containers I have to store these Mylar bags are the round 5 gallon Food Grade buckets with gasket lids...

    My problem is I can only get 5 of these bags in each bucket and that doesn't seem very economically to me and a waste of space when I store them. So.... So, can anyone recommend a different storage container for small bags? I was thinking maybe square buckets might be better as the bags might line up better but I have no idea as never used one.

    What are you all using for your small Mylar bag storage?
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Are you standing the bags upright or laying them flat on the bottom of the bucket? Not sure how big a Mylar bag with 2 lbs of flaked potatoes is???

    Got a pic?
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  3. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Sure. I have tried ever which way but what works and gets 5 inside is standing 3 of them upright and laying flat the other 2 on top because a 5 gallon bucket is not tall enough to stand up 2 layers. First pic is of the 3 standing and second pic of the other 2 laying flat on top. I am going to go to a Store that specializes in containers as it is not to far from me. There has to be a box type container that is tight and strong enough to keep bugs and rodents out...but if not then I guess I will use 4 buckets. I will post a photo and details if I find a good container for I think if they make one then these guys will have it, huge facility.


  4. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I would suggest that you not only store potato flakes in the bucket......
    In the gaps, store other components of meals, seasonings and such..... in essence, diversify. You are looking at one item... look at the meal as a whole and how you can fill that bucket with items that work together. I am a big fan of mixing containers. If you loose some of your stores, you still have a bucket you can live off and not just a bucket of potato flakes. ;)
  5. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    I'm with Yard Dart, never waste space. Slip in small bags of matches, spices or candies. Or, could you fit one or two 1# bags in?
  6. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Scarf up all the empty Christmas cans you can find at thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets. AKA Popcorn tins, they hold less than a 5 gal bucket, but at $0.25-$0.50 each you get a lot more bang for the buck than with gamma lids.

    I've been using them for decades. My whole pantry is lined with them, floor to ceiling.

    The metal cans are moisture-proof, gas-tight, and immune to rodents.

    When I stack them on my custom Cheap-O-Shelves, I stack cans and jars in the dead spaces between them and wind up using almost every cubic inch of my storage space.
  7. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    Any chance of a photo? It sounds practical and festive!
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  8. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    All sizes and shapes are usable. We keep out chocolate in rectangular ones.

    For scale, these are about 12" tall.

    TIN 1. TIN2.
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  9. Would Vac-N-Stow air tight storage bags work? If you place them all flat you could get a lot in one bag.
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  10. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    I'm with some of the others: Store meals in the buckets and not one item. Each of my buckets holds a variety so that any one bucket is about a week of mixed food for the two of us.
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  11. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey+++

    I just buy a lot of the 1.00 bags of instant potatoes the kind just add water and just stuff them in a 5 gal. bucket
    and never open the bags till i need one or two
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  12. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Judging from the pictures of the filled bags it appears these are taking a near spherical shape due to the quantity of the fill. The bag can't flex or shift contents around to conform to the bucket because they are over filled. Try bags filled with half to 2/3 the amount of potato flakes you currently jam into a bag and your problem will greatly improved if not be completely solved.

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
  13. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I stopped using mylar bags. It seemed redundant. I was putting my foods in mylar then in a bucket. I think they all do the same thing and since I do not live in a high moisture area, I changed my storing methods. I bought a food saver, put everything in food saver bags then in buckets. I have also cut back on using oxygen absorbents.

    ** btw- if anyone knows of a place that sells cheap buckets please let me now.

    @UncleMorgan do you think I could use these for pasta storage with no worries or would you recommend food saving pasta then using the Christmas popcorn cans?
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  14. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    WOW! So many tremendous ideas! I love this place!

    @Yard Dart @Sgt Nambu Okay, I like the idea of filling the gaps with something. This a lot of sense and morning slapped myself for not considering it. I will do so.

    @UncleMorgan reference Christmas Cans/Popcorn tins - what a great idea! And, I know just the girl to go on the mission to find them. Writing her OPORD now...

    @marlas1too "just buy a lot of the 1.00 bags of instant potatoes" This is what I will use to fill gaps in other buckets that are not holding potatoes. Super idea!

    @Motomom34 "I bought a food saver, put everything in food saver bags then in buckets."
    So, what do you think, is it cheaper? Is it doing the job just as well? Do you need to included O2A as well? It certainly would be a lot faster and more convenient. I like this idea as it could be used for normal day-to-day use also so... Really interested in your thoughts on this. EDIT: Oh, I forgot, I get my buckets off Craigslist, $2 each. They are pickle buckets so it takes a bit to get the smell out. I used plain old Tide and Baking Soda to scrub them out then leave them in the sunshine and let it do its work, takes a while, maybe a week, sometimes less, but I am cheap so I can wait...
  15. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I just use the buckets and normally do not bag. I toss in one or two O2A and fill to the top! Bagging We do when we waht a mixed meal, like posted above, and that is done in plane vac seal bags. All dry food stuffs, spices, coffee, tea, and such are stored in bulk in the buckets! You will go trough them pretty quick. Sugar, salt, and other cooking items that you don't use a lot of are stored in reusable vac cans, that I made out of drink bottles, you open the valve, dispense the amount of contents, re apply vacuum, and place back on the shelf!
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  16. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I would urge reconsideration of that if you intend your storage to last for many years.

    Many plastic containers and even aluminized Mylar bags have some small degree of permeability to oxygen and especially to water vapor. Water vapor can even permeate some cast aluminum. I have personally seen it occur in engineering tests of enclosures for electronic engine controls. Enough water could accumulate inside a cast aluminum box in just 4 weeks of 24/7 temperature and humidity testing to disrupt the function of the electronics. And the box was pressurized to 40 psi and didn't lose any air pressure during that time either!! Water vapor could permeate the aluminum and condensed inside whereas the air (98% O2 and N2) being larger molecules could not.

    The long term storage issue is many container materials at a molecular level are actually a bit porous. The material acts as a membrane. If you recall basic chemistry and biology from high school, if there are different concentrations of substances on each side of the membrane, then over time molecules will slowly pass thru the pores with a flow from the higher concentration side to the lower concentration side. There is actually a pressure to cause this phenomenon known as osmosis and that is the osmotic pressure. Molecules of air (which is 18% oxygen) and water vapor (which by the way a molecule of water, H2O is about half the size of an O2 molecule) will eventually permeate a membrane if the pore size is greater than the molecule size. It is water and oxygen that most compromise foods stored for long durations.

    Now if the food is inside a bag, there is a membrane the oxygen must cross. If there is a bucket, that is a second membrane. The rate at which oxygen (in either O2 or H2O) will cross a membrane is proportional to the concentrations differences on each side of the membrane. If you can keep the O2 concentration very low inside the bucket with an O2 absorber and the bucket membrane slowing the ingress way down, then very little O2 can cross the membrane of the bag because the osmotic pressure will be low and that is where years and years can pile onto the shelf life.

    You will note that freeze dried food suppliers such as Mountain House sell products in aluminized Mylar bags they call pouches. They advertise these as typically having a shelf life of 3-7 years depending upon what food is inside. When they sell a sealed bucket with pouches inside, they will advertise a much longer shelf life, like 20-25 years because of the combined effect of the two membranes and absorbers. Of course sealed steel cans are best being nearly impermeable to water and O2; hence the 30+ year shelf life.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  17. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    @UncleMorgan do you think I could use these for pasta storage with no worries or would you recommend food saving pasta then using the Christmas popcorn cans?[/QUOTE]

    Bearing in mind that most pasta is made with oil, which will start to go rancid in about two years, we store our pasta in the cans with no other prep work at all. Spaghetti boxes fit in neatly on end, so we just buy them, bring them home and stand them in a can. Then we pop the lid on and we're done. Big square boxes of noodles are less space efficient, so we just empty the boxes into the cans, no bagging or liner required.

    Ditto for rice.

    Ditto for some dedicated flour cans. In other cans we ziplock the flour first to keep the cans unfloured on the inside.

    One good thing about the cans is that you can rotate them easily. They are large enough to be useful, and small enough to be used.
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  18. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    If you have a Firehouse Subs near you, they sell 5 gallon pickle buckets for a $2 donation they in turn give to various firemens funds.
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  19. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Most restaurants and or bakeries will give you buckets. You usually have to buy new lids
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  20. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Just a note on pasta, look for pasta made with olive oil, olive oil will last up to 8 years or more when stored properly!
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