Thursday, February 24, 2011

Prepared and on a Budget

I've been canning some out-of-date dried beans for the past week, and found the directions on While browsing through the site, I found the blog owners extraordinary food pantry system. It ensures that moisture stays out of her food, and it keeps little critters (insects or small breathing creatures) out.

The blogger explained:
"The jugs let me have a large variety of food items in a small space, and I can spend $5-$6 a week building the initial amounts and then test cook them along the way. I’m also a believer in using this food at least on a weekly basis. For one, it saves money on the food budget; and the other is it allows constant practice of new recipes and how to cook great tasting meals while learning the many tricks of cooking with dry bulk foods. With my jug system I have 24 varieties of dry food stored in 48 jugs. So there are two jugs of each variety giving me 2½ gallons of each in a very convenient way to access any of these foods. The shelving unit is in the extra bedroom closet. Some of the most used foods in the jugs can be refilled from the bucket stock."
Here’s what her jug storage looks like.

Within the 5-Quart Jugs in the Closet Pantry, 24 varieties in 48 Jugs:(4 Shelves Used, 2 Jugs of each = 2.5 gallons or ½ a bucket of each variety)
Top Shelf #1
Potato, Instant Mashed
Milk, Instant Non-Fat
Cream of Soup Mix
Rice, White Long Grain*
Barley, Pearled*
Oats, Rolled

Shelf #2
Elbow, Pasta*
Egg Noodles, Pasta*
Spaghetti, Pasta*
Orzo, Pasta
Shells, Pasta
Penne, Pasta

Shelf #3
Rotini, Pasta
Wheat, Hard White*
Garbanzo, Beans
Lentil, Beans*
Corn Meal

Bottom Shelf #4

Pinto, Beans
Red Small Kidney, Beans
Navy White, Beans
Salt, Table
Salt, Canning

Her jug source - After the site calculates the container, small order, and shipping price, it still ends up being cheaper than if you were to buy large storage containers at WalMart. You may want to check your options before ordering. The blog owner has a fortune wrapped up in containers. You may want to buy them a group at a time.

Here’s what her 5 gallon Bucket Storage looks like:
Within the 5-Gallon Buckets (18 buckets):(3 Shelves used, *packed in gallon bags)
Top Shelf
1 Flour, All Purpose White
1 Barley, Pearled*
1 Beans Lentil*
1 Salt, Table
2 Sugar, White

Middle Shelf
4 Wheat, Hard White
2 Rice, White Long Grain*

Bottom Shelf
2 Pasta, Elbow*
2 Pasta, Egg Noodles*
2 Pasta, Spaghetti*

Her bucket source - You can also get these #2 (food safe) buckets at Tractor Supply.

Light weight wire shelf unit in Closet Pantry -
She bought mine at Target. These are commonly available at any hardware or big box stores.

Heavy Duty wire shelf unit for the bucket storage she bought at Sam’s Club. 

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