While I’ve always had a pretty good stash of food, there was never really a reason behind. Most of the time it was the result of my obsession with numbers, and not being able to buy less than 3 of anything. I’m getting better. Maybe.
Since I have been consistently making our food from scratch, this makes the need for flour, old fashioned oats, and sugar far greater than before. While Aldi’s prices are really good on these products, far better than Wal-Mart or our local grocery store, it still adds up and I’ll take any savings I can get.
As part of my goals for 2009, I wanted to get a food supply up in the event that my husband loses his job and really, just for peace of mind (who knows, I could get trapped in my house again for 3 weeks this winter!). We just recently put up wheat berries for our wheat flour, so I was just missing the rest for my baking essentials. We hit up the local discount grocery store, which started carrying bulk products, and came home with 50 lbs each of old fashioned oats, sugar and unbleached flour. The only problem was storage. I still keep my small containers in my cabinets, but I needed somewhere to put the rest.
We found some food safe 5 gallon buckets with lids and decided that those would work best since they can stack on top of each other and would be air tight. One of the main things you have to worry about when buying in bulk, is bugs! While it would just add some extra protein, I’m just not for it! To prevent this, not only do you need an airtight container, but you need to get out all of the oxygen.
Insert oxygen absorbers.
These are just small little packets (similiar to the silica gel packets that you see in various products) that absorb all of the excess oxygen. This will help keep out the bugs, and also help your product stay fresh longer. We were able to get ours at another local-ish retailer that specializes in canning/bulk foods for about .10¢ a piece. Definitely nothing that will break the bank.
While initially I had the cost of the buckets, which added up fast, I’ve still made out on top. If I were to buy everything in their smaller containers from Aldi’s, I would have spent roughly twice as much as I did for buying it all at once in bulk. If you have room to store bulk products, it is worth checking into, just make sure that you store it correctly so you don’t ruin your product in the process.
Don’t forget to label your buckets, especially if you have multiple buckets. Also, instead of using regular lids, you can get a “Gamma Lid“, which not only is airtight, but screws on and off. Super handy when you are needing to refill your containers.
If you do not have a lot of pantry space, but are blessed with ample freezer room, you can also place your flour and sugar in the freezer. This will help it to maintain it’s freshness, and will kill any weevil or insect eggs already in there. Storing it this way will keep it fresh for several years.
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