DIY Long Term Food Storage Using Food Grade Buckets, Mylar Bags, & Oxygen Absorbers

I have been needing to put my bags of rice, beans, flour, sugar, and other grains into my buckets for a while now. I would say about 2 months….SHAME! SO…what is Long Term Food Storage (LTFS) and why do I believe my family and I need it? Why do I need car, homeowner, or life insurance? Well, coming from a woman who was rear ended twice in one year, then lost her home and 99.9% of her belongings in an “act of God” house fire (No kidding. That is what was concluded in all the reports. Nice closure huh? lol) the next year, and then being fired from her corporate job the next (yeah the hits just kept on coming for a few years! haha)…I would say, “Just in case something happens outside of my control and I don’t have the means to fix it/replace it/or make it better as close to INSTANTLY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. For the Double Time Car Damage, it took 2-4 weeks; my home, nearly 9 months (Thanks so much Wells Fargo Property Loss Department!!); my confidence in our economy and that I will get paid what I am worth, about a year after I lost my job I decided I have to be my own boss and not a slave to the dollar; my trust in others to look out for me and my family….ummmm…yeah. SO! LTFS is for those moments we don’t suspect anything will happen. When I lost my job, I was happy we had some reserve flour, sugar, rice, pasta, and spices. That really can add to a grocery bill when your budget is tight. Number One: I am dipping into my food insurance. Number Two: I live so far away from the grocery store, it would cost more in gas for me to get whatever it was that I needed. So, Here is my DIY on how to store those 25-50 pound bags of sugar, flour, beans, whatever you can buy at any big superstore for 10-30 years!!

Materials:

Supplies for DIY LTFS

Supplies for DIY LTFS

-Food Grade Buckets (I have 6 gallon ones)

-Bucket Lids

-Oxygen Absorbers (I Used 1-2000cc for the compacted stuff, 2- 2000cc for beans and loos stuff.)

-Mylar Bags

-Your Food

-Scissors

-Flat iron (I used my old one, or get a cheap one from the store)

-Sharpie (If you want to write on your buckets)

-Tape (If you don’t want to write on your buckets)

-Rubber Mallet*

If you don’t have a rubber mallet, make your own (instructions further down):

-Hammer

-Tennis Ball

– Knife

I bought most of my bulk food at Wal-Mart or Sams Club, but here are some links to the site I got my buckets and all from, and a link to which kind and how many O2 absorbers you need:

Buckets: http://beprepared.com/5-gallon-bucket-with-lid.html

Mylar Bags: http://beprepared.com/metallized-liner-for-buckets.html

Oxygen Absorbers: http://beprepared.com/oxygen-absorbers-2000-cc.html

O2 Chart: https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/emergency_supplies/oxygen_absorber_recommended_amounts.htm

How To Do It

Insert the Mylar Bag into the Food Grade Bucket

Insert the Mylar Bag into the Food Grade Bucket

Empty Your Food from it's original packaging into the Mylar Bag.
Empty Your Food from it’s original packaging into the Mylar Bag.

-Gather the bag together at the top and pick up and set down the bucket to shake all of the contents to a level surface. This allows max space consumption so you can fit all of your goodies in there. 🙂

I found that in my 5 Gallon Bucket, a 25 lb. bag of food fits nice inside, and a 50 lb. bag had a little too much. I was only able to fit about 40 lbs. of it in there. So, do the math and get extra bags to fill up another bucket or two, or use leftover containers/jars for the excess and use in the next few months.

-Add your Oxygen Absorbers-

1-2000 cc Oxygen Absorber in a 5 Gal. Bucket of Sugar

1-2000 cc Oxygen Absorber in a 5 Gal. Bucket of Sugar

2-2000 cc Oxygen Absorbers in a 5 Gallon Bucket of Pinto Beans

2-2000 cc Oxygen Absorbers in a 5 Gallon Bucket of Pinto Beans.

Make sure all of the air is out of the bag. Seal The Mylar Bag with The Flat Iron. After you seal it, push down on the bag to make sure you don't hear any air coming out.

Make sure all of the air is out of the bag. Seal The Mylar Bag with The Flat Iron. After you seal it, push down on the bag to make sure you don’t hear any air coming out. (I ran across a website where a guy used an iron to seal the bags)

Word of Advice: Do not have the heat setting on high and do not leave the iron on longer than a second or this will happen. I had melted holes in my bag, then had to cut and reseal it, until I mastered it. My first one was jacked up. LOL

Word of Advice: Do not have the heat setting on high and do not leave the iron on longer than a second or this will happen. I had melted holes in my bag, then had to cut and reseal it, until I mastered it. My first one was jacked up. LOL. You may have to pull the flat iron apart from the bag as it will melt a bit on the iron.

Stuff the bag inside the bucket, and Put The Lid On!

Stuff the bag inside the bucket, and Put The Lid On!

-Use a Rubber Mallet to beat the lid’s outer edges onto the bucket. A few heavy hits around the lid and you have a great seal!-

My Make Shift Rubber Mallet! I simply put my hammer into a tennis ball my pitbull had popped that day (this happens a lot! lol) and voila'!

My Make Shift Rubber Mallet! I simply put my hammer into a tennis ball my pitbull had popped that day (this happens a lot! lol) and voila’! You can also use your knife and cut a slit in the ball so your hammer will fit. Be careful!

Air Tight Seal! This is where you can tape your old bag's label (the on that the food came in) onto the bucket, or just write it on the bucket in sharpie. If you ever need to get it off, just use hairspray or alcohol.  Don't forget to date your bucket with the month and year you packaged it! I also initial it.

Air Tight Seal!
This is where you can tape your old bag’s label (the on that the food came in) onto the bucket, or just write it on the bucket in sharpie.

If you ever need to get the sharpie off, just use hairspray or alcohol.

-Don’t forget to date your bucket with the month and year you packaged it! I wrote mine on the label, but it would probably last longer if you wrote on the bucket directly. I also initial it.-

Using our old Whey Protein Container to store extra beans that did not fit in my bucket from a 50 pound bag.

Using our old Whey Protein Container to store extra beans that did not fit in my bucket from a 50 pound bag.

*If you have leftover food that did not fit into your bucket, this is where you can use your McGyver Skills and find things to put them in that are food grade (i.e. old spaghetti jars, pickle jars, etc). I have read that you can use the silica packets found in new purses, shoes, etc to put in these containers to help keep it fresher for a longer time. I have not done this yet. You can also use the O2 guide above and buy the size you would need for your containers.

Using Spaghetti jars to store rice, and an old container I received some cookies in once. Make sure your container is Food Grade and air tight.

Using Spaghetti jars to store rice, and an old container I received some cookies in once. Make sure your container is Food Grade and air tight.

I am not Mormon but they have some great ideas, LDS CANNING LOCATIONS, and great tips on Long Term Food Storage. Here is a link to their site that talks about LTFS and their recommendations:

https://www.lds.org/topics/food-storage/longer-term-food-supply?lang=eng#1

I hope this helped you! Please comment below with questions!

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