My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!


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Who Wouldn’t Love To Help A Little Boy Get A Service Dog? Plus A Giveaway!

My good friend, Bethany, is an awesome lady!  She is a bundle of energy and is always looking for a way to help others.  She was kind enough to write up a little intro for my blog.

 

“Hello, my name is Bethany Varney, and I love Tupperware!  So, almost 2 years, ago, I decided to become a consultant.  What does Tupperware have to do with food storage?  A lot!  I have 6 kids with 2 on gluten-free diets.  Being able to store different kinds of flours without worrying about bugs or spills is great.  [Plus] Tupperware is BPA free…  Most seals are water tight and air tight, which can save big money from spoilage.

 

Large Square Modular Mates - My personal favorite!

Large Square Modular Mates – My personal favorite!

 

One of my favorite products are Modular Mates.  They come in different shapes and sizes to accommodate different items and shelf sizes.  I like to buy in bulk and on sale, so modular mates allow me to keep those deals fresh and safe to use.  If you have questions or need replacement pieces, feel free to contact me by email, phone, or via my website.

 

Ethan

 

“Also, during the month of June, I am helping with a fundraiser for a great family with a young son with autism.  They are raising money to help him get a service dog to help with his safety.  Their family needs to raise over $25,000 to achieve this goal.  You are welcome to join in by ordering online (here).  Also, check out his fundraising page (here).”

 

Isn’t Bethany wonderful?  She is a great lady!

 

Now, onto the giveaway.  I’m doing something a little different this time.  I’m using “Rafflecopter” to host the giveaway.  What does that mean?  You need to click on the link below to enter the giveaway.

 

Click Here To Enter!

 

Why am I doing this?  Rafflecopter makes it so much easier to operate a “complicated” giveaway, because they have links to everything embedded right in each entry opportunity.  So, it’s an extra click for you, but it’s much easier once you get to their site.  If I were self-hosted, I could put the Rafflecopter box right inside this post, but, alas, I’m not.

 

What am I giving away?  Some Tupperware!  I’ve had quite a few people comment on how much they like the containers I use to store my flour and sugar.

 

No, I'm not giving away the cream, but this is a picture of one of my well-used, and well-loved modular mates.

No, I’m not giving away the cream, but this is a picture of one of my well-used, and well-loved modular mates.

 

But, I’m not giving you my old Modular Mates.  Bethany generously provided a new set of Modular Mates valued at $61!  See?

 

1 large, square Modular Mates container and 2 small, square Modular Mates containers with black seals.  They are lovely!

1 large, square Modular Mates container and 2 small, square Modular Mates containers with black seals. They are lovely!

 

As part of the entry process, you visit Bethany’s Tupperware site (found here) and come back to this blog post and make a comment telling me which Tupperware product you’d like to win.  Please note that, unlike my previous giveaways, the comment is not all that’s required for an entry.  You must make a comment here, then return to the Rafflecopter page and confirm that you made a comment.  Hopefully this won’t be too complicated, but if it is, I’ll go back to my “old” way of running giveaways.

 

As always, thanks for visiting my blog, and enjoy! 

Again, you can enter my giveaway by visiting Rafflecopter (here).


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Where EXACTLY Am I Supposed To Put All This Stuff?

Ever feel like it would be so much easier to do this “food storage thing” if you had a little more space?  Somewhere to put all your food?  But instead it feels like you’re living in this:

Dollhouse

 

Hopefully you have a little more space than that.  🙂

But, seriously, if you want to store food (more than a couple of weeks’ worth), you need some space and a way to optimize that space.

When I first started building my food storage, I knew I needed space for it. I live in southern California which means that we do not have basements (often an ideal place to store food).  Also, real estate is expensive here (as it is in a lot of places).  My point is that I don’t have the luxury of a basement, root cellar, extra bedrooms, etc.   While I’m not opposed to “Food Storage Furniture”, like end tables, I was hoping not to go that route.  (But if you want to go that route, visit this website for a basic tutorial or this website for a designer tutorial.)

Designer Food Storage End Table

In my house, I have a “Harry Potter” closet under the stairs, and I decided to clean out all the other stuff under there and use that space.   Around the same time, my third son told me he wanted that to be his bedroom.  The funny thing was, he got his own room after his brother left for college, so I asked him why he would want to sleep under the stairs and give up his bedroom.  He explained that he wanted BOTH spaces.  He wanted to SLEEP under the stairs and keep his stuff in his bedroom.  I told him he could have the “Harry Potter” bedroom, but I would use his former bedroom for my food storage.  He opted to keep his bedroom, and now the majority of my food storage is under my stairs.

I’ll show you a picture, but, I’m warning you!  It’s not very organized right now, so you’re going to see the real me.  Behind closed doors.  I hope you’ll still like me afterwards.  I was seriously tempted to clean my closet before I showed it to you, but that wouldn’t truly be showing you my real life, real gal efforts, would it?

Okay, so here is the “real” me, messy closets and all!

Harry Potter Food Storage Closet

Harry Potter Food Storage Closet from the outside.

Harry Potter Food Storage Closet

Harry Potter Food Storage Closet just past the coats. Yes, I know it’s messy! But, life is messy!

Harry Potter Food Storage Closet

Harry Potter Food Storage Closet around the bend. This closet goes underneath the landing on my staircase, so there’s quite a bit of space as you turn the “corner” after the bookcase.

You may be asking yourself, “Why did she show me that mess?”  Well, I’ll tell ya!  You don’t have to have the perfect organizational system to start storing food long term, but you do have to have somewhere to put it.  And there are some important things to remember about keeping your food fresh and edible.

1.  Food should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place to maximize shelf life.  In other words, your garage probably doesn’t meet this criteria for long-term storage.  If you have no where else to store your food, it’s back to my mantra: it’s better to store something than nothing.  So, start anyway, BUT look for a longer term solution and remember that food will spoil faster when stored in hot temperatures.  Generally, the cooler the room and the more ideal the conditions, the longer your food lasts.

2.  Food should be easily accessible to rotate or to use in the event of an emergency.  If your food is stored somewhere you can easily access, you are more likely to use it regularly (rotating it).  As you use it, you buy food to replace what you used.  Use the oldest food first, so your food is always fresh and within date.

3.  Always store food in food grade packaging.  Don’t dump your food (wheat, flour, etc.) into Home Depot orange buckets.  They can be great around the house, but I don’t believe they are food grade buckets.  (I’ll post more details about food grade packaging soon.)

And those are the basics.  That’s it.

So, look around your house.  Is there anywhere you can store some of those extra cans? 

Do you have room above your kitchen cupboards, like this?

Many new home builders leave space between the top of kitchen cupboards and the ceiling. In my house, I can put cans on top of my cupboards and you don't even see them! Of course, I need a tall stool to get them down, but it's not too difficult, and it's inside my house!

Many new home builders leave space between the top of kitchen cupboards and the ceiling. In my house, I can put cans on top of my cupboards and you don’t even see them! Of course, I need a tall stool to get them down, but it’s not too difficult, and it’s inside my house!

Or in the top of your closet like this?

This is the top of my master bedroom closet. I can slip some boxes of #10 cans for easy storage without moving anything else!

Can you move some of those less used kitchen appliances and dishes to your garage like this to create extra storage?  (Or your extra toilet paper, napkins, paper towels.  Anything that can be safely stored in warm and cold temperatures.)

I consolidated some of my kitchen appliances and serving dishes to free up a cupboard which I use to store extra items I use regularly.

I consolidated some of my kitchen appliances and serving dishes to free up a cupboard which I use to store extra items I use regularly. Right now, I also store my waterbath canner in this cupboard, but I move it around at different times depending on what I need to store. I removed it for this picture.

Are you using your vertical space as well as you can? 

I've used Tupperware (and other brand) containers to maximize the vertical space in my pantry. I have rice, extra sugar (which is behind the four stacked containers), extra bred flour, oil, and more in this cupboard.

I’ve used Tupperware (and other brand) containers to maximize the vertical space in my pantry. I have rice, extra sugar (which is behind the four stacked containers), extra bred flour, oil, and more in this cupboard.  The tall containers on the right hand side are actually pet food containers.  They were the perfect size for this cupboard, they are food grade plastic, and they were so much cheaper and larger than I could find.  A Bed, Bath, and Beyond employee recommended them, and they are AWESOME!

Can you repackage items into different containers to take advantage of vertical space?

I use canning jars to store items in my baking cupboard. I found some awesome 1 gallon ones which I LOVE!!

I use canning jars to store items in my baking cupboard. I found some awesome 1 gallon ones which I LOVE!!

Think of it like a big, giant Tetris game.  You win when you fit the most stuff in your current storage space in a usable way.

Food Storage Tetris, Anyone?

My challenge to you is this:  Think outside the box.  What can you rearrange, re-purpose, or purge to create space for your food?  Take action and do it!  Make a little room.  Buy a few extra cans of something you will eat and store it there.

Keep thinking, keep storing, and you will find solutions!

Do you have any space solutions you can share with my readers?  If so, please comment below!

 

 

Laurel Laurie Staten Nguyen Newhall, CA