With the proper long term food storage, you can store dry goods for years allowing you to take advantage of sale prices now and have a stock that will help whether times when prices are high in the future.
Storing dry goods long term also allows you to ensure that in an emergency situation your family still has a viable food source.
When storing dry goods long-term you have several storage options depending on how long you intend to store your dry goods.
Storing Dry Goods
How you store your dry goods long term is important.
You must protect your dried foods from common issues that lead to damage and rot including moisture, oxygen, and pests.
By storing your foods in a way that protects your dry goods from these elements, you allow your dry goods to last for years rather than the usual months in storage.
For the best results after your dried goods are sealed properly they should be kept in a cool dark place for the longest shelf life.
How to Prep Food for Storage
While dry goods are perfect for storing long term it is vital that you prepare some dry goods before you preserve them for long term storage.
This is because some dry foods like flour tend to hold insect eggs that can hatch into insects and damage your food in storage.
To prevent this issue you can freeze your flour for 48 hours to kill off weevil and other insect eggs to protect your dry goods during long-term storage.
Long Term Food Storage Containers
For long-term storage of dry goods to buy in bulk for use through the year, you can use food-grade 5-gallon storage buckets.
Gamma lids can be twisted on and off and can be used to get a better seal that will protect your food longer.
When using buckets for long terms storage you can place silica packets to absorb any moisture that gets into your buckets along with oxygen absorbers to help keep your food as fresh as possible even when you need to open the bucket to transfer to your regular use containers.
For storage, over a year you should seal your dry goods into smaller air-tight containers like vacuum sealing or mylar bags before placing them into your storage buckets that help to keep pests out of your dry goods and protect the food from damage.
This is a great way to build up an emergency food supply, the buckets will help protect your dry foods.
To make your long-term dry goods storage easy to use and improve the food grad bucket option you can use your vacuum sealer to seal dry goods in smaller packages that you can grab out and close the lid.
This is a great way to extend the life of your dry goods, protect them from pests, but still have manageable amounts to work with.
For those that already have a vacuum sealer, this is one of the most economical choices for storing dry goods.
Using rolls of vacuum sealer plastic you can make custom size bags that allow you to vacuum-sealed enough of each dry good to fill the storage containers you are already using for pantry or counter storage.
Having your dry goods separated into packs that fit perfectly is a great way to reduce food waste when buying in bulk.
If your vacuum sealer has a jar sealing accessory you can even reuse old pasta jars to vacuum seal dry goods for simple pantry storage or for creating meals that can be stored vacuum sealed and ready to just add water and cook.
Mylar and Oxygen Absorbers
Mylar is one if the best ways to store your dry goods for a very long shelf life ranging from 10 to 25 years depending upon what you are storing.
For those looking to prepare for long-term needs or simply take advantage of a sale and not need to worry about how fast you can use it up mylar bags with oxygen absorbers is the best option for very long-term food storage.
Start by preparing foods like flour by freezing to ensure that there is no way any insect eggs have lived.
Place your dried goods into a mylar bag leaving enough headspace to close the bag well enough to get a complete seal.
Add an oxygen absorber and use heat to seal your mylar shut.
Label your mylar well with what is inside and the date you packaged it.
Let sit overnight to allow the oxygen absorbers to create a vacuum seal to your packages before putting them away.
If after 48 hours any packages are not fully vacuum-sealed remove the contents and reseal them before storing them.
After sealing mylar packages you can store them in a large Rubbermaid tote or 5-gallon bucket to help keep them secure from pests.
Another great but often not discussed option for storing dry goods long term is in PETE bottles like the ones you get your drinks and such in at the store.
These bottles are designed to have a complete seal and PETE plastic provides a quality oxygen barrier to protect your food.
This is a great way to reuse items you already have.
Before reusing bottles to store your dry goods check to ensure that the bottle is made of PETE.
PETE bottles will have a 1 inside the recycling symbol.
Before packing away your dry good like rice, beans, and popcorn seeds wash and completely dry your PETE bottles.
You may notice that over time the bottles shrink around the contents inside.
This is perfectly fine and was due to a large amount of air still inside the bottle when you closed it.
The oxygen inside has been absorbed allowing the contents of your bottles to last up to 10 years.
Non Perishable Food Items
- Canned Meats
- Canned Tuna and Salmon
- Peanut Butter
- Jelly (no glass)
- Canned or Dry Soups
- Canned Stews and Chili
- Tea Bags
- Coffee (ground no beans)
- Canned Pasta
- Canned Vegatables
- Canned Fruit
- Canned Pasta (Spaghetti “O’s”)
- Hot and Cold Cereals
- Cake Mixes
- Pancake Mix
- Powdered Milk
- Packaged Pasta (Macaroni & Cheese, etc.)
- Canned Juices
- Canned Beans
- Canned Gravy
- Granulated Sugar
- Baby Food & Cereal (glass jars accepted)
- Baby Formula (Enfamil/Similac)
- Granola Bars
- Cereal Bars
More Food Storage Tips
If you found this food storage post helpful, you’ll like these ones too:
- How to Freeze Tomatoes – Freezing tomatoes is SO much easier in my opinion than canning and takes much less time and effort.
- Complete Guide to Freezing Bread – Freezing Bread is an easy way to save money on the cost of bread products.
- How to Store Potatoes to Last Longer – Everything you need to know to make your potatoes last longer.
- How Can You Freeze Milk to Make it Last Longer – Did you know that you can freeze milk? It’s true and it’s pretty easy to do when you follow these tips for freezing milk.
- How to Store Different Types of Squash – Some important things to know about how to store your hard squash for the winter months!
- How to Freeze Butter to Make it Last Longer – You can make the sales really work for you by freezing the butter you find on sale, to enjoy when the price climbs back up.
- How to Freeze Cheese to Make it Last Longer – Just like with other dairy products including milk and butter you can freeze cheese to extend the lifespan of the staple food.