The best long-term food storage container is a different container than a container that is airtight. Long-term containers do not allow for the transfer of Oxygen inside and outside the container but airtight containers like Tupperware do.
The best long-term storage containers don’t just protect against oxygen transfer they also protect against light, moisture, and physical damage. Two examples of the best long-term food storage containers are Mylar bags (5 mil+ in thickness) and #10 cans.
Let’s take a look at the 6 best “Do It Yourself” container options for your survival food storage.
#1 Mylar Bags (long-term food storage containers)
Mylar is outstanding D.I.Y. Long-term food storage.
- moisture, and
- light barrier if Mylar is at least 5 mils thick
- kill bugs, eggs, and pupae within two weeks when used with Oxygen absorbers
- Easily damaged by rodents
- Prone to physical damage
#2 Food-grade buckets (long term food storage containers)
A plastic bucket has one superpower. It’s tough but the plastic in a bucket is not a true oxygen barrier, and even the best lids are known to fail over time.
- Act as a light barrier
- Excellent protection for Mylar Bags
- Food-grade buckets can be repurposed for pickling and fermenting
- Not an oxygen barrier
- Bucket lid seals are prone to failure
Storage Tip: Non-food-grade buckets cannot be used for direct food contact because they have unhealthy chemicals that may leach into food.
How Long Will Food Last In A Bucket?
#3 #10 Tin Cans (long-term food storage containers)
#10 cans are the flagship of dry food storage containers.
- Keep an excellent seal
- Excellent oxygen-barrier
- Excellent light barrier
- Excellent food protection
- Rust in a high-humidity environment
- Special equipment is necessary to dry can food at home
- Foods may acquire a tinny flavor
- Professionally packaged is expensive
You can purchase #10 canned foods from an LDS cannery (you don’t have to be LDS) or a commercial survival food store.
#4 PET/PETE Bottles (long-term food storage containers)
This is a popular method of packaging dry foods because it’s inexpensive. This isn’t a method I use but some swear by it. I think whether or not you use PETE bottles is going to depend on how long you want to store dry food(s). If you are going for the maximum shelf life of say white rice, you probably don’t want to use this method because these bottles won’t hold up for 30 years.
- Virtually free if you are using leftover juice or soda bottles
- You’re recycling
- Weak plastic
- Not a true oxygen barrier
- Not a light barrier
- Require cleaning, disinfection, and drying before use.
- PETE for long-term storage requires a metal lid or a rubber seal.
#5 Glass Jars (long-term food storage containers)
Ball jars are great for storing dry foods in small quantities, but some other methods, such as Mylar, are superior for bulk storage.
- Excellent Oxygen Barrier
- Require delicate handling and break easily in storage
- Expensive in bulk
- Don’t protect food against light oxidation
- Rubber Seals often fail with oxygen absorbers (lids require rubber seal)
- If storing in bulk you need a lot of room, you can’t really stack them and they are more difficult to work with in large numbers
#6 Bucket Lined With Mylar Bag (long-term food storage containers)
A food-grade bucket lined with a Mylar bag and oxygen absorption is a preferred container for storing bulk dry foods low in fat. When done correctly, it’s a darn near bulletproof method, and it’s inexpensive and easy to do at home. Yeah, I’m a fanboy when it comes to the Trifecta.
- Protects Food From
- physical damage, including rodents.
- Provides an excellent seal
- Easy stacking and storage
- oxygen removed to .01% or less
- kills, bugs, eggs, and pupae within two weeks
- use cheap bucket lids without a seal
- Bulk foods are heavy
- Buckets take up a lot of room
- Buckets are stacked no more than 3 high to avoid cracking
- Food-grade buckets should be used, even when lined with Mylar bags
- The typical 18×24″ Mylar bag(s) used to line buckets exposes a lot of food to the elements when opened.
- You can remedy this by using smaller Mylar bags and storing them inside a bucket or a large plastic bin.
I built most of my emergency food supply by purchasing bulk grains and repackaging them myself.
So what is the best DIY Container?
Why Repackage Food In Long-term Storage
Your goal when repackaging dry foods is to protect them against spoilage, loss of nutritional value, degradation of color, texture, bugs, and physical damage. Using the proper containers, you can also slow down the clock and control storage times. Store-bought packaging does not protect dry foods for long-term storage.
Rules of Long-term Food Storage (oxygen-free)
- Start with dry foods at or below 10% moisture content to prevent anaerobic bacteria like botulism from forming
- Choose foods that are low in Fat because Oxygen-free storage doesn’t increase the shelf-life of fatty foods
Why Use Buckets, Bags, and Oxygen Absorbers?
Together buckets, bags, and oxygen absorbers provide a higher level of protection for foods stored for decades. Alone, they are not as effective. Together they protect food from light, oxygen, moisture, physical damage and kill bugs within two weeks so there is no need to freeze the staples before storages. Let’s take a look at what each adds to your food storage.
#1 Mylar Bags
Mylar bags are relatively weak but provide a superior barrier for oxygen, light, and moisture. When storing dry foods, the goal is to remove oxygen and keep it out of the container; Mylar does this job well. Mylar also blocks food spoiling light and moisture.
#2 Food-grade buckets
Buckets are plastic, so they don’t provide a true oxygen barrier. Once oxygen gets into a storage container, you’ve lost decades of storage life. They won’t protect food from oxidation or bug eggs once breached by oxygen. But buckets are tough, easily stored, and protect Mylar from damage caused by rodents and handling. Plastic pales can also be reused in other food-grade operations like pickling and fermentation.
#3 Oxygen Absorbers
When combined with a true oxygen barrier (sealed Mylar bags), absorbers remove Oxygen down to .01% or less (USA Emergency Supply).
Storage Tip: Salt and Sugar should not be stored using oxygen absorbers, and they can be stored in, only, a plastic food-grade bucket with a lid. Both will clump if stored in an oxygen-free container.
So what are the benefits of Oxygen-free Storage?
5 Benefits Of Oxygen-free Food Storage
When used in a storage container that provides an oxygen barrier, such as Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers remove oxygen from the container to prevent spoilage of food from oxidation. Let’s take a look at the five benefits of Oxygen-free storage.
#1 Extend shelf life
Oxygen decreases food shelf life by decades, oxygen free storage extends the shelf life. For example, white rice will store about 5 years in the regular store packaging but it will keep for 30-plus years in a Mylar bag treated with oxygen absorbers.
#2 Aerobic Pathogens
Oxygen treatment in a container that provides an oxygen barrier prevents the growth of aerobic pathogens and spoilage organisms, including molds
#3 No Additives Required
Oxygen-free treatment of dry staples eliminates the need for additives such as BHA, BHT, sulfur dioxide, sorbates, benzoates, etc
#4 Helps maintain freshness
Oxygen-free storage helps retain the freshness of dry foods like wheat, rice, and rolled oats. Imagine opening a can full of roasted coffee. That awesome roasted coffee aroma is a sign of freshness.
#5 Prevents oxidation
Oxygen-free storage of staple foods prevents the oxidation of vitamins A, C, and E.
Up next the types of food stored oxygen-free.
Foods Stored Oxygen-free
When I first started repackaging foods for long-term storage, I was a little confused. I thought you could package just about anything with Mylar and oxygen absorbers, but that isn’t the case. The only foods stored this way are dry staple foods that are 10% in moisture content or less and low in fat.
Never store foods higher than 10% moisture in an oxygen-free container. You risk anaerobic (without air) bacteria forming. The big one is botulism food poisoning. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it. It’s rare but deadly.
Oxygen-free containers don’t increase the shelf-life of foods high in fat, oxygen-free storage is a waste of materials.
For example, brown rice (not white rice) is high in fat, so you’ll never get more than a 6 to 18 months shelf life, regardless of how the food is packaged.
Best Foods For Long-term Food Storage Container
You have a lot of options in what you can store Oxygen-free. Dry staples are the cheapest and easiest, but you should be aware of some of the other dry foods as well because together, these types of foods fit every survival scenario you might face. Let’s take a look at the best foods to store in a long-term food storage container.
Next up dray staple foods.
#1 Dry staple foods
The best dry staples to store in long-term storage containers (oxygen-free) are known as famine foods. These foods include hard and soft grains like white rice, dent corn, wheat berries, rolled oats, low-fat dried milk, dry pasta, dried beans, and legumes.
The dry staples are favored by the LDS church for long-term storage because they have a tremendous shelf-life and boring or not they keep people alive and get them through difficult times like food shortages.
The weakness of dry staples is that they aren’t ideal for short-term emergencies because they take more time and preparation to make ready to eat. Depending on the staple it might be just cooking it with clean water which takes time and clean water as with white rice or it might include extra steps like milling wheat berries into flour.
For short-term emergencies, you will probably want to rely on canned or freeze-dried meals because they are quick and easy to make, and ready to eat.
Next, let’s examine freeze-dried food.
#2 Freeze-dried food
Freeze-dried food is excellent for oxygen-free storage and provides a 30-plus-year shelf-life in long-term storage containers.
Freeze-dried foods are outstanding for bug-out bags, camping, and other activities. All that is needed to prepare the food is hot water and freeze-dried food is super lightweight and maintains 95% of its nutritional value.
The major drawback to freeze-dried food is it is expensive no matter how you look at it. Most of us will have to purchase freeze-dried food or use a home freeze-drying unit like a Harvest Right. Neither option is cheap.
Next up, dehydrated foods.
#3 Dehydrated Foods
If you are dehydrating foods at home, you may have difficulty getting the moisture content down to 10% so most of us storing food we dehydrate at home should not be stored in long-term storage containers, oxygen-free.
Don’t store dehydrated foods in an O2-free container unless they snap when you bend them. If they are rubbery or don’t break, they have too much moisture and could contract botulism or food poisoning.
You can purchase dehydrated food that is professionally dehydrated and packaged that has a solid shelf-life but not as long as dry staples or freeze-dried foods.
Up next, How much food will a 5-gallon bucket hold?
Chart #1 How Much Will A 5-gallon Bucket Hold (long-term food storage containers)
Following is a list of foods commonly stored in 5-gallon buckets. If you are ready to order oxygen absorbers, Mylar bags, and buckets this chart will give you an idea of how much packaging material to purchase.
|Food Type||How Much Food Will a 5-Gallon Bucket Hold||Shelf- Life In Years *|
|Non-fat Powdered Milk||29 lbs||20|
|Dried Eggs||20 lbs||10|
|Dried Beans, Legumes, and Pulses||33 lbs||30|
|Dried Macaroni||20 lbs||30|
|Dried Spaghetti||29 lbs||30|
|Corn Meal||33 lbs||25 to 30|
|Popcorn||37 lbs||25 to 30|
|White Sugar**||35 lbs||Indefinitely|
|Iodized Table Salt**||50 lbs||Indefinitely|
|White Rice||36 lbs||30 +|
|Rolled Oats||20 lbs||30|
|Hard Grains||29 lbs||30|
|Dried Potato Flakes||12 lbs||20|
|Dried Whole Corn||37 lbs||25|
*Storage life in years is dependent on optimum storage conditions, cool, dry and dark, and moisture contents of less than 10% when stored. Also required are a sufficient cc oxygen absorber and a good oxygen barrier like Mylar, food-grade buckets, etc. Regular store packaging will not provide anywhere near the shelf-life listed. **Do not use oxygen absorbers with salt or sugar
Next, how much grain will fit in a food storage bucket?
Chart #2 How Much Grain Will Fit In A Bucket?
When storing wheat in a bucket I noticed that it is impossible to get everything into a specific number of buckets (you don’t use oxygen-free storage in a partially filled bucket) so I purchased some 1-gallon Mylar bags for overflow. Let’s take a look at the chart.
|Food Type-Whole Grain||LBS|
Per 5 Gallon Bucket
|Cal Per Pound|
|Hard Red Winter Wheat||37||1,118|
|Hard White Wheat||37||1,194|
|Pearled Barley (hulled)||36||527|
|Yellow Dent Corn/Maize/Used for making tortillas||37||990|
|Long Grain White Rice||36||820 4 c||29,520|
|Long Grain Brown Rice||35||864 4 c||30,240|
|Parboiled Rice/Instant Rice||36||820 4 c||29,520|
|Rolled Oats||20||750 5 c||15,000|
|Oat Bran||25||308 |
Next, let’s examine how many beans will fit in a bucket.
Chart #3 Beans That Fit In A 5-Gallon Bucket
Take a look at how many beans will fit in a 5-gallon storage bucket so you can determine the size and number of long-term storage containers you will need. I suggest having everything ahead of time for ease of packaging.
|Food Type-Dry Beans||LBS|
Per 5 Gallon Bucket
|Cal Per Pound|
yield 6 c *
|Black Eyed Peas/Cowpeas||32||1,200||38,400|
|Green Split Peas||33||1,386||45,738|
|Small White Navy||37||1,842||68,154|
Chart #4 Dried Pasta In a 5-gallon Bucket
If you plan on storing pasta in long-term food storage containers I suggest using macaroni instead of spaghetti because it is much easier to package.
|Food Type-Dry Pasta||LBS|
Per 5 Gallon Bucket
|Cal Per Pound|
cup yield varies
|Egg Noodles||13||711 3c||9,243|
Chart #5 Freeze-dried Fruit In a 5-Gallon Bucket
I purchase most of my freeze-dried and dehydrated fruit professionally packaged because it it much easier than going through the process of preparing the fruit for packaging. If you think you want to freeze-dry or dehydrate fruit look at the chart below for how much will fit in a 5-gallon bucket.
|Food Type-Dehydrated Fruit||LBS|
Per 5 Gallon Bucket
|Calories Per 1 lb||Cal Per|
|Sliced Banana Chips||11||2,354||25,894|
It doesn’t matter what storage container you use you need a good seal on the container.
Air or oxygen is the enemy of food. If you want the nerdy facts, here they are, the air is approximately 21% oxygen and 79% Nitrogen. Nitrogen doesn’t hurt food because it’s an inert gas and is actually used to preserve food.
Oxygen spoils food by encouraging bacteria and microorganisms’ growth and increases enzyme activity in fats and lipids that cause off-flavor and color. So you want to get rid of Oxygen but don’t need to worry about nitrogen in food storage.
Up next, how much oxygen absorption do you need for a long-term storage container?
Chart #6 How Many Oxygen Absorbers Do I need? (long-term storage containers)
When you purchase oxygen absorbers to purchase or if only a certain size is available it doesn’t matter, just make sure you place enough O2 Absorbers in the container to reach the required cubic centimeters of oxygen absorption or CC.
|Mylar Bag Sizes||Wheat/Flour/Grains/Rice|
More Compact/’Less Air
Less Compact/More Air
|20″x30″ (4.25,5,6-gal bucket(s)||2000cc||2500cc to 3000cc|
|20″x24″ (4.25,5,6-gal bucket(s)||2000cc||2500 to 3000cc|
|18″x28″ (4.25,5,6-gal bucket(s)||2000cc||2500cc to 3000cc|
|16″ x 18″||500cc||1000cc|
|14″x20″ (2 gal)||1000cc||1500cc to 2000cc|
|14″x18″x6″ (2 gal)||1000cc||1500cc to 2000cc|
|12″x18″ (1.5 gal)||800cc||1200cc|
|12″x16″x6″ (1.5 gal)||800cc||1200cc|
|10″x14″ (1 gal)||400cc||400cc|
|10″ x 16″||150cc||300cc|
|8″ x 8″||5 cc||100cc|
|8″x12″ (1/2 gal)||200cc||400cc|
|6″x10″ (1/4 gal)||100cc||200cc|
|6″x8″ (1/4 gal)||100cc||200cc|
|6″x 6″||20 cc||50 cc|
*Note, these are average amounts at sea level. You may need more or less depending on your individual conditions and the remaining residual volume of air. There is no danger in adding too many as this does not affect the food.
Oxygen represents 20% of the total volume of air, and the number in cc’s above represents the amount of oxygen that would be absorbed. Conversions: 1cc = 1ml. 1000ml = 1 Liter. 3.78 Liters = 1 gallon.
Chart # 7 Oxygen Absorbers Required (Mason Jars)
|Glass/Mason Jar Size||Wheat/Flour/Grains/Rice|
More Compact/’Less Air
Less Compact/More Air
|1 Gallon |
Chart #8 Oxygen Absorber Sizes (long-term storage containers)
|Oxygen Absorber Size cc||Typical Use(s)|
|20 cc||2oz and 4oz beef jerky packages|
|30 cc||2oz and 4oz beef jerky packages|
|50 cc||Quart-size containers or smaller and|
6″x 6″ Mylar Bag(s)
|100 cc||#10 can or equivalent size container|
|200 cc||“8 x 12” Mylar/ 1/2 gallon|
|300 cc||#10 can or equivalent size. You can also use a number of these in a larger container, depending on the residual air volume|
|500 cc||16″x18″ Mylar bag|
|750 cc||Suggest using 2 per 5-gallon bucket|
|1000 cc||2 of these in a 5-gallon bucket, depending on residual air volume|
|1500 cc||Use one of this size for a 5 or 6-gallon bucket depending on food type-see chart above|
|2000 cc||one per 5 or 6-gallon bucket|
|3000 cc||one per 5 or 6-gallon bucket|
|4000 cc||Special Use|
I’ll start by saying, and I’m going to get some flack for this. These methods are outdated when you consider the oxygen barrier qualities of sealed Mylar used with the correct cubic centimeters of Oxygen absorption.
Up next, bug treatment methods of dry grains before packaging for long-term storage.
3 Bug Treatment Methods For Long-term Food Storage Containers
When it comes to labor, time, negative effects on food, and effectiveness, none of these methods are as effective as Mylar Bags, Oxygen Absorbers, and Food-grade pale used together to kill bugs in dry food storage.
#1 Freezing Food for Storage
Freezing is an outdated method used to kill bugs and eggs before repackaging food. It’s time-consuming, ineffective, and actually adds moisture to whatever you freeze. When Oxygen-absorbers were invented, freezing became obsolete.
Freezing Is Ineffective Killing Bugs: Even the professionals at the agricultural centers don’t agree on how long to freeze grains to kill bugs and eggs. I’ve seen suggested freezing times from 2 days to 2 weeks.
Interesting Fact: Weevils are in just about every dry good when you get them. Weevil eggs overwinter on stalks of wheat in places like North Dakota and hatch in early summer. To kill them, you have to freeze them just right.
#2 Diatomaceous Earth Food Storage
Diatomaceous earth is a soft sedimentary rock that has been crushed into a fine powder. The powder can be added to your food storage container (dry storage only) to kill bugs by absorbing oil and fat from a bug’s body. It basically dries a bug into a husk.
I first heard of diatomaceous earth as an organic bug exterminator for gardening. Here is how you use it in food storage to kill bugs.
How To Use Diatomaceous Earth To Kill Bugs: 8 Steps
- Use 2 teaspoons per pound of dry food like wheat berries, or white rice
- Place DE in a kitchen sieve
- Dust the bottom of your container with DE
- Place 4″ of food on top of the DE
- Dust and continue dusting every four inches of food until the container is full
- Shake the container to spread the DE all over the food
- Place a layer of DE on top and don’t mix it in, let it sit
- To use food place it in a strainer and rinse food or just eat it. DE won’t hurt you and adds extra trace minerals to your diet.
Information Compliments of Diatomaceousearth.com
There is nothing wrong with DE, but I can’t see a situation where I would use it. Repackaged food needs to be oxygen-free, so I’m using oxygen absorbers. Absorbers kill bugs with an O2-free environment, so the application of DE would be an extra step and somewhat obsolete.Scott Ready Squirrel
Warning: Avoid breathing diatomaceous earth as it is an irritant.
#3 Dry Ice Food Storage
Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide that can be used in small amounts to create an oxygen-free storage environment in a container.
How Dry Ice Works In O2-Free Storage
When dry ice sublimates (kind of like melting) in a food storage container, it displaces oxygen. Once the oxygen is displaced, all that is left in the food storage container is carbon dioxide, an inert gas that doesn’t affect food.
How To Use Dry Ice To Remove Oxygen (7 steps)
- Line a food-grade plastic bucket with a Mylar bag
- Place 2oz of dry ice in the bottom of the bag (Dry ice must be free of moisture, or you’ll add moisture to your container)
- Pour in dry foods
- Wait for 5 to 6 hours until the oxygen in the container is pushed out by carbon dioxide.
- Hot-seal the Mylar bag
- Place the plastic lid on the bucket
- The storage container is oxygen-free
All Bug life stages, adult, pupae, and eggs, are killed using small amounts of dry ice. Concentrations of Carbon dioxide as low as 10% will kill bugs. The higher the concentration, the quicker bugs are killed.
#4: Mylar bags and Oxygen absorbers
When you are storing dry foods for the max shelf-life let’s say it’s white rice, you have to repackage the rice so it doesn’t oxidize. A by-product of removing oxygen is killing bugs, eggs, and pupae in the grain.
Any of these other methods of killing bugs is an extra step. Some of them dry ice, for instance, is somewhat dangerous and imparts moisture. Freezing grain is unrealistic and imparts moisture. Use Mylar bags and skip the other bug treatments altogether.
When choosing Mylar bags for storage, make sure they are at least 5 mils in thickness. Thinner bags may be somewhat transparent and allow oxidizing light to get at your food.
21 Tips For Storing Food In Long-term Storage Containers
The following 21 tips are things I’ve learned about packaging hundreds of pounds of food in long-term storage containers. Hopefully, these tips will make your food storage journey a little smoother. Let’s take a look at the top 21 tips for using long-term food storage containers.
#1 Food-grade buckets with Oxygen absorbers
Keep food from being oxidized or spoiling due to Oxygen’s presence. This storage method also inhibits the growth of bugs, pupae, and bug eggs present in most grains, so you don’t have to freeze foods before storage.
#2 Don’t store food with a 10% or higher moisture content
because bacteria may grow in a low Oxygen, high humidity environment, leading to Botulism.
#3 Store buckets in a cool, dry location with low humidity
deal storage temps for your buckets are 75° F or less. Avoid storing food or supply buckets in the garage or shed. Heat kills food and deteriorates emergency supplies. A good storage environment will maximize shelf-life.
#4 Don’t use non-food grade buckets
Please don’t use non-food-grade buckets to store food. Especially important if you are not lining buckets with Mylar bags because you don’t want food to contain non-food grade plastic.
#5 Food-grade buckets are flexible
Repurpose Food-grade buckets for other food-grade tasks like pickling, cider, or mead without having to keep track of food and non-food-grade buckets.
#6 Keep buckets off of concrete
Bucket contact with the floor may transfer chemicals from concrete or surrounding containers. The chemical transfer can occur during flooding or just direct concrete to-bucket contact. Some of the chemicals in concrete are said to break down plastic.
#7 Overstacking Buckets
Avoid storing buckets more than 3 high or they may crack. You can get away with stacking a maximum of 5 buckets high if you use a board between each stack of buckets to redistribute weight.
#8 Buckets are armor for Mylar bags
Mylar bags are an excellent oxygen barrier but they are weak so put them inside buckets or plastic bins for an armored layer.
#9 Rodent Protection
Use food-grade plastic buckets to protect Mylar bags because mice and rats make short work of Mylar. If you have a major problem with rodents consider #10 cans as a food storage container.
#10 Don’t store high-fat food in Mylar bags
Avoid Storing food with high oil or fat content in an oxygen-free Mylar bag. It doesn’t extend shelf life by much. For example, brown rice still has husk and natural oils on it, so you will get a maximum of 18 months of shelf-life before the fats go rancid.
#11 Use Mylar Bags
Besides, #10 cans Mylar bags are the best oxygen-free container for long-term food storage so use them with oxygen absorbers whenever you can.
#12 Label long-term food storage containers
Tag buckets and Mylar bags with the type of food stored and the date, or you will forget what’s inside. I know this because I’ve done it on several occasions.
#13 Only put one type of food in each bucket
Try not to store unlike foods in the same long-term food storage container to avoid off-flavors or chemical reactions.
#14 30-Year Shelf-life
5-gallon buckets lined with sealed 5+mil Mylar bag(s) and oxygen absorber(s) will store dry foods like white rice, dried beans, wheat berries, and rolled oats for 30+ years.
#15 Whole grain shelf-life
Whole grains have a longer shelf-life when left unprocessed. For example, white flour will last 5+ years in a sealed 5-gallon bucket, but wheat berries (wheat with the husk removed) will store for 30+years
#16 Use Gamma Lids
You don’t have to use Gamma Lids on all your food storage containers or buckets. Instead, use them on buckets you access regularly.
#17 Use small Mylar Bags for smaller portions.
5-gallon buckets with the full-sized Mylar bag expose a lot of food to spoilage so use smaller Mylar bags to limit foods exposed to oxygen.
#18 Store Foods You Eat,
Avoid storing foods that you haven’t eaten before. I learned the hard way when I purchased a 50lb bag of quinoa nobody would eat.
#19 Rotate with FIFO
Use the first in, first out (FIFO) method to rotate long-term food storage by eating the oldest food first.
#20 Bucket Wrench
Unless you’re a sucker for pain use a bucket wrench for removing the loads from 5-gallon buckets. Pulling the lids off without a wrench hurts. Bucket wrenches are also called paint bucket openers, you can find them at big box stores.
#21 Storing Sugar & Salt
The best long-term food storage container for sugar and salt is a lidded 5-gallon bucket. You don’t need a Mylar bag and you don’t need to use oxygen absorbers. Granulated white sugar and salt do not oxidize and they will get really hard if you store them oxygen-free.