Top 6 D.I.Y. Containers For Long-Term Food Storage

The best containers for storing foods long-term protect them from oxygen, light, moisture, and physical damage. Not just any container will do because survival foods like white rice, wheat, hard and soft grains may be sitting in storage for 10 to 30 plus years.

Let’s take a look at the 6 best “Do It Yourself” container options for your survival food storage.

Top 6 Food Containers Used For Long-term Food Storage

From ball jars to Mylar bags, there are 6 common container choices for storing your emergency food. Most preppers use a combination of types but rely on #10 cans or a combination of Mylar bags, food-grade buckets, and oxygen absorbers for bulk dry foods stored long-term storage. And away we go.

Mylar Bags Filled With White Rice and Dried Black Beans

#1

Mylar Bags

Mylar is outstanding D.I.Y. Long term food storage.

Upside

  • oxygen,
  • 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

Downside

  • Easily damaged by rodents
  • Prone to physical damage
Food-grade buckets lines with Mylar Bags and filled with White Rice

#2

Food-Grade Buckets

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.

Upside

  • Tough
  • Stackable
  • Act as a light barrier
  • Excellent protection for Mylar Bags
  • Food-grade buckets can be repurposed for pickling and fermenting

Downside

  • 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?

#10 cans of Wheat from the online LDS cannery

#3

Tin Cans With Enamel Lining (#10 Cans)

#10 cans are the flagship of dry food storage containers.

Upside

  • Tough
  • Keep an excellent seal
  • Excellent oxygen-barrier
  • Excellent light barrier
  • Excellent food protection

Downside

  • 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

Recycled PET/PETE Bottles

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.

Upside

  • Virtually free if you are using leftover juice or soda bottles
  • You’re recycling

Downside

  • 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.
Case of small Ball Jars from Walmart used to sprout grains like wheat berries

#5

Glass Jars/Ball Jars

Ball jars are great for storing dry foods in small quantities, but some other methods, such as Mylar, are superior for bulk storage.

Upside

  • Excellent Oxygen Barrier

Downside

  • 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
Storing black beans in a lidded food-grade bucket, lined with a Mylar bag and 2000cc oxygen absorber

#6

The Trifecta (Food-grade bucket, Mylar bag, Oxygen Absorption)

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.

Upside

  • Protects Food From
    • oxygen
    • light
    • moisture
    • 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

Downside

  • 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?

Absolute Best Storage Containers For Long Term Food Storage

The Best Do It Yourself containers for long-term dry food storage are a combination of sealed Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, and food-grade buckets with lids. This combination protects food from oxygen, light, moisture, physical damage, and all stages of bug life.

Mylar itself is excellent for long-term food storage in every way but one. Mylar is easily damaged. It can tear, pin-hole, or be decimated by rodents without the extra protection provided by a lidded food-grade bucket or another tough plastic container.

The correct cubic centimeter of oxygen absorption takes advantage of Mylar’s excellent barrier qualities by removing almost all of the oxygen from a sealed Mylar bag (down to .01%.)

Why Repackage Food For Oxygen-free Storage

Your goal when repackaging dry foods is to protect them against spoilage, loss of nutritional value, degradation of color, texture, bug, 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.

8 Reasons To Repackage Food For long-term Storage

  1. Aerobic and anaerobic bacteria
  2. Light oxidation
  3. Oxygen deterioration
  4. Bugs
  5. Rodents
  6. Moisture
  7. Physical Damage
  8. Time

Two General Rules of Oxygen Free Food Storage

  1. Start with dry foods at or below 10% moisture content to prevent anaerobic bacteria like botulism from forming
  2. 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?

Together buckets, bags and oxygen absorbers provide a higher level of protection for foods stored for decades. Alone, they are not as effective.

Mylar

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.

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.

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.

5 Benefits Of Oxygen-free Food Storage

  1. Extend shelf life
  2. Prevents growth of aerobic pathogens and spoilage organisms, including molds
  3. Eliminates the need for additives such as BHA, BHT, sulfur dioxide, sorbates, benzoates, etc
  4. It helps retain the fresh-roasted flavor of coffee
  5. Prevents oxidation of vitamins A, C, and E

Sorbent Systems/Impak Group

Foods Stored Oxygen-free: Low Moisture And Low Fat

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.

3 Foods Prime For Long Term Storage

You have a lot of options in what you store. 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.

#1 Dry Staple foods

Hard and soft grains, including white rice, dent corn, wheat berries, rolled oats, low-fat dried milk, dry pasta, dried beans, and legumes. These foods are the backbone of long-term storage.

Favored by the LDS community who has done a lot of testing and takes food storage seriously. The easiest to buy and package yourself, provides long-term sustenance during SHTF.

The main downside to dry staples is the amount of preparation necessary, depending on the staple it might be just cooking it or it might include something labor-intensive like milling wheat berries into flour.

#2 Freeze-dried food

Stores 30 plus years in long-term storage. Most of us will have to purchase freeze-dried food(s), or if you are lucky enough to have a home freeze-drying unit like a Harvest Right, your golden.

Freeze-dried foods are outstanding for bug-out bags, camping, and other activities all you need to prepare is hot water. The food is super lightweight and maintains 95% of its nutrition.

#3 Dehydrated Foods:

If you are dehydrating foods at home, you may have difficulty getting the moisture content down to 10%.

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 food poisoning.

Chart #1 How Much Food Will A 5-gallon Bucket Hold

Following is a list of foods commonly stored in 5-gallon buckets.

Food TypeHow Much Food Will a 5-Gallon Bucket HoldShelf- Life In Years *
Non-fat Powdered Milk29 lbs20
Dried Eggs20 lbs10
Dried Beans, Legumes and Pulses33 lbs30
Dried Macaroni20 lbs30
Dried Spaghetti29 lbs30
Corn Meal33 lbs25 to 30
Popcorn37 lbs25 to 30
Flour33 lbs10
White Sugar**35 lbsIndefinitely
Iodized Table Salt**50 lbsIndefinitely
White Rice36 lbs30 +
Rolled Oats20 lbs30
Hard Grains29 lbs30
Dried Potato Flakes12 lbs20
Dried Whole Corn37 lbs25
Keep in mind most of these foods need to be processed and require clean potable water.
*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

Chart #2 How Much Grain Will Fit In A Bucket?

Food Type-Whole GrainLBS
Per 5 Gallon Bucket
Cal Per Pound
(cooked)
Cal Per
5-Gal Bucket
(cooked)
Hard Red Winter Wheat371,118
(bread)
41,366
Hard White Wheat371,194
(bread)
44,178
Pearled Barley (hulled)36527
3.5 c
18,972
Yellow Dent Corn/Maize/Used for making tortillas37990
(tortillas)
36,360
Buckwheat Groats35417
(roasted)
14,595
Long Grain White Rice36820 4 c 29,520
Long Grain Brown Rice35864 4 c30,240
Parboiled Rice/Instant Rice36820 4 c 29,520
Rolled Oats20750 5 c15,000
Oat Bran25308
3.5 c
7,700
Bread Rye351019
(bread)
41,265
Information Compliments of USA Emergency Supply and The Food and Drug Administration

Chart #3 Beans That Fit In A 5-Gallon Bucket

Food Type-Dry BeansLBS
Per 5 Gallon Bucket
Cal Per Pound
(cooked)
yield 6 c *
Cal Per
5-Gal Bucket
(cooked)
Black Turtle351,362 47,670
Black Eyed Peas/Cowpeas321,200 38,400
Garbanzo/Chick Pea331,614 53,262
Great Northern351,254 43,890
Green Split Peas331,386 45,738
Kidney331,350 44,550
Lentils351,380 48,300
Lima351,296 45,360
Mung371,278 47,286
Pink341,200 40,800
Pinto341,404 47,736
Refried201,512 30,240
Small Red341,308 44,472
Small White Navy371,842 68,154
Soy331,788 59,004
Information Compliments of USA Emergency Supply and The Food and Drug Administration

Chart #4 Dried Pasta In a 5-gallon Bucket

Food Type-Dry PastaLBS
Per 5 Gallon Bucket
Cal Per Pound
(cooked)
cup yield varies
Cal Per
5-Gal Bucket
(cooked)
Macaroni201576 8c31,520
Egg Noodles13 711 3c9,243
Spaghetti29 1,379 7c39,991
Information Compliments of USA Emergency Supply and The Food and Drug Administration

Chart #5 Dehydrated Fruit In a 5-Gallon Bucket

Food Type-Dehydrated FruitLBS
Per 5 Gallon Bucket
Calories Per 1 lb Cal Per
5-Gal Bucket
(Raw)
Applesauce (sweetened)163064,896
Apple Slices81,1449,152
Sliced Banana Chips112,35425,894
Information Compliments of USA Emergency Supply and The Food and Drug Administration

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.

How To Store Dry Food In Mylar and Buckets: 7 Easy Steps

Step 1: Line A 5-gallon food grade bucket with a 18 x24 Mylar bag

Step #2 Pour the dry food into the Mylar bag

Step # 3 Drop in the proper cubic centimeters of O2 Absorber(s)

Step # 4 Seal the bag with a household iron

Step # 5 Write the date and food type on the outside of the bag

Step #6 Fold the top of the bag into the bucket

Step # 7 Place a lid on top of the bucket and gently pound it around the rim of the bucket with the heel of your hand

Ready Squirrel: How To Store Dry Foods In Oxygen-free Containers: Mylar, Food Bucket & Oxygen Absorbers

How Many Oxygen Absorbers Do I Need?

Chart # 6 Mylar Bag Size Oxygen Absorber(s) Required and Food Type

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 SizesWheat/Flour/Grains/Rice
More Compact/’Less Air
Pasta Beans
Less Compact/More Air
20″x30″ (4.25,5,6-gal bucket(s) 2000cc2500cc to 3000cc
20″x24″ (4.25,5,6-gal bucket(s)2000cc2500 to 3000cc
18″x28″ (4.25,5,6-gal bucket(s)2000cc2500cc to 3000cc
16″ x 18″500cc1000cc
14″x20″ (2 gal)1000cc1500cc to 2000cc
14″x18″x6″ (2 gal)1000cc1500cc to 2000cc
12″x18″ (1.5 gal)800cc1200cc
12″x16″x6″ (1.5 gal) 800cc1200cc
10″x14″ (1 gal)400cc400cc
10″ x 16″150cc300cc
8″ x 8″5 cc100cc
8″x12″ (1/2 gal)200cc400cc
6″x10″ (1/4 gal)100cc200cc
6″x8″ (1/4 gal)100cc200cc
6″x 6″20 cc50 cc
Information Compliments of USA Emergency Supply.
*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 Mason Jars Oxygen Absorbers Required

Glass/Mason Jar SizeWheat/Flour/Grains/Rice
More Compact/’Less Air
Pasta Beans
Less Compact/More Air
1 Gallon
4 Quarts
8 Pints
16 Cups
128 oz.
400cc400cc
1 Quart
2 pints
4 cups
32 oz.
64 Tbs
50cc50 cc
1 Pint
2 cups
16 oz.
32 Tbs
96tsp
50cc50cc
1/2 Pint
8 oz.
50cc50cc
1/4 Pint
4 oz.
50cc50cc
The smallest Oxygen-absorbers I tend to have on hand is the 100cc. For smaller packages like a pint, I would use these. You can’t use too many oxygen absorbers, only too few ccs.

Chart #8 Oxygen Absorber Sizes

Oxygen Absorber Size ccTypical Use(s)
20 cc2oz and 4oz beef jerky packages
30 cc2oz and 4oz beef jerky packages
50 ccQuart 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 residual air volume
500 cc16″x18″ Mylar bag
750 ccSuggest using 2 per 5-gallon bucket
1000 cc2 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 ccone per 5 or 6-gallon bucket
4000 ccSpecial Use

Bug Treatment Methods For Dry Food Storage Containers

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.

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 pales used together to kill bugs in dry food storage.

#1

Freezing

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

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

  1. Use 2 teaspoons per one pound of dry food like wheat berries, or white rice
  2. Place DE in a kitchen sieve
  3. Dust the bottom of your container with DE
  4. Place 4″ of food on top of DE
  5. Dust and continue dusting every four inches of food until the container is full
  6. Shake the container to spread the DE all over the food
  7. Place a layer of DE on top and don’t mix it in, let it sit
  8. 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

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

  1. Line a food-grade plastic bucket with a Mylar bag
  2. 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)
  3. Pour in dry foods
  4. Wait for 5 to 6 hours until the oxygen in the container is pushed out by carbon dioxide.
  5. Hot-seal the Mylar bag
  6. Place the plastic lid on the bucket
  7. 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

#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. Ideal storage temps for your buckets are 75° F or less. Avoid storing food or supply buckets in the garage or a shed. Heat kills food and deteriorates emergency supplies. A good storage environment will maximize shelf-life.

#4 Non-food grade buckets may leach chemicals into your food. Please don’t use them to store food. Especially important if you are not lining buckets with Mylar bags.

#5 Food-grade buckets are flexible; You can repurpose them for other food-grade tasks like pickling, cider, or mead without having to keep track of food and non-food grade buckets. Down the road, you may decide that your apples need to be hard cider.

#6 Keep buckets off of the floor or on a pallet. Direct 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 contacts. Some of the chemicals in concrete are said to break down plastic.

#7 Don’t stack buckets more than three high, or the lids may crack. You can get away with stacking a maximum of 5 buckets high if you use a board between each column of buckets to redistribute weight.

#8 Food-grade buckets are excellent to protect food and supplies from physical damage. Mylar bags are an excellent oxygen barrier but they are weak. Put them inside buckets for an armored layer.

#9 Buckets normally keep rodents at bay. Mice and rats make short work of Mylar bags.

#10 Don’t’ store foods high in fat inside buckets. Avoid Storing food with high oil or fat content in an oxygen-free bucket. It doesn’t extend shelf life by much. For example, brown rice still has the husk and natural oils on it, so you will get a maximum of 18 months shelf-life before the fats go rancid. On the other hand, white rice has the husk and oils removed, so you can get a 30-year shelf life if properly stored.

#11 To get maximum shelf-life, line buckets with Mylar Bags and use Oxygen absorbers to remove oxygen from containers.

#12 Tag Your buckets with the type of food stored and date, or you will forget what’s inside.

#13 Only put one type of food in each bucket to keep away off-flavors or reactions between unlike foods

#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 grains have an exponentially longer shelf life if they are left unprocessed. For example, white flour will last 5+ years in a sealed 5-gallon bucket, but wheat berries left unprocessed will store for 30+years

#16 Use Gamma Lids on buckets you access regularly

#17 Use small Mylar Bags for smaller portions. 5–gallon buckets with the full-sized Mylar bag of 18″x 24″ expose a lot of food at once. Use smaller Mylar bags, so you expose less food to oxygen when you open a bag.

#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 Buckets With FIFO, use the first in, first out method used by restaurants, basically eat the oldest food first. When storing food for long-term storage, it’s a good idea to eat and cook with foods you will use during an emergency. That way, you will have honed the skills necessary to make meals.

#20 Use A Bucket Wrench when you remove lids unless you’re a sucker for pain. Pulling the lids off without a wrench hurts. These wrenches are also called Paint bucket openers, you can find them at big box stores.

#21 Do Not Use Oxygen Absorbers When Storing Sugar or Salt, it’s unnecessary, and it will turn sugar into stone.

Sources:

Why You Should Use Food Grade Bucket For Long-term Storage
How Much Dry Food You Can Store In a 5-gallon bucket
Killing Bugs in Dry Goods By Freezing Is An Outdated Method
Everything White Rice For Long-Term Storage
The Secret Weapon of Survival: Sprouting Dried Wheat Berries