I received my Azure Standard food co-op order last week…one of my favorite days of the month! It’s slightly ridiculous how much I get a thrill out of boxes and bags of food. I know not everyone has the storage space to purchase food in bulk…but this method works very well for me and I am so thankful to have this option.
As I mentioned several months ago in this post about why I buy bulk food, I don’t just buy in bulk to save money. Saving money is a wonderful perk, but I also find that buying in bulk makes cooking so much simpler for me. I don’t have to think so hard or shop so often. I buy large quantities of food items, enough to last much longer than a week. This way, I save on gas, time, energy and brain power.
I am often asked how I store my bulk purchases. Here is a little bit of explanation for what works well for me for bulk food storage:
I could just leave the food right in their bags, but I don’t feel comfortable with that for sevaral reasons. We’ve had trouble with mice in the past. Yowza, there’s not much that makes me more frustrated in the kitchen that seeing that those little rodents have gotten into and pooped in my oats. What a waste! Beyond mice, we find that if we don’t transfer food out of their bags and into something more properly sealed, it is easier for bugs to get in and ruin food.
In addition…I just feel like buckets and containers are easier to stack and store than bags. I know I’m a nerd…but I LIKE the way food looks when it’s poured into nice jars and jugs. Crumpled up bags don’t look nearly as cute in my pantry.
When my bulk purchases arrive, out come my jars, buckets and containers. I’ve accumulate quite a nice collection through the years, purchased from garage sales, Walmart or the dollar store. You know how I LOVE jars. And in general, I avoid plastics. However, for dry food that isn’t as likely to absorb chemicals from the plastic, I’m okay with using plastic containers for bulk storage.
I take a few minutes to scoop out the sea salt or sucanat or wheat or oats or whatever dry bulk item I’ve purchased into large storage containers.
From those, I will funnel smaller amounts into smaller jars for simple cooking use. I keep these smaller jars in the cupboard right above my stove so I can easily grab them while I’m cooking. As they get low, I refill them from their larger storage container.
Once I have everything divided into the appropriate jars and containers (I stare at it in happiness for a while and then) I put them all away in either my storage room, or in my pantry if there is space.
I especially like to keep my nicest jars full of dry bulk items like beans, rice, popcorn and pasta in my pantry door where it looks pretty everytime I open it!
Do you buy in bulk? What have you found that works best for you to store your bulk food?