Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Food Storage

A mylar / dry goods storage method I've been using for several years


Back in 2012 I decided I wanted to start some long-term food storage and do so by all the core tenets of 'buy it cheap and stack it deep', 'buy what you eat', first in, first out'. I started off with dry goods. I looked at the various recommendations and settled on 1gal mylar pouches, oxygen absorbers, but got a little hung up on the '5gal bucket / gamma lid'. It didn't make much economic sense to me to spend $6-12 per bucket to store <$10 worth of food.  Plus I'm living in the suburbs of L.A. and didn't really have a lot of room for stacks of 5gal buckets or the questions from visiting neighbors.

So I thought about it some, the issues and needs, and elected to use brand new galvanized 31gal trash cans, instead of 5gal buckets.
I added some salvaged casters from office chairs I'd murdered, using some surplus wood / offcuts to make rolling bases for the cans. I put a simple peel and stick foam rubber door / window gasket inside the lid to bug-proof its fit and a cheap rubber bungee from the can handles and along the groove of the can lid to hold the lid down tight. Viola, a giant vermin-proof '5gal bucket', that nobody really sees or notices.

I put 10cups or so of stuff in each 1gal mylar pouch, various rices, various dried beans, sugars, corn meal and flour - yes, flour, it keeps for 2-3 years before the odor changes and 3+ before it becomes unpalatable, so I've been passing it on to food banks and thru church groups at about the 2yr mark. By the 50# bag at warehouse or restaurant supply stores, it was only about 50cents/#. So it costs very little to have flour ready to use, no grain mill and wheat berries and I'm actually using what I store.
At 10cups+ the bags are about 2/3 full. I'm able to fit about 40 or so in the trash can. I think the overall storage is taking less room in the 31gal trash cans than in 5gal buckets and yes I'm losing a bit of 'bugout' portability. But there's few places for us to go that won't be worse, anyway. Most of our families are grasshoppers. Or worse.

Anyway, since the national declaration on May13 and the Los Angeles County, Mayor and CA Governor edicts of Mar19 have created some idleness, I recently sat down to take a better inventory. Easier than trying to find paper notes taken years ago and it looked a little like this -

Rigging the cans

using a plastic for sale sign to make a spring-open liner for the mouth of the bags to keep food dust off the surfaces to be ironed shut.

using cardboard partitions, like a giant holiday popcorn tin, let me put different foodstuffs sided by side stacked top to bottom, instead of jumlbing things together or burying one food type under another. When the can was full I just pulled the cardboard up and out.

(let me know if those old photobucket links don't work, I still see them fine, but I've procured my own hosting space since Photobucket tried their extortion move a couple years ago.)

You can read more detailed descriptions and some remarks I made 7yrs ago when I began using this method, which have turned out to pretty much describe exactly what happened the weekend of the 13th, here -

Anyway, hope some folks find this useful, when they can find bulk goods for sale again. Shelves are still empty here in L.A., way too much market pressure for the supply chain and stock personnel to keep up with. Only minor improvements in the last few days. But our Mayor has said 'school's over until May1 (at least) and the Governor's edict has no end date. Our party is just getting started.

My thanks to Jack Spirko and everyone else in his network of associations. Their messages helped me have my family prepped in almost every way (never enough money) for the next four months, before anyone even heard of Covid-19.

I hope you all stay well and safe.


thanks for sharing this, Richard. Looks like you are in good shape...

This is a great idea for LTS without the buckets. Stay safe.

I do like the trash can idea, but fear I might overload them.  ;D

Thanks for sharing, richardr


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