Storage containers can start adding up pretty fast. Being a proud tightwad, I started looking around and decided that I could recycle some of the containers that I bought food in all the time! You can all blame Mariah Maskey for this one … for those who don’t know me, she is my daughter and has nagged me for years to recycle more! Here are some of my ideas that are working for me.
Plastic containers should have PETE or HDPE on the bottom of them.
Next check the lids and see if they have a soft lining, usually made out of silicone or nylon to create a airtight seal when reused. If there is not a coating or gasket, I lay a sandwich bag over the top and screw the lid down.
Smell it. If there is an odor that the dishwasher (top rack)doesn't eliminate it, you will need to soak it with clorox water. Dried foods will absorb smells and taste like the old food.
If the container has a small opening, I use the two funnels to fill it with and use foods like popcorn, dried veggies, cracked wheat. Just as long as it is not too fine or powdery and will pour out on its own weight. Those foods go into the wider mouthed containers. If I am planning to put it away for awhile, I drop in an oxygen packet before sealing.
I have successfully used the jars that sauces, fruit and jam come in.
Once again, look for the gasket on the underside of the lid to create a good seal. If there is cardboard, add the sandwich bag to help create a good seal.
Some people try to reuse these jars for home bottling wet foods. DON'T DO IT! You can always find some one who has gotten by with it. I know an entire family wiped out by doing it. It isn't worth taking the chance!
These can be used more than once as long as the foods are completely dry. Each time it will be a little smaller.
You can seal and store foods that come from any source, not just the cannery.
I have made half and quarter pouches for foods that I use more slowly so that they stay fresher. I am dividing up my seasonings into the quarter packets so they stay fresher for the years that it seems to take me to ue them up now.
I have pouches, oxygen packets and sealer that can be checked out and taken to your home if you want to use this method. It is $ .50 per full sized pouch (my cost). These are the same materials that you would use at the church cannery, in fact that is where the pouches and packets came from!
As I am trying to reclaim my own living room, I am finding myself going back and reminding myself! Hope this helps those of you who are suffering from food storage "overload".
I am trying to reclaim my own living room and have been finding new places to put it all so that I can get to it for rotation. My poor husband deserves a big ole' "Atta Boy" for his patience in this process! Where In the World is Your Food Storage?
NOBODY in the world knows better than the Huishes what a nuisance tripping over food storage can be!!! I am sure that is a safe statement. Nobody in the world has been happier that they went through the trouble of storing that same food in a way that it can be rotated, than the Huishes. We have relied on it more than once in our marriage to help us through hard times. Even our kids would get nervous when the empty buckets started to stack up. Right now, when you walk into our home, you face the current project of storing up for the “hard times”. Though I apologize for it, I shouldn’t. We are doing what the prophets have asked of us since ancient times. I am swallowing what little pride I have left and showing some of the ways that I am finding to store these foods so that I can get to them and use them in our every day diet. Husbands, if you don’t help your wives with some of these ideas, I just might sic Jon on you … I hear his misery would love some company … yours! This is our can wall. These can be added to any inside wall of your house. It is a free standing structure that holds its own weight. Sheet rock and you can hardly tell it is there. You do need to think it through before you build one so that you can easily mount doors to close it up. We didn't do that and are now trying to come up with a good way to cover the openings! All young children find them to be very entertaining, better than TV for a stand-in baby sitter when you're busy ... great for grandmas ... keeps them near the kitchen while you cook and you can keep an eye on them!
After years of storing food under beds in cases, I find I can no longer hold the bed up with one shoulder while digging through the cases to find what I need. Jon and I came with this system. We used a circular saw and power drill. The materials are 2 x 2's , some scrap 2 x 4's, and particle board with melamine coating ( we plan to use plain particle board with paint from now on).
This shows the side of the bed. There are several ladder type structures lined up and screwed to the top and bottom slabs. The structure fits inside of the bed rails so that we don't kick it ... and have room for our shoes when we take them off! ... you know in case of a fire ....
This is the the end of foot of the bed showing the ladder type structures.
When we drop the bed skirt, you can't tell there is anything under there. It even hides the shoes that seem to collect to be handy ... ;-) The bed is only 26" high with box springs and mattress.
The riser is to help the bed rails clear the cans for easy rotation.
If we decide to add another layer, we will probably eliminate the box springs so that it will stay about the same height. This is working so well and we wish we had thought of it years ago!
For over fifty years, I have seemed to spend a lot of my time in the kitchen. First, it was the usual “helping Mommy” whether it was everyday meals or canning. Mom wasn’t really into cooking, so I had to create my own kitchen adventures. As the years went by, I enjoyed it more and more. Fortunately, my family have been pretty good sports about my experiments!
Canning fruit in Utah led to huge gardens as a wife and mother, canning meat when it was too good of a price to pass up . . . Oops! No freezer . . . DUH! Finding that these activities have blessed my family repeatedly led me to this point.
Life experiences, working in a church cannery for three years and serving as cannery specialist two times have brought me to the point of sharing what I have learned. The most important lesson being, keep an open mind and always be ready to learn from others. Be sure to check out the links I have in the side bar of the blog!!!