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Lots of great info in this forum and I have been reading lots of threads. But I haven't yet found the answer to this question.

I'm not a serious stockpiler, but I have been buying large bags (25-50 pounds) of dry goods like rice and beans for regular use. I know there are lots of places to buy good air tight containers, but, on a *very* limited budget, I need to find something used and free (or very cheap) to accomplish this. I don't need the "ideal" container, just something suitable.

I've seen people mention asking at bakeries for 5-gallon food grade buckets. There aren't really any bakeries around here, except the ones in the major grocery stores, and as far as I know, they don't bake things from scratch, so I don't know if they would have what I am looking for. I will start calling around to ask, of course, but I was curious if anyone had found good sources to find this kind of stuff.

Thanks in advance,
Kara
 

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Can't help you with those but around this time of year friends and family often get those big tins of popcorn for a gift. I use those for storing my sugars & beans & rice. They stack easily and are really handy. Often after the holidays you can find them real cheap in stores too. You get the yummy popcorn (especially the caramel,lol) and the usable tin.
 

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Kara,

Most of the in store bakeries have the frosting buckets etc and some stores will give them to you, some sell them etc. Many of my friends have had luck at Sams, Costco, Walmart, Krogers. My particular stores don't give them or sell them...sigh...so YMMV. Some Burger King's give away the green pickle 5 gallon containers.You can also ask if you have co-ops or bulk Amish stores near you. Since many of these have high corn fructose or preservatives you just have to soak, and wash real well, to make sure all is out as well as smells. If all else fails you can find them for sale for good prices, just make sure to get the food grade, with gamma lids are great but cost more. Good luck finding some.

ETA: Make sure if storing flour products or rice try to freeze first, then when storing put in a bay leaf to keep bug proof. I also store things in 1 gallon jars.
 

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you can also get buckets with lids...walmart carrys them, so does home depot. (or rubbermaid type bins) I don;t know if they are food/insect safe, but you CAN put your foods portioned into ziplock type bags and store those in the buckets.

I go to my local Mormon dry goods canning facility. They let anyone come in, and can dry goods. They'll show how to use the machinery, etc. You can do flour, rice, beans, etc etc. then those cans (the number 10 sized cans, huge) stack nice, but they also box them and those boxes stack even better. I don;t know if there's one near you, but I am sure one of the churches are. You can call them and they'll tell you where a local canning facility is. They have dry pack and wet pack (dry goods and wet goods). And since they are steel cans it's unlikely anything is going to make its way into the cans.

If you use a plastic rubbermade bin, use a wet erase marker to write on the outside of the bin:

1. What's in the bin
2. When it was placed in the bin
3. Expiration dates
4. Quanity

Then you won;t have to dig each time you need something.
 

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You can also use drywall buckets - just keep the dry goods in the bag inside the bucket. They are WAY more available - most drywallers throw them out because they collect so many
 

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You can also use drywall buckets - just keep the dry goods in the bag inside the bucket. They are WAY more available - most drywallers throw them out because they collect so many


Sometimes the bucket has a dye added to the plastic that is not food grade. This alone will prevent the FDA from approving it as food grade. And sometimes the bucket manufacturer uses recycled HDPE. These buckets also are not food grade. And lastly, when something is put in the bucket that is a non-food type product such as paint, chemicals, and such things, this also makes them so they are no longer food grade. HDPE plastic is slightly porous and will absorb these chemicals which will gradually leach back into any food you place in the bucket later, even if you put into separate plastic bags. There also is what is called off gasing, which exposes your food to the gasses the chemicals make, even if not seen or smelled by you. My advice only buy Food grade buckets, it is not worth wasting your food, or worse not knowing what you are exposing your family and food too.
 

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Sometimes the bucket has a dye added to the plastic that is not food grade. This alone will prevent the FDA from approving it as food grade. And sometimes the bucket manufacturer uses recycled HDPE. These buckets also are not food grade. And lastly, when something is put in the bucket that is a non-food type product such as paint, chemicals, and such things, this also makes them so they are no longer food grade. HDPE plastic is slightly porous and will absorb these chemicals which will gradually leach back into any food you place in the bucket later, even if you put into separate plastic bags. There also is what is called off gasing, which exposes your food to the gasses the chemicals make, even if not seen or smelled by you. My advice only buy Food grade buckets, it is not worth wasting your food, or worse not knowing what you are exposing your family and food too.
Perhaps I did not make myself clear. The drywall buckets are used only to store food still in its original container - like a 25# bag of flour. In no way did I mean that the bucket was suitable to dump food into.
BTW - a lot of them ARE made of food grade plastic - there are only so many bucket manufacturers in the world, and they just slap a different label on the ones for different purposes.
 

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Perhaps I did not make myself clear. The drywall buckets are used only to store food still in its original container - like a 25# bag of flour. In no way did I mean that the bucket was suitable to dump food into.
BTW - a lot of them ARE made of food grade plastic - there are only so many bucket manufacturers in the world, and they just slap a different label on the ones for different purposes.
Mmm understand what you are saying to a point Mary, but respectfully disagree about the different plastic materials in certain buckets or the storing of food in them. I understand what you meant though, and so glad we are all finding things suitable for our uses. Have a great weekend , hope it doesn't snow too much for us all.
 

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I've had luck getting icing buckets (4 3/4 gallon size) at Target and have been told at 2 different Target stores that the buckets are just thrown in the compactor (trash that crushes to condense it down) ;)
 

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I just wanted to say hello Kara, I noticed your Greyhound in your avatar, I have 3 rescued Greys...and love them dearly! :)

As for the question... you *can* store the bags in your freezer, *if* you have the extra space.
If not, I've had good luck with just buying regular under the bed sized storage containers and just stacking the bags of beans in those.
I've yet to have any problems with bugs/rodents.

Also I've had luck finding 3 gallon sized food grade storage buckets at our local pizza place, they get icing in them and gave them to me for free.
I've also bought food grade buckets from Lowe's...make sure that you look for the triangle with the "2". Some people are "iffy" on these for direct food storage.
But again...I only store items in their original bags inside these buckets.
I do *not* pour my food items directly into the bucket.

I've also heard that you can find buckets at places such as Dairy Queen, local bakeries, etc. It might be worth a try to check...
 

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THANK YOU FOR THESE IDEAS! I never thought to do this...I’m going to ask at work (hospital) what our Food Services dept does with all the food buckets!!!!!!!! I mean holy cow between the cafeteria area and the in-pt. food area there must be ++++ food grade buckets being thrown out! I'm also going to ask my sons daycare centre if I can have a few of their food containers.:sun:
 

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It takes time but I store my large amounts of rice and pasta in washed out jars from spaghetti sauces, salsas, you name it. If its a glass jar, it gets washed and filled with something. I don't know how much space you have, I have one of those cupboards where the space goes way back into the corner of the kitchen, I have a pantry, lots of room to store numerous filled and empty jars.

I just sit down at the table, listen to music, and fill jars. Its peaceful. When I make pasta or rice I like being able to grab a small jar which is usually all the amount of pasta I was going to use anyhow. (rather than having to dig out a large container to get to my rice)
 
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So far, the only thing I buy in bulk is rice (20#bags) - everyone here does it - local style - when the bags were 25#, plastic bins were easily available for purchase. Ours is at least 26 years old. We use it for daily use and always have an unopened bag for backup.
 

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I got all of my 5 gallon food grade buckets from my Ingle's bakery. They just throw them out. Most I got for 75cents ea. Even though they are food grade, I separated my flour into giant ziploc bags before putting them into the buckets.

I get alot of Folgers plastic coffee cans too, I have often thought what good cannisters they would make.
 

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I use 5 gallon food grade buckets from Lowe's. They cost $2.34 each. I store all my flour , sugar , pasta and other items in them with lids. I also put my dehydrated vacuum packed food items in there also . These buckets are grey in color and they keep the light out. To make sure that the bucket is food grade just look on the bottom to see if the is a number 2 with arrows going around it in a triangle shape.
 
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