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Save Money With Food Storage Solutions

Updated on August 14, 2018

Buying in bulk

I'm not a shopper. Standing in long lines, checking prices, and playing bumper carts with fellow shoppers is just not my idea of a day out. I always thought that buying in bulk was cheaper and would save me from another trip to the store. The problem with this strategy is that my bulk buys often expire before I can finish them. It was depressing to throw so much food away. I could see the dollar signs flowing into the trash can.

Eventually, I decided to have a good look at my pantry and do some planning. I found that there are a number of food items that will just last and last. It was smart to buy more of these. In addition to this epiphany, I was storing many items incorrectly. If I had a better shopping and storage plan I could buy more when my grocery items were on special, stock up and follow some basic storage rules. This could cut down on my grocery budget and save time.

Below is the list that I started to compile.

PASTA

 
Stored in the pantry or cool, dry place in and airtight container
Stored in the refrigerator
Stored in the freezer
(even after sell by date)
 
 
 
Uncooked pasta and noodles
1 - 2 years
 
 
Cooked pasta and noodles
 
A few days maximum
6 - 8 months

RICE AND BULGAR

 
Stored in the pantry or cool, dry place in an airtight container
Stored in the refrigerator
Stored in the freezer
(even after sell by date)
 
 
 
Uncooked Rice - Jasmine, White, Arborio and Basmati
At least 2 years
 
 
Uncooked Brown rice
Maybe a year only because of it higher oil content
 
 
Bulgar - whole wheat that has been cleaned, parboiled and dried. High in Vit B, phosporous, manganese and iron
At least one year
 
 

NUTS

 
Stored in the pantry or cool, dry place in an airtight container
Stored in the refrigerator
Stored in the freezer
Peanut Butter
If it is still sealed, it will last up to 2 years
Once opened you should store it in the fridge.
You could freeze it but when it thaws the oil and nuts may seperate but it is still good to eat.
Almonds
9 - 12 months
1 year
2 years
Brazil
9 months
1 year
1 year
Cashews
6 - 9 months
1 year
2 years
Diamond
2 years
3 years
4 years
Hazelnuts
4 - 6 months
1 year
1 year
Macadamians
6 - 9 months
1 year
2 years
Peanuts
6 - 9 months
1 year
2 years
Pecans
6 months
1 year
2 years
Pine
1 - 2 months
3 - 4 months
5 - 6 months
Pistachio
3 months
 
 
Walnuts
6 months
1 year
1 - 2 years

DRY BEANS

 
Stored in the pantry in a cool, dry place
Stored in the refrigerator
Stored in the freezer
 
 
 
 
Dry beans
1 - 2 years if in a sealed container
 
 

Tips:

Unshelled nuts are cheaper than shelled nuts. Although unshelled nuts take up more room, they do last longer.

Once you have shelled nuts, put them in the refrigerator.

When in the pantry make sure they are in a cool, dry place with a temp under 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Shelled whole nuts last longer than chopped or shaved nuts.

Unsalted nuts will last longer than salted nuts.

CHEESES

 
Stored in the pantry or cool, dry place
Stored in the refrigerator
Stored in the freezer
Soft eg: brie
 
1 week
6 months
Firm eg: Swiss
 
1 - 2 months Unopened and whole. If shredded 1 month. If opened 2 weeks
6 - 8 months Unopened / opended / shredded
Hard eg: Parmesan
 
2 - 4 months Unopened and whole. If shredded 1 - 2 months. If opened 1 month
6 - 8 months Unopened / opended / shredded

Tips:

Soft cheeses won’t last as long because of their moisture content. Moisture is needed to breed micro-organisms. The soft cheeses that I have frozen have a different texture when they thaw out. I avoid freezing these.

SWISS CHEESE

Attribution to Wiki commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Swiss_cheese_cubes.jpg
Attribution to Wiki commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Swiss_cheese_cubes.jpg

SUGAR

 
Stored in the pantry or cool, dry place
Stored in the refrigerator
Stored in the freezer
White, brown and powdered varieties
Store in an airtight container to keep the moisture out. If you keep it dry it will last for a very long time. Sugar is a bit like salt it really doesn't go bad.
 
 

SYRUPS AND HONEY

 
Stored in the pantry or cool, dry place
Stored in the refrigerator
Stored in the freezer
Honey
It might crystallize with time, but it will still be safe. Just put in some hot water to make it runny again. It will last for years.
 
 
Pure maple syrup
 
Many months after opening
It will last longer if frozen in small containers

HONEY

Attribution to Wiki commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Texas_State_Fair_honey.jpg
Attribution to Wiki commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Texas_State_Fair_honey.jpg

COFFEE

 
Stored in the pantry or cool, dry place
Stored in the freezer
(even after the sell by date)
 
 
Sealed packages
 
 
Ground coffee
3- 5 months
1 - 2 years
Whole bean coffee
6 - 9 months
2 - 3 years
Instant coffee
2 - 20 years
Forever
Opened packages
 
 
Ground coffee
3 - 5 months
3 - 5 months
Whole bean coffee
6 months
2 years
Instant coffee
2 - 20 years
Forever

SPICES

 
Stored in the pantry or cool, dry place
Stored in the refrigerator
Stored in the freezer
 
Stored away from any area that may generate moisture, like the stove top or kettle.
 
 
Ground spices
2 - 3 years
 
 
Whole spices
3 - 4 years
 
 
Salt
Indefintie
 
 
Dried herbs
Roughly 2 years
 
 

EXTRACTS AND MISCELLANEOUS

 
Stored in the pantry or cool, dry place
Stored in the refrigerator
Stored in the freezer
Pure vanilla
Absolutely has to be pure. Can be kept for years if kept in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
 
 
Cornstarch
If in an airtight container it will preserve for years.
 
 
Distilled vinegar
It will keep for years if kept in an airtight dark glass container
 
 

FREEZE DRIED FOOD

If you are thinking of stockpiling for a power outage you might want to think of freeze dried food. There is an impressive variety out on the market, anything from fruit and ice cream (lifespan 2 years) to scrambled eggs and bacon (lifespan 7 years). Then there are the extremes like dried milk, pancake mix, beef stew and others that are good for 25 years!

You don’t even have to go to a specialty store for these. I saw a full range at Walmart. Another great company with a wide range is Thrive. My pantry is stocked full with freeze-dried yogurt bits, vegetables, cheeses, fruit and more. I'm a little obsessed with the strawberries. Many good camping stores will have these too.

I am pretty sure my list above only touches on the possibilities but it got the ball rolling for me. I am far more efficient in my storage and budgeting efforts now. Please always check expiry dates and if something smells bad, it probably is.

Comments

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    • celeste inscribed profile imageAUTHOR

      Celeste Wilson 

      6 years ago

      Hi Rajan, Many thanks. The list seemed endless, I was so surprised at the storage options of some food. I am even using honey to lighten my hair since it has a natural peroxide in it. Nature is awesome!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Honey literally stays good for ages! And I've been keeping nuts in the freezer and they last for years.

      Very useful list and you have done a great job here.

      Voted up.

    • celeste inscribed profile imageAUTHOR

      Celeste Wilson 

      6 years ago

      Hi Nell Rose, I know, isn't it great? I really love that I can freeze peanut butter. I love it for a while and then get sick of it. So freezing the left over peanut butter preserves it until I get my next craving. :0) Thank you for dropping by to read my hub.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi celeste, who would have guessed? I am terrible where it comes to keeping stuff in my fridge or pantry. a couple of weeks and I throw it out! glad to know about the honey as I have some and its quite a few weeks old, great info, and voted up!

    • celeste inscribed profile imageAUTHOR

      Celeste Wilson 

      6 years ago

      You are most welcome. Thank you for dropping by to read my hub. There are many other foods that we can store for ages but the list would be too long for a hub. This was just from my grocery list.

    • greeneryday profile image

      greeneryday 

      6 years ago from Some tropical country

      Wow I have never thought that we could keep rice for couple of years, thank you for such valuable information written on this hub looking forward to read your other hubs too! Voted up and more

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