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While messing with food storage/organization, it occurred to me that transparent containers are good for some storage needs as they let you see what is in the container and what is going on inside (e.g., has a can swelled/burst?). When you store mixed items inside, labeling become complicated. Having transparency helps so you are not going around having to open a container to see what is inside (with buckets this can be hard unless you spend $ on gamma lids/etc., and even then it is just easier to look to see what is inside).

My daughter picked up 30+ transparent storage containers with lids, but they are not a secure kind - i.e., the lids are only loosely locked. Kind of ok for items you use a lot and don't expect to move a lot, but for long term storage it is better to have containers that have airtight secure lids that are not easily removed so they stay secure when moving them around - especially when transporting them (e.g., during an evac).

A lot of people use the ubiquitous 5 gallon plastic bucket with at least the snap on lid, as it is very secure and fairly airtight, but they are all opaque and most are round. So far I have only found one 5 gallon bucket that is transparent and square. Not sure about durability - especially the handle. Square is a lot better for storage, especially on shelves, and for transport.


The expense of buckets per gallon, with secure lids approaches that of the square plastic MTM "ammo crate" when on sale ($16 when I bought some but now about $25), but those are not transparent. OTOH, they are much easier to open and are somewhat airtight - certainly easier to stack, store and carry - plus the ACR 12 is 9 gallons of volume.

I store much of my stuff in the $8-9 27 gallon bins bought at Costco - very cost efficient. But they are not in anyway air tight or water tight (even just sitting in the rain they can eventually get water inside, and the size is difficult to move when loaded heavy.

Suggestions? Feedback?
 
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Unfiltered daylight can cause degradation of many items as well as make a “greenhouse” for lots of spores under the situation you’re descending., so keep that in mind.
Yes - good point and I was aware of that. I would only store things in it that would not degrade due to daylight. Also, the buckets would typically be stored in a rack of shelves inside my shop which has little sunlight.

Found these:


But they are 50 mil - lids can be bought for them but the lids are "tear off" opening lids.
 
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Same answers. Open or even slightly diffused Sunlight will over a couple of years degrade the plastic. I was told corn starch was added to the plastic mix to insure its eventual crumpling to fragments then dust over time. Environmental requirements? Dunno that fur sures.

Be sure the plastic in these designed-to crumble-plastic buckets is food grade. China has been known to ignore treaty law and sell "food quality plastic" storage containers which ain't. Toxic contaminated plastic used in the manufacture? Dunno that fur sures either.

Most plastic bucket lids are not air tight. Close but no cigar. The only ones that come close are the screw on types used on heavy round containers that also contain a rubber gasket. Over time these lids will also leak. Gaskets will fail. Are there any exceptions to all of this?

Maybe. GOOGLE remains our friend. Perhaps there are USA manufactures that make LONG TERM food storage containers. Like 100 years. Might be food quality military grade storage containers out there. I do not know about transparent WW storage buckets. Good luck.

Our many 5-6 gallon square plastic food quality Lictica (sp) buckets are no more. Packed and filled 25 years ago. Now gone with the wind. The few that were still stashed then used could not be lifted by the handles. The plastic had degraded to crunchy fragments. A big mess.

Equal length paragraphs fun to try but futile. :)
 
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I have plastic buckets that are are ten years old. No crumbling yet - no sign of it.

I would not store bulk food directly in the plastic buckets, the food would be in some other container/package.

I do not buy unpackaged bulk food anymore, and I only store it in a non-original container when I intend to use it. I buy one gallon plastic "jars" with screw on lids, for things like granola, rice, etc. when I am going to eat it - i.e., when I put it into consumption rotation - if I did not do that, then the mice would get to it. Otherwise it stays in the original container and that is put into something more mice proof.

At this point, I am going to not be buying canned food for a while until everything I have of a certain category (e.g., fruit, veggies) is used up. I've been hoarding short term canned food too much and now I am having to throw most of it away due to the cans swelling or the food inside no longer palatable.

But back to containers - yeah - buckets not really airtight in the sense that I would rely completely on that - just more "airtight" in the sense that the bucket would float for quite a while with the lid on tight - but not if it was held underwater for days on end.

Mostly I am looking for a value priced container that would hold my food such that mice can't get into it (at least not easily) and won't be attracted to any food scents, and water from rain or leaky roof won't get into it.

The MTM "crates" do have a gasket IIRC, but I don't think they are too much more water/air tight than the buckets. That said, if I can get ACR12 sized crates for $16 again, I will buy a bunch of them - I think they are a bit better than the buckets valuewise when purchased at that price. They are square too so easier to store and transport.
 

OldBroad44

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While messing with food storage/organization, it occurred to me that transparent containers are good for some storage needs as they let you see what is in the container and what is going on inside (e.g., has a can swelled/burst?). When you store mixed items inside, labeling become complicated. Having transparency helps so you are not going around having to open a container to see what is inside (with buckets this can be hard unless you spend $ on gamma lids/etc., and even then it is just easier to look to see what is inside).

My daughter picked up 30+ transparent storage containers with lids, but they are not a secure kind - i.e., the lids are only loosely locked. Kind of ok for items you use a lot and don't expect to move a lot, but for long term storage it is better to have containers that have airtight secure lids that are not easily removed so they stay secure when moving them around - especially when transporting them (e.g., during an evac).

A lot of people use the ubiquitous 5 gallon plastic bucket with at least the snap on lid, as it is very secure and fairly airtight, but they are all opaque and most are round. So far I have only found one 5 gallon bucket that is transparent and square. Not sure about durability - especially the handle. Square is a lot better for storage, especially on shelves, and for transport.


The expense of buckets per gallon, with secure lids approaches that of the square plastic MTM "ammo crate" when on sale ($16 when I bought some but now about $25), but those are not transparent. OTOH, they are much easier to open and are somewhat airtight - certainly easier to stack, store and carry - plus the ACR 12 is 9 gallons of volume.

I store much of my stuff in the $8-9 27 gallon bins bought at Costco - very cost efficient. But they are not in anyway air tight or water tight (even just sitting in the rain they can eventually get water inside, and the size is difficult to move when loaded heavy.

Suggestions? Feedback?
Most of us who run small seed companies use Uline.com for containers for storing seed as well as shipping supplies. If you call during business hours the goodies are delivered the next day. Call 1-800-295-5510 and ask for their free 600-page catalog.

Generally it is way more economic to use standard containers, which are not clear. Some stuff stores as well in light as dark, but nothing stores better in light. Certainly not food or seeds. Likewise, it is far more economical to use round pails than square. Square is a flimsier design, so is more expensive to produce with adequate sturdiness. There are many grades of round pails. Those you buy in big box stores often are not food grade and often don't have air and moisture proof lids. They are usually flimsier than I like too. It is likewise more economical to buy standard sizes. They're less expensive than less common sizes.

I use mostly S-7914 5-gal pails for storing seed, food, or drinking water. These are $5.05, any quantity (minimum 5). They are heavy duty and FDA compliant. Lids are 1.65 each. Choice of 8 colors. They have 7 sizes from 1quart to 7 gal. 5 gal of corn or bean seed is as much as I want to lift. These are moisture proof, watertight, etc. They are 90 mil. Uline also has a 75 mil 5 gal "Economy Pail" for 4.30 each, minimum 10. Lids 1.65 each. It is FDA compliant.

By comparison, Uline S-16971 is a 5gal white square pail. With caps they are about 12.45 each.

Both styles are normally just sealed once. Seal is less reliable once lid has been removed once. If you want a pail that can be opened and closed repeatedly, consider screw-top pails. S-13652 is the 5 gal size. It is FDA compliant. It costs $12.50 to 14 depending on amt ordered.

Its pretty easy to label pails with what is in them. You can write on them with magic marker or attach a length of surveyors tape to the handle. Or use a label that attaches with a wire that you can update as you remove and add stuff.
 
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Its pretty easy to label pails with what is in them. You can write on them with magic marker or attach a length of surveyors tape to the handle. Or use a label that attaches with a wire that you can update as you remove and add stuff.
I wrote on one with a sharpie about a decade ago and the writing eventually wore off enough that it was unreadable.

I think a label maker of some sort is maybe better? That is what my daughter uses (strip of tape label). I was also thinking of printing or writing on a sheet label, attaching that, then using clear tape over the top of it.
 

Tony617

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I have white buckets that came with food rations and I put black plastic garbage bags over them as well and store them in a dark closet or closed pantry which has no windows and a door on it.
 

Knobgoblin

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We sell once used, food grade buckets with waterproof lids (gasket type) in a variety of sizes for 2 bucks at the store.
Most original contents were donut frosting or cake icing. Basically sugar and oils. Non contaminating foods.

I had tons in the basement, but started giving them away a couple years ago.

If you have a local, independent grocery store in "town " ask them about it.
 

OldBroad44

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My experience with the square buckets is that for the heavy stuff I store, such as corn or bean seed, the handles break off.

The heavy 90 mil round 5 gal buckets I buy from Uline seem indestructible. I have some I've had in use outdoors for about 25 years, and they show no signs of deterioration. And the handles hold up too. Buckets of this sort with lids also hold up. You pound the lid on. I use a rubber mallet. There is a special plastic tool you use to get the lids off. Used lids may not seal reliably. Some do and some don't. I normally just set the lid on a bucket of seed once I have opened it. The unsealed used lid fits tight enough to keep rodents, flies, or insects out without sealing it. I keep most buckets with lids sealed on in case there is an earthquake.

I normally stack these buckets four deep, with the top bucket of each stack that is being used left with lid unsealed for easy access.

By the way, a 5-gal bucket of corn or beans, according to my calculations, holds enough calories to feed a person 2000 calories per day for a month.
 
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These appear to be surplus Mountain House buckets.

They would be useful for very light items, like all of the FD meals/packets I have that are in cardboard boxes.

BTW - where I used to work, they would supply daily snacks. Sometimes the snacks would be those small snack sized freeze dried fruit packets that you can buy for a $1 each retail

kZFG-5S._SX679_PIbundle-16,TopRight,0,0_AA679SH20_.jpg
I would take one and put it in my desk - we were allowed one snack a day. I brought my own snacks from home, but I collected a bunch of these over time and I put them in my car for emergencies and snacks.
 
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Just make sure they are ones that do not leak polycarbonic compounds (sorry, it's the doctor in me) :)
Like I said, I generally do not store bulk food directly in plastic buckets - what I store in buckets is usually in some other kind of packaging so the food itself does not contact the bucket. The clear buckets would be used to store lightweight foodstuffs like FD meal/snack packets which themselves are inside mylar, or other lightweight items.

Since apparently the square buckets are generally lighter weight/durability, I will be using the heavier and stronger round buckets with metal bails/handles for heavier items, but even if they are food grade, I would not store food in direct contact with the plastic bucket.

I was hoping that there would be a transparent version of the heavier duty buckets, but apparently there is none that I can find.

I do put some food in food grade plastic containers - smaller containers - like one gallon plastic "bottles" for use in rotation and immediate use in my pantry.
 

OldBroad44

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Just make sure they are ones that do not leak polycarbonic compounds (sorry, it's the doctor in me) :)
"FDA Compliant" means the pails won't leak unhealthy stuff even if in direct contact with food or water. If you buy at big box stores there may be no info about whether or not pails are FDA compliant.

@The Heretic mentions he is storing prepackaged food in the pails. If you're using the pail to store food that is in its own packaging that is air and water tight and FDA Compliant, you don't need the pail to be FDA Compliant.

The pail opener, H-1468, is $7.95 at U-line, but is free on request with any pail or lid order of $125 or more. So I have several, one for every area where I store pails.
 

OldBroad44

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We sell once used, food grade buckets with waterproof lids (gasket type) in a variety of sizes for 2 bucks at the store.
Most original contents were donut frosting or cake icing. Basically sugar and oils. Non contaminating foods.

I had tons in the basement, but started giving them away a couple years ago.

If you have a local, independent grocery store in "town " ask them about it.
In Corvallis you can buy used food containers from the First Alternative Co-op, South store. 5 gal round pails and 2 gal square pails used to cost $2 each. Don't know about now.
 

SUPER X

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I wrote on one with a sharpie about a decade ago and the writing eventually wore off enough that it was unreadable.

I think a label maker of some sort is maybe better? That is what my daughter uses (strip of tape label). I was also thinking of printing or writing on a sheet label, attaching that, then using clear tape over the top of i

Put clear packing tape over the writing after the ink is well dryed .
 
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All I know is that every clear plastic container I have ever owned shatters if you drop it when full, and if empty they will shatter once they are a couple years old and have become weaker. Opaque ones definitely last longer, but will also shatter if dropped while full after a few years unless they are particularly strong (e.g. "contractor grade"), or a typical 5-gallon bucket design, which is inherently more robust.

For long-term storage these days I exclusively use the black and yellow containers from Costco and I just label them with what is inside.. If I were to need something I could see into I would go with something very thick and semi-opaque, but not clear.
 
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