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Bulk Food Storage in Five Gallon Buckets For Longer Shelf-Life

Plastic buckets alone are slightly porous and will still allow for air to transfer through them. Using Mylar bags with buckets cuts the oxygen down to almost nothing, helping to preserve your food for 25+ years.

For a reason, 5-gallon food-grade buckets are legendary storage containers. They provide an excellent oxygen barrier in the world of prepping and long-term food storage, and if properly stored, can keep food from spoiling for decades. 

Buckets are an excellent choice if you want to store a lot of calories for a long time at a low cost. For several years, I had been collecting the five gallon icing buckets used by cake decorators to store cake icing. Because these buckets are made of food-grade materials, they are suitable for almost any type of food.

If you were to price commercially available buckets of comparable quality, you would be astounded at how much they cost. The ones I use are only $6.00 each and come complete with the lid. Not a bad deal at all. I keep bulk items like sugar, bread flour, and regular flour in these buckets.

Add some O2 absorbers to the bucket for added protection against any type of infestation. The recommended amount per 5 gallon container ranges from 3 to 5. The standard recommended rule is "one packet per gallon," so a 5 gallon bucket should require 5 packets. These packets should be placed inside a Mylar bag with your flour or whatever you're stockpiling. Some people recommend putting several absorbers on the outside of the Mylar bag to help preserve your items, but I don't think this is necessary. I do, however, use several bay leaves to kill any pests in products such as flour, pasta, and so on.

The thickness of mylar bags ranges from 3.5 ml to 7 ml. The thinner the bags are, the easier they are to use because they are less stiff, but they will still prevent any oxygen from entering the bags while using the O2 absorbers. I've had times when I didn't use the Mylar bags in my buckets and had no negative consequences, but the decision to use or not to use is entirely up to you.

What I usually do is place the Mylar bag in the five gallon bucket and fill it with whatever I want to store away. As an example, if I wanted to store flour, I would put five O2 packets in with it. The bag should then be sealed with a sealer. If you don't have a sealer, simply roll the Mylar bag at the top and tape it down.


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