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We all like to save money and stock up on good grocery bargains when we find them. However, we want them to stay fresh until we're ready to use them. This is the best solution that I've found.
Many items can be kept fresh a long time in the fridge or freezer when unopened or even after opening if sealed well, such as in a ziploc bag. (Don't use the new zipper type though, just the original Ziploc). Bags of potato chips or cookies, boxes of cereal or crackers all do very well in the fridge or freezer. They absolutely will not get soggy if sealed properly.
I've stored things like this for a few months and they remained fresh until ready to use. I even store surplus hand lotion, face cleansing cream, and the like in the fridge for several months. It keeps it from getting rancid and stale. Try it, you'll be surprised.
By Laura Harlan from Elberta, AL
Do you ever discover that you have meat, cheeses, or produce stored in your refrigerator that was fine when purchased, but within a few days is now past its prime - sometimes even beyond saving? Of course we all do! As a frugal person, believe me, you know this really stinks - sometimes literally!
As more of us try to eat healthfully on a budget, we know that fresh foods are usually better for us and more flavorful, yet they represent a significant investment and need more care than non-perishable foods. Here are tips to ensure that you get the best of your perishable purchases, every time.
Source: Berry processing - Cook's Illustrated
By nhe from Denton, TX
When stockpiling grocery items in your home, make sure to store them in an area that can be easily cleaned in case anything were to get cold or hot and ooze out or overflow.
You know you can save money on fruit and vegetable by shopping once a week, but throwing out spoiled food is a waste of food and money.
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When I purchase an item in bulk, it all ends up in the spare bedroom - like an 8 pack of paper towels, for instance. Needless to say, that room is becoming a catch-all. Where and how would you store non-perishable groceries and paper goods?
I installed shelves in my laundry room for extras such as this. Think up! Items you don't need everyday can be stored higher up! I also converted the bottom of a hallway coat closet to store items and put a hanging shelf on the inside of the door for small items.
Perhaps you could convert your spare bedroom closet into a pantry with shelves (or old bookcase) for organized storage? If there is a bed in the spare room, put rolling carts under it for easy pull-out storage! Hide with a bedskirt. :)
I added big shelves in my laundry room too. It is a great way to shop & save $.
I have shelves in my laundry room, and my closet in the kitchen by the back door is converted to a pantry. I already have 2 other closets for outside clothes at the other doors, so this one is better utilized as a pantry. Perhaps you have a closet in some other area of the house that you could convert to shelving for storing these items.
I would make one entire wall floor to ceiling shelves in the spare bedroom, then hang a beautiful curtain in front of it. no one will ever know all the storage is back there and you will have everything in one place. can be used for linens and towels too and seasonal clothes.
I often find that stuff up off the floor makes me feel better, too. If you have any kind of ailment of the joints, doc's recommend you raise your bed. If you do, you may find room under their for things like the case items you get in bulk. I also find that having tables that double as a storage unit like cubes with lids on top or "even better" on the side, can double for storage. A lot of times, if you make a note of the directions, you can pour lots of "packages" together and scoop out just what you need. I once got a deal on mac/cheese, then put all the pasta in one 5 gallon tub and the packages of cheese in another. I knew I needed 1.5 cups per box, so I just kept a scoop in there that was just the right size.
If you historically get cases of soda, for instance, you can build customized shelves without breaking the bank. Measure the soda cases from top to bottom, then get some plywood and cut pieces for the shape of the cases. Make the supports out of blocks of 4" by 4" or cinder pieces, giving yourself some "finger room", etc. You can literally stack them as high as you want (make sure you have a good sturdy floor). Then, if you need to, you can take off some layers or add them for other things.
If you are a bulk buyer from way back, and you know others who are too, try this.
Join or form a co-op. Friends who are like-minded shoppers are more likely to have their own ideas, and who knows, maybe someone has a garage where you can all pitch in and build a "mini store" inside, keeping everyones extras safe and dry.
I did this with a sister, friend, and daughter. I had the van, so every two weeks I went with their lists and mine. If each person doesn't need 50 chicken breasts, but each person might need say...10...you can split the food and the costs.
Of course, this is easier if you are dealing with TP, Cat Litter, or canned goods, but with a little work, it can be done with bulk food, too.
This has nothing to do with storing bulk items but buying them. I live alone so I don't buy a lot of things in bulk. However, I noticed that the paper towels that I like were $8.35 for an 8-pack but the single rolls; same ply, same amount of sheets were 97¢ a roll. I wonder how many people just grab the 8-pack and don't check the price difference.
We have a 2-1/2 car garage. On one side my hubby and son built a pantry with shelves on 3 sides. ( Still room for 2 cars ) We have canned goods stacked or in boxes labled. I make sure they are rotated by expiration dates. The other half of that space houses my washer/dryer and rack for hanging up clothes as they come out of the dryer.It also has shelves above for storage for seasonal decorations, laundry supplies, paper products and cleaning supplies. Handy when we don't feel like making a trip to town.And I buy only when prices are best. Right now I have been able to buy CA.and OR. grown/canned fruit & vegetables 2/$99 cents.Every thing else is grown in the U.S.A. or I don't buy it. Takes time to read lables..GG Vi
I buy the large Rubbermaid storage units that are sold in Target, Sears, Lowes etc They come in 60 gallon up to 90 gallon capasity.I store my bath tissue and paper towels in one out on my porch,We have about 8 of them and store things outside, they don't leak and they are neat looking. I have a tall one for my mops, brooms and shovels and also keep it by the outside door on the porch so I can just grab it in a hurry even in the winter. They are the greatest unites for storage, and the dogs love to jump up on them and sleep in warm weather.