Jump to content

Menu

Where do you store your extra covid food?


Recommended Posts

In another thread (this one) I wrote about whether or not it’s time to eat down my extra stash of food I started last February.

I’m mostly frustrated with my squished storage situation. 

So, how does everyone else store months worth of extra food? I’m talking about dry goods as the cold stuff fits fine in the freezer/fridges (we have an extra old fridge in the basement and I’m sooo grateful for that fridge!)

I don’t have a large kitchen. There is precious little cabinetry in there. I used to store all the canned/dry goods in a big old hutch from the 1970s that I have in my dining room. 

My covid stash is on three wobbly bookcases in the basement and they’re jammed full, making it a pain to rotate to the oldest items and use them first.

 

Edited by Garga
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Garga changed the title to Where do you store your extra covid food?

It is wise to have a lip on your shelving. I lost very little of my food that was actually on homemade shelves with a 1 inch lip in our last biggish earthquake (7.1). I wish I could tell you where to purchase some but we just built ours directly into the pantry so they were homemade.

 

Below is repeat from other thread since it made sense to only have one thread on the subject.

 

 

 

It really depends on your home. I have also always kept extra food in the house. I always figured the culprit of store shelves emptying would be an earthquake destroying the only port that most of Alaska gets it's goods from. I never thought of a virus. 

It is wise to have a lip on your open shelving

 

Anyway, over the years I have kept food:

-In the linen closet (bath towels went in bathrooms, blankets in bedroom closets)

- In the utility area on shelves I installed the length of the room (when I had a room for a washer/ dryer, water heater, furnace) 

- In a pantry I actually added onto the house under a cantilevered section.

My mom turned her large coat closet which was surprisingly close to the kitchen into a pantry and hung coat hooks closer to the door.

She also added shelving in her garage and stores food there along with her extra freezer. 

So it really depends on the layout of your home.

Edited by frogger
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

At home I keep stuff like that in an old ‘cooler’ and in the basement.  I have gorilla shelves in the basement and in the garage, and they are great places for cases of cans.  It’s not enough as I don’t currently have a working overflow fridge.  I’m currently looking to add stashes of water in bottles under the beds, and maybe shelf stable milk, too.  I don’t trust the basement stairs to stay usable after an earthquake.  Our garage is a separate building from the house and is not insulated.  It gets horribly hot in the summer, and hence I don’t think it is suitable for water storage.  I do keep some canned goods out there though.

BTW, my parents have a non working overflow fridge in their basement, and they keep dry goods in it.  That way if a stray mouse gets into the basement it won’t be able to get to, say, the pasta.  Basically they have repurposed it into a wonderful cabinet which I think is brilliant.

At the cabin things are much more robust, and cabin wise it’s really a home not a rustic space.  There I have a bunch of kind of shallow cabinets in a back hallway, full of extra food, and a chest freezer and an overflow fridge in the basement.  Plus there is a lot of basement shelving that can hold extras.  I’ve just started to buy Tupperware bins for my dry goods—big square ones for the kitchen level where a rotating corner cupboard holds one of each (about right for a 4-5 lb sack) and then big rectangular ones for the basement shelves (about right for 2 4-5 lb bags each), so I can store a variety in critter proof containers with room for ample overflow amounts.  Also, the basement is more accessible than at home, being more of the ground floor (cabin is built into a hill) than underground.  It stays nice a cool all year round, and the chest freezer stays cold without power for 4 days or more if it is pretty well packed.

My feeling is that it’s best to have a range of locations and a range of stuff.  You don’t want to get sick of what you’re eating, and also, you don’t want to have the whole shebang vulnerable to any one thing.  

Critters:  Need sealing holders that can’t be eaten through by bugs or rodents.  That means not everything can be in thin plastic or paper packages without secondary containment.

Water:  Need some stuff in cans or bottles.  Not a big concern where I am but worth considering elsewhere.

Heat:  Plastic containers break down in high heat.  No Tupperware in the garage for me, which is really too bad.

Freezing temps:  Cans are damaged by freezing.  That means not everything can be in cans.  

Also, I always want to have stuff that I can just mix together without an open flame to cook it, or that would at least be edible at room temperature even if not great.  This is because after an earthquake gas leaks can make open flames extremely dangerous.  Having said that, in the equipment category I have firewood and an outdoor contained fire pit at both places, and water filters at both places, just in case.  And also a camp stove and fuel  and a solar oven at home.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My kitchen has a decent sized pantry for most dry goods. In addition I use one cabinet for grains and one for baking items.

The stairs to the basement is lined with built in canning shelves. I use those for canned goods, peanut butter, jars of pasta sauce, aseptic containers of soup, etc.

I have a shelving unit in the basement for a case of shelf stable almond milk, a few jugs of water and Gatorade.

The small chest freezer has been a lifesaver. Our fridge and freezer combo in the kitchen is small and I’m super grateful I insisted on the chest freezer the summer before the pandemic hit. 
 

I also kept a plastic bin of extra emergency items like rice, packets of instant Indian food and so forth under the kitchen desk. There’s plenty of room in the pantry now for all that if I get it better organised.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to my upstairs pantry I have three large metal wire shelving units in my basement.  They are ceiling to floor and great for rotation.  I also use 5# buckets with gamma seals for flour, sugar, and other dry staples.  Toilet paper and paper towels are stacked between a space I created when configuring the shelves.  Extra stash is in a storage room.  I shop twice a month, so yes, we normally have a large stash for our family.  I would be putting sauce on a list at 6 jars. 😉

1678983188_ScreenShot2021-02-28at1_03_26PM.png.51d9b8395ac7d89fcf5f1d8a94405818.png

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

What I would like to try:  I’ve read that in Japan it’s not uncommon to have a storage compartment built under the floor of the kitchen with a little trap door.  This stays cool because it is essentially in the crawl space under the house.  That would be a great place for stuff like this but I don’t have one.

Also, there is a blankish area over the stairs to the basement where I have always wanted to install a big cabinet.  That would also require an uneven step stool to fit onto the stairs for access, which is yet another building project but it would be a lot of space.  

Also, the top shelf of my closet mostly has aspirational clothes in sizes I am not currently wearing, and that’s not really a great use of that spot.  I think I might clear that out and use it for some packaged food.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
Link to post
Share on other sites

We've had this for the last 10 years or so (before that we did not store any food outside of the kitchen). We had 2 6' tall by 3' wide inexpensive oak bookcases from our post-college, early adult years. When we built some built-in bookshelves to replace them, we moved these to the garage and began storing extra cans of food there. The only change at Covid was that half of 1 bookcase had gardening stuff--I moved all of that elsewhere to increase the space for food. These shelves hold tp/tide/finish tabs, a food bucket with 5lb bags of different flours and sugar, cat food, oats, spices, coffee/chocolate syrup, oil, soup, bottled water and a few other drinks, pizza sauce, BBQ sauce, applesauce, home-canned jam and peaches, peanut butter, and the cans: diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Rotel, lg cans of crushed tomatoes, white beans, black beans, chili beans, pumpkin, and chicken broth. Other food fits in the kitchen. Extra toiletries in bathrooms.

Edited by Ali in OR
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, melmichigan said:

In addition to my upstairs pantry I have three large metal wire shelving units in my basement.  They are ceiling to floor and great for rotation.  I also use 5# buckets with gamma seals for flour, sugar, and other dry staples.  Toilet paper and paper towels are stacked between a space I created when configuring the shelves.  Extra stash is in a storage room.  I shop twice a month, so yes, we normally have a large stash for our family.  I would be putting sauce on a list at 6 jars. 😉

1678983188_ScreenShot2021-02-28at1_03_26PM.png.51d9b8395ac7d89fcf5f1d8a94405818.png

I have similar shelves in my laundry room.  The shelves are adjustable and there is a lip around the edge to help keep things from toppling off. The downside is that because the surface is not solid, tall slim bottles can tip over easily (not off the shelf, just tip over on its side). I should get some smaller clear bins for things like that.  

If I don't let it get crammed and unorganized, it is pretty easy to rotate stock. Right now it is a mess - my project for tomorrow. 

My kitchen in deficient in many ways. If it weren't for space in the laundry room for this rack, I would be unable to store food in the quantities I'd like.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Canned goods and toilet paper in the basement. Things that are boxed up and bagged like extra snacks are also down there as they trade out routinely. The things I can't store down there are things like rice and flour because we do get mice off and on. At one point, some mice got into my flour stash. Basically, I rearranged to accommodate having more dry goods in the cabinets and less of the canned goods than normal.

We have a bench in our kitchen and rice and some other things are stashed under there. But they always have been. I always bought giant Costco things of rice once a year.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, melmichigan said:

In addition to my upstairs pantry I have three large metal wire shelving units in my basement.  They are ceiling to floor and great for rotation.  I also use 5# buckets with gamma seals for flour, sugar, and other dry staples.  Toilet paper and paper towels are stacked between a space I created when configuring the shelves.  Extra stash is in a storage room.  I shop twice a month, so yes, we normally have a large stash for our family.  I would be putting sauce on a list at 6 jars. 😉

1678983188_ScreenShot2021-02-28at1_03_26PM.png.51d9b8395ac7d89fcf5f1d8a94405818.png

I love my gamma seal 5 gallon buckets but have never had a reasonable place to put them.  They have been ugly on the kitchen floor for a lot of years, and finally I stopped using them.  I found that the flours and white rice tended to get buggy in the quantities I was buying anyway, so it didn’t make sense to continue.  They were great for sugars, though.

Funny story—we repurposed one into storage for dry cat food and kept it out on the back porch because nothing could open it and it was convenient.  A raccoon figured out what was inside and drove himself crazy trying to figure out how to get it open.  We found it off the front stoop, down in the garden, all kinds of places every morning for weeks.  But then one day (insert doom tune) we found it open.  And not a scrap of food left.  So DH went and bought a big sack at Costco and refilled it.  He decided that odds were they wouldn’t be able to open it twice, especially if he closed it especially tightly, and put it back outside.  Big mistake.  Another Costco sized sack completely gone—it must have been quite a party.  Raccoons do not forget how to get to food.

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

My kitchen is small, so I don't store a lot in there.

Our garage is huge. We have sturdy plastic shelving units along one wall where extra paper goods, juices/soft drinks, extra Ziploc bags and other things like that are stored. During the winter I store potatoes and onions out there.

I also have a shelving unit in the laundry room. That holds most of the canned/other non-perishable things that we use most frequently, as well as extras of condiments like ketchup and mayo, etc.

The above is what we use/used during normal times.

For extra pandemic storage I took over the chest, dresser and nightstand drawers in what we consider to be DS25's room. He has an apartment a couple of hours away and hasn't lived here full time in years. Other than a few old clothes of his that I should throw out or donate the drawers were all empty. So all those drawers provide lots and lots of storage space.

ETA: We also have an extra fridge and a chest freezer in the garage. I mainly use the extra fridge for keeping lots of bottled water, soft drinks and DH's juices. The chest freezer is mostly full of flour, beans, frozen veggies, ice cream and a few convenience foods. We aren't huge meat eaters so I only ever keep maybe a few pounds of chicken and beef and some fish products there. I don't want to fill a freezer with expensive meat anyway, since my version of disaster planning assumes potentially long duration power outages.

Edited by Pawz4me
Link to post
Share on other sites

All of our paper products, cleaning supplies (yes, I have extra), latex gloves, etc.) are on the metal shelves (like a PP showed above) in our basement.  One whole shelving unit for that stuff.

We have 2 freezers in the basement.

We had a small fridge/freezer in our garage that never keeps the frozen stuff frozen in the winter.  Normally we just don't use it in the winter, but we did this year with the pandemic.  It is not pretty, but we moved that into our kitchen sunroom for the winter.

Our dining room, which we never use, is holding plastic bins full of non-perishables.  Mine you, we also buy for my dad and my in-laws so we have 4 bins full of my in-laws favorite extras (and Boost drinks) and my dad has 2 bins for his extras.  There was a time we weren't able to get the things they really wanted in the first few months.

The other bins have our stock.  They line a wall and DH has them all organized 😁!  We didn't want to have to go to the basement for the things we cook with so they are in the dining room for now.  And...since no one comes over anymore, who cares -- LOL.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a shelf in the laundry room on the main floor and another set of shelves in the storage part of the baesment.  Years ago, some friends made a big storage area in a dead space under their stairs.  Maybe instead of keeping all of a kind together and rotating, you could make each shelf have a mix of food and then empty shelves from top to bottom, restocking as you go.  If each shelf had, say, 2 boxes of pasta, 2 jars of sauce, 4 cans of beans, 2 jars of applesauce, etc, and you just ate through the top and then moved to the next... 

That's actually not what I do - I stock the pantry in the kitchen, then put some types of overflow in the laundry room and others in the basement.  We use the 'flats' boxes that are how they stack things at Sams/Costco to organize.  But, we've always done this.  Even as a college student I usually had a week's worth of food in my dorm room.  🙂  A lot of our food is in freezers in the basement, so it's not a hardship to keep dry goods there since I'm down to get out meat, tomatoes, or green beans almost every day.  

Edited by Clemsondana
Shelves changed to stairs
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My stockpile is small. Besides my pantry, which is surprisingly roomy for a mobile home, I have a shelf over the (now non-functioning) water softener in the laundry room closet. I store vitamins & toiletries on a narrow multiple wire shelf in the master closet. I store toilet paper, paper towels, and kleenex in the linen closet. I have an upright freezer in the garage.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have an extra fridge and an extra freezer in the garage for cold things.  A pantry (small) off the kitchen.

Dry goods and cleaning supplies are in the unfinished room in our basement.  We’ve lined all the walls with Ivar shelving from IKEA, and it’s all anchored. We keep cleaning supplies and extra vitamins and meds down there, too,  There is, ahem, also a good stock of wine (Ivar has wine racks, who knew?).  

We’ve never had critters in this house, but I should probably get air tight containers.  And maybe some water storage system, though I’m paranoid about water leaks.

I wouldn’t say we have months of food, but more than we used to keep on hand.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This was a major sacrifice of closet space, but we started years ago and with a family of 7. At the start of Covid, our niece and nephew were expected to come live with us, too. 
And it does need some tidying up. 
 

Most non-foods are in an oddly large open shelved nook in my bathroom, but that’s a total disaster. 
Other emergency supplies are in all sorts of weird spaces and in the shed.

81714ECC-4D3F-48C9-B15B-EEF2AC4DB327.jpeg

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

My first step was to find efficient storage in the kitchen.  Instead of having random bags/boxes/containers of things stuffed in the cabinet, I bought rubbermaid and Tupperware (although I thought they were ridiculously overpriced, nowhere else could I find storage that was an exact fit to upper cabinets and thus there was no wasted space) and use that to store things.  It was amazing how much more could be stored on a single shelf plus everything was easy to see and access.  I also have extras for my upstairs pantry (it's a tiny  odd triangle shaped closet so really isn't good for much else).  

But my main storage is downstairs.  I have heavy duty metal shelves for canned goods and wooden bookshelves for dry goods.  The best book shelf is one that DH's grandfather had made.  It's very narrow (about the depth of a cd case or small paperback books) and I always hated it because none of my books actually fit on it.  But since his grandfather made it, he didn't want to part with it.  I just convinced him to let it go when COVID hit and so it got dragged into the storage room till donation sites open up again.  Turns out it is perfect for storage.  Not too deep, and very strong.  It now has a permanent home. I have another one of the flimsy wooden bookcases that I use too.  I haven't found the front to back to be a problem but I suspect it's because we still use a lot of food at one time.  For instance it holds 6 boxes of rice/noodle mixes front to back.  We use 3 for a meal.  So I have 12 boxes stored.  Take the 3 from the right side front, take the 3 behind it, slide the second stack over and fill with 6 new boxes.  So I'm always taking from the right hand section of whatever the item is.  Other than salad dressing or bbq sauce there isn't much that we only use one of an item at a time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Clemsondana said:

.  Maybe instead of keeping all of a kind together and rotating, you could make each shelf have a mix of food and then empty shelves from top to bottom, restocking as you go.  If each shelf had, say, 2 boxes of pasta, 2 jars of sauce, 4 cans of beans, 2 jars of applesauce, etc, and you just ate through the top and then moved to the next...

That is a clever idea! We eat the exact same meals each week (don’t ask—allergies, sensory issues, etc.), so grouping it all like that could work!

 

 

You are all inspiring! Looking around, I’m realizing that I could switch out the the seldom used stuff from some pieces of furniture with the food we rotate through each week, so it’s easier to get to.

Edited by Garga
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Very impressive! @Carrie12345

@Garga, it sounds like you need some better shelves. If you have room in your basement, I'd keep using that space, but get better shelves and maybe some can organizers so you don't have to spend so much time rotating through the food stocks. 

I have a big pantry with built-in shelves. I'm not totally happy with how it's organized. The shelves are too deep, but we won't be staying here long enough to make it worth my time to rip them out and put in something better.  To keep the chest freezer organized, I put food in reusable tote bags.  I can pull out a bag to see if there is anything toward the bottom that needs to be used soon. This is way easier than having everything tossed into the freezer willy-nilly. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You can search "how to store years supply" - it should bring up lots of ideas from Mormons - who've been doing this for decades.   I've read of people who use the space under bed, etc.

we have a basement, and one room there for storing canned/dry goods.  paper products are on a high shelf in the garage. (above a chest freezer.)  dh also made shelves that hang down from the rafters in the garage . . . . . (those have luggage and building materials.  I want to clear the building materials . . . .)  My sister saw it, and commented about how we had a lot of TP.   that was before covid.  we still have some, and haven't bought any in a year.  Though dh  might have started to add to it in dec.  (he gave up on it going on sale.  we still had a couple costco cases.)  canned goods are in a basement under stairs closet. the studs are open, and dh made shelves on rollers to house the caeses of canned goods.  roll them out to access, roll the back and out of the way.

I like having a nice supply on hand - as when I run out in the kitchen - I just go to the basement for more.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

  My sister saw it, and commented about how we had a lot of TP.   that was before covid.  we still have some, and haven't bought any in a year.  Though dh  might have started to add to it in dec. 

We’ve always kept a decent stock of toilet paper. I think I was scarred by multiple toddlers tossing entire rolls into the toilet. The funny thing (to me, lol) is, the entire family used to make fun of my grandparents’ tp hoard. They didn’t stockpile a single other thing to the best of my knowledge, unless you count Grandma’s sewing fabric when I was little, but they had what felt like a million rolls of toilet paper in the spare room. You could make towers with the packages. And I have no idea why. I mean... JUST toilet paper??? 

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Living in Florida (so the garage is out), living with no basement, and living in a tiny home has really made having a stash for emergencies a problem, so I feel your pain. I'll be watching this thread closely along with you hoping for some golden nuggets.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m rethinking this.  I had it under the bed but rural Aus has a rodent problem and it feels to risky.  I’m also sick of having to pull everything out to vacuum under the bed and I hate sleeping on dust.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...