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How to Store Food 

Learn how to store food the right way and extend shelf-life and reduce food waste, spoilage and save your money.

This page will cover: long term food storage containers, 10 food storage tips, food storage temperature, what to store, and home food storage shelving. 

Knowing this will allow you to take buy at great sales and save hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill each year.

Food storage shelf life begins with good shelving. the Art of Grocery Savings.
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Stocking up on products that your family normally uses is a good idea and is the premise behind this page of how to store food properly. 

Why pay full price for canned peas or spaghetti sauce when you can use store sales to help you build up a supply? You came from grocery shopping tips.

Founder's note: are you serious about cutting your grocery bill in half, truly serious? If you are truly determined and want to save about $300 per month consider using our free software to compare food prices here. 

10 Tips on How to Store Food

Use this quick list of tips on how to store food and start enjoying more weekly food savings. 

Buy food in bulk. Enough cannot be said on bulk cooking its payback when it comes to in the in's and out's of how to store food. Cooking, packaging and freezing of home made meals really is the best. Well worth the investment of time.

Divide and freeze bulk products: Meats can be frozen in meal-sized portions, large bags or boxes can be separated into containers that will fit easily into your kitchen cupboard or fridge-freezer. You are more likely to use your purchases if they are easy to access and handle.

Divide dry bulk foods: Do you really want to trudge down to the basement and lug a 50 pound bag of flour out of the freezer every time you want to bake a banana bread? It is much easier to keep a smaller container in the refrigerator freezer or kitchen cupboard and just make the trek to the basement occasionally for a refill, right?

Cook several meals at once: Since large packs of meat are cheaper to buy than smaller ones, try making several meals at once and freezing these ready made dinners for later use. 

By storing meals already prepared, you will be saving both money and time, especially on those really busy days. And, you are more likely to use what you have made rather than stopping to buy fast food.

Keep a notebook: Storing lots of food is a great way to save money, but if you don't remember what you have, you will be more likely to buy things you don't really need. Have you ever bought a jar of spaghetti sauce only to discover a week later that you actually already had six jars hiding behind the extra ketchup bottles on the basement shelves?

Set up a food inventory tracking system. Take inventory every once in awhile and keep track of what you have - and what you use. This way you will know what sales to look for and what products need replenishing.

Use what you have: Stocking up on food at a great price is very rewarding, but it is only a money saving venture if you actually use what you have. If you are still spending as much at the grocery store as you always have, then your food storage experiment isn't working. This calls for a sharpening of your food storage skills.

Plan you meals: If you really want to save money, plan your meals around what you already purchased and make a point of using up your supply before it spoils or expires.

Buy right: Buying in bulk, buying in-season, and compare food prices will help you save money. Be sure to store food properly to prevent spoilage and extend shelf-life. Knowing what, where, and how to store food will ensure that you protect your investment and feed your family for the lowest prices available.

And, buying in-season produce or bulk foods can also cut grocery costs, but these things must be stored properly to avoid waste.

After all, you are not really saving money or learning how to store food like a professional if you end up throwing food away because it spoils before you can use it.

Rotating food storage shelves or foods ensures older food is ate first.
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Choosing Foods to Store

Some foods are better candidates for long-term storage than others. You also need to consider your available space and resources.

For example, if you happen to have two refrigerators, an extra large freezer, or even a cold cellar, you will be able to store more items.

Planning and creativity are invaluable when learning how to store food.

Dry goods such as white flour, sugar, oatmeal, cereals, or dry beans usually have a fairly long shelf-life and can be stored for more than a year in a cool, dry place.

Whole grain flours and rice must be kept in a fridge or freezer if they are not used within a few months, so you probably don't want to invest in an over abundance of these unless you have room in cool storage.

A food jar storage plan, with glass food storage jars are excellent for food storage.
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Of course, canned goods, dried fruits, and condiments are excellent for long term storage and does not take up a lot of space, so it is easy to stock up when you see great sales. 

Fruits and veggies can be frozen or canned for the off-season, but you can also extend the life of your fresh produce by storing it in the right place and using the right containers.

Now your really learning how to store food! 

Home food storage shelving like these purchased at Lowe's Hardware hold the weight of cans and bulk grocery buys.
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Long Term Food Storage Containers

Using the proper storage containers will help you get the most shelf-life from your purchases. 

Dry goods should be stored in jars or containers that have sealed or screw-on lids. This helps preserve freshness and also keeps the bugs and other critters out of your food.

Clear glass food storage containers with blue lids.
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Long term food storage containers which are clear are the best so you can easily find what you are looking for and will be able to see when your supply has to be replenished. This can be glass or a clear thick strong plastic container. 

Try to look for containers that are easy to stack or store so that you can get the most out of your available space.

And of course, they can be used again so they are definitely worth the investment, especially when you consider how much you will be saving by buying products when they are at their lowest price.

If your really into how to store food then canning or preserving fruits and veggies when they are in season allows you to enjoy these foods all year long. Glass sealers or mason jars are also easy to stack or store and can be kept just about anywhere.

How to store food well freezer bags are a great way to store foods that can be frozen, although they are not recommended for other storage applications because they are too easy to rip or tear and do not always keep out the bugs.

Freezer food storage meals when cooked in bulk can be frozen to enjoy a home cooked meal months later.
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A must when learning how to store food is when freezing meat, fruits, or veggies, press the bags flat so that they can be stacked in the freezer, taking up as little room as possible.

Storing whole wheat flours and other whole grains in the freezer is also the best way to preserve their life. Just fill freezer bags up to seal in the freshness and pull them out as you need them.

Many items can be stored as purchased in their own long term food storage containers. Canned goods, condiments, crackers, cereals, and juice boxes can often be kept for a year or more. And since they take up very little space, you can pack a lot of product onto a shelf unit or storage rack.

If you want to buy a little more fruits and veggies when they are on sale, invest in some reusable produce bags. These come in both cloth or plastic and are also called fresh bags or green bags.

Keep in mind when learning how to store food that as long as the produce is dry when it enters the bag you will be surprised at how long it stays fresh.

So go ahead and buy extra of your favorite produce when it's on sale the green bag will keep it beautiful for two weeks, or more.

Getting good shelf's to store may prompt you to can, and make jelly's and jams for the family which are great for holiday gifts as well!
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Food Storage Temperature

Where you store food is as important as the containers you use when learning how to store food. Storage areas should be airtight, cool, dark, and dry.

Avoid placing food in cupboards beside stoves, heaters, or hot water piping. This is critical for food storage temperature. Do not store food under sinks or near chemicals.

Home Food Storage Temperature Chart

  • Pantry between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Refrigerator 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Freezers at zero Fahrenheit or colder

Source: NDSCU

Basement shelving is ideal and can usually be placed out of the main living area. While learning how to store food you can take advantage of less used spaces such as under beds, extra closets, or the garage. When experimenting on how to store food a second fridge or freezer is smart. 

It will allow you to stock up on meat, dairy,and grain products. Certain fruits and vegetables such as apples, turnips, squashes, and potatoes will keep for several weeks or even months in a cold cellar.

In case you missed anything we discussed: 

  • Long term food storage containers 
  • 10 food storage tips
  • Food storage temperature
  • What foods to store
  • Home food storage shelving
  • Glass food storage jars

Click the pages below to learn more about grocery savings and how to compare food prices to save the most money possible. 

Great shelving is fantastic, can we every have too much storage space?
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How to store food, learn more below.

  1. More Food Storage Tips.
  2. Food handling gloves, try them!
  3. Visit our Home Food Storage page.
  4. Top of this How To Store Food page.
  5. Stop using costly Ziploc vacuum bags.
  6. Save your cash with Cheap Food Storage Containers!