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View Full Version : New to buying in bulk



kaitlin
Aug 23rd, 2007, 11:40 PM
Hello! I am a poor college student hoping to save money this year by buying a few things in bulk like brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, dry beans, etc.... This may sound like a silly question, but do different dry items need to be stored differently. It makes sense to me that things like bread would need to be frozen, but what about nuts? For some reason, I recall someone telling me that some of these items need to be frozen. Also, what kind of jars/containers are best for bulk foods? I'd like to invest in something that I can use again and again so as not to waste money. I'm just trying to avoid buying a ton of food and then having it go bad and attract critters (eek!!). Sorry for all of the nutty questions. I really new to this :-) Thanks!

emmapresley
Aug 24th, 2007, 12:04 AM
ok..i may be wrong but i wouldn't buy nuts in very large quantities as they can go rancid and manky within a few months if you don't eat them up..especially brazil nuts??
also stuff like dried herbs i wouldn't get in massive quantities..sure they keep wll but it seems insane to buy humongous quantities of stuff?

if i have stuff like flour it tends to get used up pretty speedily with baking so i just put it in a cupboard? other more organised sensible people might put fluor/sugar in screw top jars.
other stuff...rice, pasta, millet, quinoa gets stored in sturdy plastic or glass jars..screw top jars tend to keep critters out.

harpy
Aug 24th, 2007, 12:17 AM
Yes I would keep everything grain-based, including flour and pasta, in airtight jars or in the fridge, otherwise you may get flour moth type insects taking up residence - they don't seem to be very fussy. Rather than buy special containers you could use jars or boxes left over from stuff that you have bought - coffee, jam, "ice cream", or whatever, although some of these tend to be rather small.

As Emma says nuts tend to go rancid if you keep them too long - keeping them in the fridge may help, but I haven't tried.

howdawg
Aug 24th, 2007, 01:05 AM
I know I have kept raw and cooked nuts in the fridge for extended periods of time without problem. Also, I recommend freeing any grains before you store them to prevent eggs that lay dormant from hatching in your flour!

HappyVegan
Aug 24th, 2007, 10:00 PM
I buy a majority of my dry foods out of the bulk bins. I love that I can cheaply stock up on stuff that I use a lot of and can also buy small amounts of stuff that I don't use often which is much cheaper than buying it pre-packaged. I store most of my stuff in glass jars. I keep old salsa, pickle, pepper, etc jars and wash them out to reuse. I buy my herbs/spices in bulk and store them in old baby food jars that I had a friend save for me. It works really well. Some stuff I keep in the cabinet like rice, quinoa, nuts, etc. Some stuff I keep in the freezer like flour, nutritional yeast, corn meal, etc. If you don't buy enough products that come in glass jars you can always hit the thrift stores for empty jars.

twinkle
Aug 24th, 2007, 10:06 PM
I second the suggestion to put everything in the freezer for a short while to take care of any infestations which might occur - better to kill off a couple of moth eggs than have to deal with a whole cupboard full of the buggers, trying to catch and release them can take weeks :rolleyes:

I keep nuts in the freezer, which stops them going rancid quite nicely but I don't think it's strictly necessary for the more stable ones like almonds, pistachios and peanuts. I keep brazil nuts and walnuts in the freezer because I don't tend to use them as quickly.

emmapresley
Aug 25th, 2007, 12:05 AM
i understand the reasoning about freezing stuff to kill off moth eggs :confused: :eek: but does this actually happen? i've never had flour in my cupnoard unforzen then opened the door to release billions of flour covered moth escapees

harpy
Aug 25th, 2007, 02:18 AM
You're lucky! Mind you I don't know that they arrived in the flour, they might have moved in from somewhere else.

kaitlin
Aug 25th, 2007, 05:16 AM
Thanks so much for all of your help so far! I just have a few more quick questions: How long should i freeze the grains to kill the eggs? b/c i have a mini refrigerator, i probably won't be able to fit everything in there at once. would a day be enough time? also, i plan to make my own soy milk from Laura soybeans. Do I need to do anything to the soybeans/store them in a special way? What about oatmeal? Thanks!!

howdawg
Aug 25th, 2007, 08:58 AM
A day is plenty of time :)

harpy
Aug 25th, 2007, 02:29 PM
Oatmeal I would give the same treatment as flour, i.e. store in an airtight container, and freeze first if you want to. Same applies to muesli and anything else grain-based.

I don't think I have had moth problems in beans or lentils but I would guess that keeping them cool and in an airtight container might prolong their freshness. (Although having said that I seem to have my lentils in the fridge so perhaps I have had problems after all :confused: )