"I wish I could spend more time at the supermarket," said no one ever!
With our days jam-packed, we have more things to worry and care about than spending time in the shops.
Making a thousand mini trips, 'cause you forgot to buy that one thing?
Or getting unexpected guests and need to whip up something, but you are short on a few staples?
We're sure you've experienced these little annoying moments before!
Pssst, let us tell you a secret. Ever heard of bulk buying before?? It's a lifesaver!
Buying food in bulk makes meal planning, prepping, and healthier eating so much easier! Not to mention the time, frustration, and expenses saved!
Storing Pantry Items Tips
When buying in bulk, your food items need to be stored correctly to stay healthy and fresh. Most dry foods, when stored correctly, will stay fresh and crisp for a long time.
- Your pantry or storage area should be clean, dry, cool, and dark.
- 50-70 degrees F in your pantry is the ideal temperature range to keep food fresher for longer.
- The biggest culprits for dry food spoilage are oxygen, light, humidity, and heat.
- Simple things like a pantry near an oven, or glass jars on an open shelf nearby a window, are situations you need to avoid.
- Airtight containers are the best for long-term storage. Use glass containers or Tupperware plastic containers.
- Mylar bags, placed in buckets or boxes, are also good options for long-term storage. Mylar bags protect against light, moisture, and insects. They also create a oxygen barrier which allows the oxygen to be removed. You can find mylar bags HERE.
- You could aslo place food-grade silica gel desiccants in your storage containers to remove moisture from the food and air.
- Plastic bags, brown paper bags, and cardboard boxes are not ideal as it won't keep out the pests, moisture and oxygen.
Keep these factors in mind when storing dried beans, nuts, and other pantry staples for long periods.
Scroll down for more info on storing different pantry items and their average shelf life.
How to store dried beans and others
DRIED BEANS AND LENTILS
Most dried beans and lentils can last indefinitely and won't spoil if stored correctly in airtight containers in your pantry.
The great thing about beans and legumes is they won't lose their protein and mineral value over time. However, after two years, they may lose some of their vitamin properties.
Beans stored in a pantry and airtight containers such as mason jars will stay fresh for up to 3 years. In the freezer, they can last indefinitely. Whichever you choose, always label your containers or freezer bags to note their first stored date.
Beans will lose their moisture after 2 years, so you need to cook them for longer. Adding ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to every 500 grams of beans while you're cooking them can help make them softer.
Lentils can be stored in their original packaging for up to 1 year, in airtight containers for 3 years, and when frozen indefinitely. Just like beans, they will lose their vitamin content over the years but retain their carbohydrate and protein values.
BUY ORGANIC BEANS AND LENTILS IN BULK HERE
NUTS AND SEEDS
When stored correctly, most nuts can last up to 9 months in the pantry, except for pecan, pistachios, and walnuts. They'll stay fresh for between 3- 6 months.
When kept in the fridge, all nuts will stay fresh up until 1 year and frozen up to 2 years. Nuts that are still whole, raw, and unshelled will usually last a bit longer.
It's also best to store your nuts away from high-odor foods such as onions, cabbage, and seafood. Nuts tend to absorb the smell of things around them.
Chia seeds will be perfectly fine for 2+ years in the pantry and 4+ years in the fridge or freezer.
6- 12 months in an airtight container in your pantry and 1+ years in the fridge or freezer.
They will remain fresh in your pantry for up to 3 months in their raw form and up to 5 months roasted. You can keep them in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 year.
Dry pasta, spaghetti, and macaroni won't really expire over time, but will lose its quality.
When unopened it can last up to 2 years, and opened up to 1 year if stored in airtight containers in a pantry. Placing it in the fridge or freezer won't make any difference to dried pasta.
Grains such as rice, oats, wheat, barley, and cornmeal are some of the best staples to have in your pantry. When they are stored correctly and kept dry, they can last you a good while.
Brown and wild rice will stay fresh for 6-8 months in your pantry and 8-12 months in the fridge. While white rice can last 3 to 5 years.
Oats will last up to 3 years if you transfer it out of its cardboard box to an airtight container. If you live in a humid area, add silica gel packets or oxygen absorbers to your containers to prevent mold issues.
Last up to 3 years in the pantry or fridge when stored correctly.
Flour won't last more than 6 months in it's original paper bag in the pantry. But when stored in airtight containers, it will stay fresh for 6-10 months.
All grains including oats, flour, and rice will last indefinitely when put in the freezer. This will also kill any insect eggs that could lead to potential infestations.
GET YOUR GRAINS HERE
HERBS AND SPICES
Ground or powdered spices can last about 2 - 3 years, and dried herbs 1 - 2 years if kept in an airtight container, in a cool dark place, away from heat and moisture.
Tip! Don't add herbs and spices directly over food while cooking, the moisture from the steam will affect the quality and could lead to mold issues. Rather, add some to your hands and then transfer to the dish.
YOU CAN FIND A VARIETY OF HERBS & SPICES HERE
Dried fruits will stay fresh in your pantry if you store them correctly for up to 1 year. You can prolong their freshness up to 2 years in the fridge and indefinitely when you freeze them.
STOCK UP ON DELICIOUS DRIED FRUITS HERE
HOMEMADE CANNED RECIPES
Highly acidic foods such as tomatoes and fruit can be stored for 12-18 months in the pantry.
Less acidic foods such as meat and veggies can be stored for 2-4 years.
Please note that these only apply if canning was done 100% correctly and stored in a cool, dry place.
Canned foods that are stored correctly and not dented, damaged, or rusted can last indefinitely. They will, however, lose nutritional value and might not taste as good 10 years down the line!
The same applies to acidic and non-acidic canned foods as above.
When storing your dried beans, nuts, and other dried pantry staples the correct way, and away from all the damaging elements, it will keep you a good while!
Always let your senses guide you, if it smells bad or you see signs of mold or insects, it's best to discard!