Storing dry foods can be tricky. Ideally, you want to store your food at about 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit, with low humidity (less than 15%). Of course, that just isn’t possible for a lot of people, especially those who live in exceedingly warm or cold climates, floodplains, etc. So how can you improve your food’s longevity, even if you’re storing it in harsh conditions? Follow these tips.
- Be selective with expiration dates – Canned goods can usually last years past their expiration dates, but it’s a good idea to choose the ones with the longest dates to be sure that your food doesn’t go bad while you’re not paying attention.
- In humid conditions, store food higher – Your gut instinct might be to store food in the basement, but if you live in a floodplain, that can be problematic. Store food in the attic or one of the upper floors of your house to avoid flood damage and minimize humidity.
- Invest in a vacuum sealer – if you’re bagging up dry goods, you can extend their shelf life in any conditions by sucking the oxygen out of them. A vacuum sealer is an inexpensive investment for longer lasting food.
- Date your food inventory – Your canned goods will likely have expiration dates on them, as well some of your dry goods. If you’re doing your own canning or bagging, though, make sure to put the dates on all containers. Then always use the oldest dated foods first before moving on to newer containers.
- Grab some Five-Gallon Buckets – If you’re worried about pests getting into your food supplies and/or you want to keep them fresher longer, invest in some five-gallon buckets with tight-fitting lids.
With these tips, you should have no trouble extending the shelf life of all of your canned and dry foods, even in harsh conditions.
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