Living a sustainable lifestyle is not only beneficial for the environment but also for your health and pocket. You can start living a sustainable life by buying dry goods in bulk and storing them properly. Storing dry goods at home is not just about putting them in a container and placing them on your pantry shelf. Poorly stored dry goods can lose their quality, taste, and nutritional value, leaving you with wasted food and money. In this post, we will go through some effective tips for storing dry goods at home.
What are Dry Goods?
Dry goods are food items that have a long shelf life and don’t require refrigeration. These include grains, flours, sugar, nuts, beans, dried fruits, and spices. Dry goods are a cost-effective way to buy food in bulk and help reduce waste.
Let’s Take a Deep Dive into Storing Dry Goods
1. Choose the Right Storage Containers
Effective dry goods storage starts with choosing the right containers. Your containers should be airtight, moisture-resistant, and made of materials that don’t react with food items. Glass jars, plastic containers, and metal tins are some of the best options for dry goods storage.
2. Label Your Containers
Once you’ve chosen your storage containers, be sure to label them with the name of the food item and the date of purchase. This helps you identify what is stored inside and how long it has been there. This also helps you use the oldest items first, reducing wastage.
3. Store in a Cool, Dark Place
Dry goods like grains, cereals, and nuts have natural oils that can go rancid when exposed to heat and light. To prevent this, store your dry goods in a cool, dark place like a pantry or cabinet away from sunlight. The ideal temperature to store dry goods is between 50-70°F (10-21°C).
4. Keep Your Dry Goods Organized
Proper organization system for storing dry goods means placing similar items together, such as keeping beans with beans and grains with grains. This assists in keeping track of what is available and when items need to be used.
5. Regularly Check for Spoilage
It is important to check dry goods for spoilage regularly. Dry goods can spoil due to moisture and insects. You can identify spoilage by checking for mold, bad odor, or discoloration. If your dry goods are contaminated, discard them to prevent contamination of other items in your pantry.
Concluding Thoughts on Storing Dry Goods
Storing dry goods is an easy and cost-effective way to reduce waste and save money. By following these tips, you can ensure that your dry goods stay fresh for longer, are easily identifiable, and organized. Proper storing can also help you save money in the long run, as spoiled items result in waste.
FAQs about Storing Dry Goods
1. How long can dry goods be stored?
The longevity of dry goods depends on the type of food item. Generally, dry goods can last for six months to a year if stored properly.
2. Can you store dry goods in the fridge or freezer?
It is not recommended to store dry goods in the fridge or freezer unless the items have already been opened or cooked.
3. Can you use a plastic bag to store dry goods?
While not the best option, plastic bags can be used to store dry goods as long as the bag is airtight and moisture-resistant.
4. Can you reuse containers for storage?
Yes, as long as the containers are appropriately cleaned and sanitized. Old jars or containers from other food items can be reused but should be labeled correctly to keep track of the food item stored inside.
5. Can you store dry goods in the original packaging?
Storing dry goods in the original packaging is not an ideal storage solution. The packaging is not airtight, and exposure to air and moisture can cause spoilage. It is better to transfer dry goods into appropriate storage containers to prolong shelf life.
By following these tips and guidelines, you can ensure that your dry goods stay fresh and are stored efficiently, leading to less food waste, cost-saving and a healthier lifestyle.