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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Can Storage

Canned food is a good staple to keep on your shelves. Long shelf life, pest resistant, and all kinds of things come in cans. I have Bread, cheese, and bacon and you can even get whole Chickens in cans for the shelf. At the end of this post I'll put some links that people can use to purchase canned goods, but for this post my purpose is to share a few types of storage methods that I have found work real well.

First lets take a look at what most folks do in the pantry with regards to canned goods:
Now this is basically a good idea and if you have the room you can group a tremendous amount of stuff together and you'll have some basic organization. However, how do you control what is expired and what is not? Do you fish around through all those cans to get the expiration dates? Probably not and that can be really time consuming. This was my problem (although that's not a picture of my storage by a long shot) so I decided to research some ways to help me not loose inventory to expiration, and also to help me get a better picture of what it was that I needed and to stop overstocking of some items and falling short on others.

Looking at Can storage I found some very clever adaptations to the normal pantry shelf. One was a vertical storage method that fit between the joists in your wall. The good people over at Pharoah's Storehouse provide methods and instructions for clever use of the voids in your walls.

The idea here is a simple one, first In First Out, or drop them in at the top and always pick them from teh bottom. This way your stock is constant rotated and it's very clear what you are in need of or when you have too much. there are some good solutions available from this website, but as always they come at a price.
Another way to store cans with the same FIFO philosophy is a horizontal method. This is more oriented towards shelves and the racks can be stacked or even built to hold large amounts of cans. Horizontal racks look like this:These are great for shallow shelves and can be lined up side by side to store vast quantities of cans. the trouble as I see it is that the pre-made ones are expensive. they are sturdy and work well so you may be inclined to purchase these or other models that are available on Amazon and elsewhere. A solution I have decided to try is to make my own from plans I found at I have purchased the plans I need for three different shelf depths and a few different can sizes. All told I spent about 30 bucks on the plans and when they arrive I'll whip up a materials list to see what those will cost and I'll report back here to let you know. I'd like to keep you abreast of the construction as I do it with some pictures before and after so you can decide if this method is to your liking.

Either way, keeping your shelves organized will benefit you and your family by being efficient, clean, safe and will save you money in terms of correct inventory. With the fall coming up it's a great time to stock up on canned goods and you'll need the new space.

As promised here are some links for long term food:
Long Life Food Depot
MRE Depot - Tremendous selection of canned goods here

Of course you can just go the normal route and buy an extra 5 or 10 dollars worth of canned goods everytime you go food shopping and in just a short period of time you'll have a good supply on hand. Here's a link for the extreme length you can go: Costco


Anonymous said...

I've seem some real innovative ways to store canned goods. Those that you posted are some great ideas. Great post Jay!

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