Food Storage

As we start to store more food I have noticed I am losing track of what we have.

A good skill to have is some basic inventory/accounting of food stores to :

* prevent wastage and spoilage
* ensure adequate supplies

Canned Storage

    We now can a lot of our vegetables and store a number of commercial canned produce. It is important to ensure that that all these stores a cycled properly.

A simple can rotation system can be constructed to make keeping track of can use-by dates easy. No need to manually track

I have started building a storage rack that will be a can FIFO system. It will hold 100 standard cans. If it works ok, I can build another one to stack on top of it.

can_storage1

Our home canned produce is not as much of a problem as we tend to consume all the bottled food with 12 months. It is rare that a jar of home preserve.

Dry Storage
We store some quantities of pasta and rice as we consume this quite regularly. As yet I have not figured out an effective way to rotate these stocks from storage bins to pantry. The medium term storage cupboard is occupied by an old speaker box which needs to be moved out of the way. I am thinking of constructing some basic shelving for the small plastic storage boxes to sit on. Each box contains about 2-4 weeks of food.

This is what I think will work :

* 6 boxes ( 2 rows three high)
* the top boxes are consumed over a few weeks
* empty top box is rotated to the bottom

Some work is involved shifting the boxes, but I can’t think of an easier approach in an confined space yet.

Alternatively, assuming there is enough room between shelves, the ‘current’ box simply has its lid removed so we know which one to take food stores from.

Freezer

Our old freezer failed this week. It is a kind of blessing in disguise as it was a rather large 360 litre upright unit that consumed 1270KwH per year (about 3.5 kwh per day). We replaced it with a smaller chest freezer (208 litre) that uses 285kwh per year. This cost $445, so it a little over 12 months it will have paid for itself.

A chest freezer will require some more organising and maintenance than the upright model. So far I have read that it is common to use shallow cardboard boxes for storage trays. Some people use clipboards and check everything in and out of the freezer. I don’t think we will be organised for that but keeping bundles on rough chronological order should be enough.

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