I’m a big believer in bulk buying. (I could have said that a dozen different ways, but how can you pass up a chance to use four “b” words in a row? 🙂 ) And since I have a grain mill and like to make our bread, I always have several 50-lb bags of Montana White, Soft White, Hard Red, Corn and Rye in my pantry. Add to that 50-lb bags of rice and 25-lb bags of red beans, white beans, pintos and split peas, and you can imagine my storage issues.
It’s just not practical to drag out a 50-lb bag of whatever just to scoop out two cups’ worth. And even though I have lots of food-safe 5-gallon buckets on the floor of my pantry–all filled with grain and beans–it’s still not easy or practical to drag those out for just a little bit.
One day, after emptying yet another plastic 3-lb Folger’s Coffee container from Costco, it occurred to me that it was the perfect size for storing a smaller supply of beans. So I cleaned it out, scooped 3-lbs of pintos into it, and wrote “Pintos” on the handle with a black sharpie. Voila … free storage! Well, we had to buy the coffee, but that was going to happen whether I saved the container or not.
Right now in my pantry, I have red containers full of red beans, white beans, kidney beans, pintos, split peas, corn and black beans. If I didn’t already have clear storage containers (that I bought from Azure Standard back before I figured out this free system) for smaller supplies of rolled oats, quick oats, flaxseed, dried milk, and all my various wheat and rye grains, I’d store those in Folger’s containers too.
How can you say no to free?