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Jul 8, 2009 09:39 PM

storage ideas for things like flour, sugar...

Can anyone give me some ideas for containers to store all of my staple items like different types of flour, sugar, rice, dried beans and grains, etc...

I'm very fond of those square, lexan? commercial stacking containers, with the volume noted on the sides, but they seem a bit pricey.

I'm moving, and starting from scratch, and just trying to drum up some ideas to put things in. I like to buy things in bulk at Rainbow Grocery, so they need to go in something besides just plastic bags. Mason jars are out of the question due to sour memories.

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  1. For sugar/cereal, I use these metal cans that clip like mason jars.
    they hold about 500g of sugar I think, maybe 1kg.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Soop

      Big old canning jars. They are fairly cheap at vintage stores (don't get the antique collectable ones) and they are durable. For flour I use an old glass jar I bought decades ago at Target. The idea of a large pickle jar is good, I think. Whatever you choose, be sure it handles easily, is not slippery and the lid is well designed. You'll be handling this stuff every day.

    2. I've got a bunch of different type things for storage, usually purchased when on sale. I have click-clack (round) storage containers for rices and oxo rectangle storage containers for things like flour and sugar (the large rectangle holds exactly the sack of flour). Then I have a collection of mason jars that I've accumulated over the years that I use for all the beans/etc. dried stuff. You can also use pasta sauce jars for that too -- though that depends on if you buy pasta sauce in jars and if you've accumulated them.

      Good luck.

      1. 33limes, two pound coffee cans.
        When we married in 1972, we were buying ground coffee at the supermarket in two-pound cans.

        Now, it is 2009, and the coffee that we buy is whole bean Yirgacheffe, from a specialty local roaster, who sells it to us in small bags.

        But we decant our flour from the paper bags in which King Arthur is sold into a perfectly sized cannister that dates from 1972 that says S&W Premium Coffee on the side. When we purchased our kitchen cannisters, one at a time, each one had two pounds of S&W coffee inside as a free throw-in. You can still get a set of six kitchen cannisters for a good price here: http://yhst-22025122326262.stores.yah... provided that you can find a downstream recipient for the free bonus coffee.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Politeness

          I'm assuming you need storage - as in back of cupboard practical storage, not front of counter presentation storage?
          My wife prepares meals at the Royal Canadian Legion for the vets as part of the 'Ladies Aux', and comes home with 4L Bicks Pickle jars (commercial size). After a really good wash to get rid of the vinegar smell, they get pressed into service for flour, rice, beans, etc. They work great, clear re-sealable storage.

          I realise that this may not work, because you might need a bunch at once; but I'm sure a local restaurant would hand you some empties out the back door.


        2. "I'm very fond of those square, lexan? commercial stacking containers, with the volume noted on the sides, but they seem a bit pricey."

          They are pricey, but they really are the best (and they're my choice, too). Try to buy them at your local restaurant supply, or Smart & Final (which is probably more expensive than the rest. supply stores).

          2 Replies
          1. re: Joe Blowe

            I agree that if you are going to buy something, you'd be better off at a restaurant supply house, than a big box or mall housewares store.


            1. re: Joe Blowe

              I agree. I use the round ones for rice, etc., and the square ones for my sugars and flour. They stack beautifully. I found them at my local restaurant suppy store.

            2. Round containers may hold more, But I find Square ones are easier to store and stack and use cabinet space more efficiently.

              If you have a restaraunt supply place near, the big commercial storeage containers don't cost so much. It's worth it, even if they do, cause you can wash them and use them over and over.

              I even have one I use to let my bread rise in.

              I find buying too many things in bulk isn't always the best idea. Even for staples, things get old before I can get to them if I buy too much.

              For some things, I find used big yogurt containers work really well. I;ve stored spice mixes in them, as well as oatmeal/granola/dried fruit and such. But they are round, so they get in the way of my square stacking philosophy