Pantry storage: flour, sugar, etc.
How do you store staple ingredients? Right now, I'm ant-proofing, but also thinking long term quality, too.
I've not liked canisters on the counter, but would consider if you can recommend some strong-lidded kind (rubber stoppers? Screw-tops?)
Have been keeping 5 lb. bags of sugar, flour, etc, in the original bag, then in a Ziplock, so the whole thing gets smaller as I use 'em up, which helps with space, but what works better for you? Is anything really ant-proof (just did a major purge 'cause of them)?
I use a combination of things.
I use the OXO plastic containers like these in my pantry: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store.... I use the larger ones for flour and sugar, and smaller ones for things like brown sugar, bulk oatmeal, etc. I use the smallest two sizes for my bulk spices (I have about 12-14 of them in my spice cabinet). They stack well and are easy to open and close. I get them individually from Home Goods -- they are chepaer, plus I can buy only the sizes I need.
For my lentils and beans, I use these, but mine are square: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store.... they are lightweight and have a built in "handle" that makes the jar easy to grab and pour from.
For rice and indian flour ("atta"). I use a rolling container with a slide top, like the one in the picture attached. Mine have blue lids, and 4 wheels instead of 2, with a sliding door to access the contents, but it also has snap closure so you can remove the entire lid. they each can hold a 20lb bag of rice/atta. I keep these on the bottom shelf so I just pull them out a little, slide the lid open, scoop and then slide the lid shut and wheel it back in. Got them at my asian market for about $15 each a few years ago. One of my best kitchen purchases!
My pantry USED to be in my attached garage... 2 metal shelving units and a workbench. Only canned/jarred stuff. No boxes or bags. Back before the holidays, went out to see what I already had on hand to prepare for holiday cookies. I keep things like brown sugar and chocolate chips in one of those Tupperware things made for a cake. "Five pound" (now FOUR lb) bags of white sugar fit nicely into larger T-ware containers... nice tight lid keeps sugar from clumping up. Five lbs of flour usually fits in biggest T-ware canisters I can find. NOTE: all the T-ware have been yard sale finds... if clean and tight lid (usually less than $1 each), that works for me since not on display. Had 1 bag of flour and no T-ware, so put it in one of those clear "shoe-box" things. As I was going out in garage, could SEE the flour... the box had a HOLE gnawed in the lid and HALF of the 5 lb was GONE!!
Right after THAT discovery, moved pantry into pretty much unused "family room". If ya know anyone in food services, some products come in really heavy duty plastic containers. I think home improvement stores even carry something similar.
All little pastas, rice and other grains, and dried beans are in quart mason jars.
I keep small amounts of flour and sugar in ceramic canisters on the counter, the rest is in the freezer. I keep 25+ lb bags of whole grains ( rice, wheat, rye) in food grade 5 gallon buckets with gamma lids and keep half gallon canning jars of wheat and rye berries in the freezer for grinding fresh flour. Other stuff gets tupperware if I really need to be sure to keep moisture out. Nuts and chocolate chips are in their original bags with opened nut bags in ziplocks, all of them in the freezer. I also use cambro containers for some things.