Buying in bulk saves money but requires storing food until it can be used later. As the cost of going to the grocery store keeps rising, people have started saving money as they to buy in bulk and break it down into smaller amounts at home to store for later.
A lot of people save left-overs after a large meal, for example lots of turkey and trimmings left over after the holidays, also to save money and not waste any food that wasn't eaten.
To do this properly, you need to know where and how to store your food, especially if you're storing for long term to avoid any chance of contaminating your food.
Proper storage of food will keep it safe to eat for many months, which keeps food safe and fresh for longer periods of time while giving you the greatest savings on your food bill. For example, certain foods can be stored at room temperature while others must be refrigerated or frozen.
For safely and properly storing food, either after a bulk purchase or after a large meal, go with these food storage guidelines:
1. Food Storage Shelf
If you're storing food on shelves, the food storage shelf should be in a cool dry area. Many foods should also be kept out of direct light. Temperatures should be set at 70 deg. F or below. All foods need to be stored in an airtight container. Foods can be stored in their original packaging as long as the packaging hasn't been opened. Otherwise it's best to use a clear, clean container with an airtight cover.
2. Refrigerated Food Storage
Some people have an extra refrigerator just for the purpose of refrigerated food storage. This is handy because you can store left-overs for a couple of days without the stored foods getting in the way of everyday items like milk and eggs.
Refrigerator temperatures should be set between 33 deg. F and 40 deg. F for greatest food safety. It's easy to keep a watch on the temperature by keeping a thermometer inside the refrigerator. For refrigerated food storage, wrap the food in foil, plastic wrap, plastic bags or seal in airtight containers.
3. Storing Food in a Freezer
Freezer temperatures should be kept at 0 deg. F or below and like with a refrigerator, it's a good idea to keep a thermometer inside of the freezer so you can periodically check that the temperature is at the correct setting.
You should freeze meals or foods in containers that are made for freezer storage only. Wrapping the food properly ahead of freezing is the best way to protect against freezer burn.
It's also best to label the outside of the food packages with the current date and use the approximate time tables below to know how long you can keep the food in stored in the freezer:
* Raw meats: 6 to 12 months
* Fresh poultry: 6 to 12 months.
* Fish and shellfish: If purchased already frozen, 6 to 12 months
* Wild Game: If purchased fresh or brought home fresh after hunting, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Note: If you own a deep freezer, you can can freeze freshly butchered venison for up to a year without losing its flavor.
* Cooked meats and Leftovers: 2 to 3 months
* Smoked meats: 1 to 2 months
Types of Containers for Storing Food
Food vacuum sealers will keep foods fresher longer in the refrigerator, the freezer, and on a shelf in the pantry.
LEM vacuum sealers are perfect and affordable for the home butcher to seal fresh meats after hunting. Food vacuum sealers are designed to remove all air from the packaging prior to sealing the bags.
If you're going to wrap meats in foil or freezer paper, you can use a hand wrapper to wrap the food in plastic wrap first, giving it some extra protection against freezer burn or possible contaminants from other foods in a refrigerator.