Bulk Storage & Scoops Buying Guide
Bulk storage, in terms of residential kitchen design, can be referred to as large quantities of food stored in oversized containers. This food is usually preserve-able and consists of pulses, seeds, and other such items. But fresh items such as dairy, eggs, vegetables, etc. can also be stored if you have a large enough fridge or freezer. Bulk storage is carried out in large plastic containers with flat lids. They are usually kept in a pantry or can be stacked on a shelf that acts as a make-shift pantry in your kitchen.
Important Tips For Bulk Storage Users
Buying food items for bulk storage might seem like the easiest task, but it’s something that serves a very real possibility of you getting carried away with things. So here, we’ve compiled a few handy tips that you can use while buying in bulk:
Knowing what you eat vs. buying what you don’t
When buying in bulk for a family, it’s extremely important to know what you’ll need vs. what’s going to remain untouched within the storage. After all, there’s no use buying a bunch of items that seem necessary at the time but won’t be used at all because no one in the family likes them. No one’s going to appreciate having 30 pounds of flour in storage when they don’t even like to bake.
Secondly, you must always keep the shelf life of the food you buy in mind. It’s imperative that you use the oldest things in your cache before moving on to the newer items. Otherwise, the old things would either go beyond their shelf life, or may even become susceptible to pest infestations.
Common bulk storage setbacks
Some of the most common setbacks that you might face in bulk storage are pest infestations and mechanical failures. The best way to avoid pests is to regularly sort through your items and check them for signs of an infestation. Any food that’s kept preserved for extremely long amounts of time is susceptible to them. Mechanical failure only impacts the things you’ve kept in freezers and fridges. If yours is large enough, then a power outage can end up causing you massive food losses.
Factors to consider when buying bulk storage
Here are some important factors to consider when buying bulk storage containers:
Know all the items in your inventory beforehand
You cannot go on selecting bulk storage containers if you have no clue what food are you going to be keeping in them. Knowing what food items you need to put in storage will help you know just how many containers you’ll be needing for each item.
Always have an idea on the quantity of the food that you’ll be storing in these containers
This can help you determine the size of the container that you might choose. If you don’t have even a rough idea of the quantity of food you’ll be storing per container, you might end up buying the wrong size.
Know the type of food that you’ll be storing in your containers
This will also help you determine the size and quantity. For example, if you’re planning bulk storage of fresh items like dairy, vegetables, or fruits, then the containers must pertain to the size of your fridge or freezer. Similarly, if you’re only bulk storing un-perishable foods, then the size and quantity might vary as well.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bulk Food Storage
1. What are bulk storage used for?
The idea of bulk storage is to accommodate food items that can be hard to contain in large amounts any other way for long periods of time. Bulk storage is all about the preservation of food in an organized way. It lets you compartmentalize different items in a neat way so that you immediately know which container to go to when you need something.
2. What type of food is saved in bulk storage?
The food stored in bulk storage usually consists of un-perishable items that do not need to be refrigerated. These include dried meats, beans, grains, flour, rice, pulses, herbs, spices, and other such items. Restaurant kitchens (or any large facility kitchens, actually) use bulk containers to store vegetables, fresh meats, and dairy items as well. This is because this food comes in large quantities and is used quite immediately, not giving it time to fester inside the box. Even when they have leftovers, these large facilities can easily keep everything in their industrial-grade freezers, which would let the food remain completely fine. In residential settings, however, note that any type of food that might perish within 24 hours if not used should never, ever be stored in bulk containers.
3. Who uses bulk storage?
Bulk storage is most commonly used for storing food essentials in large commercial kitchens. They can be located in restaurants, cafes, hospitals, or any other facility that has to cater to a large number of people on a daily bases. That said, bulk storage can also be used in a residential kitchen if you have a large enough kitchen and family to accommodate. Many people use bulk storage containers to stow away other uncanny items as well. These may include clothes, books, and other objects that have no immediate value for the user and need to be kept in storage. But the main purpose of bulk storage is always to accommodate kitchen items.
4. How do bulk storage containers differ from one another?
Bulk storage containers usually differ from each other based on size and shape. The most generic ones are oversized and rectangular. They come in many sizes. You can buy one that suits your storage shelf or freezer dimensions. There are other types of storage containers as well. For example, the ones designed for pet food and bakery items are tall. Their lids are also different. They’re designed to be handled differently and some of their lids even open partially so that you can pour the food or flour directly from the container into your utensils.
5. Where to buy bulk storage containers?
Bulk storage containers are quite easy to buy. You can easily find them in various online shops. You can browse the designs and appraise their material, build, and size from the product description and buy the one that you like. Alternatively, you can just walk into a department store or a supermarket. There are entire sections dedicated to bulk storage containers in such places. You can also find bulk bins at Health Food Stores and co-ops.
6. How many gallons is considered bulk storage?
On average, 120 gallons and more is considered bulk storage. This value may vary from professional opinion to professional opinion. However, this only applies to commercial storage. If you’re planning on bulk storing liquid items in your home fridge, then the size of your container is going to considerably smaller – limited to something that can easily fit into the fridge.
7. How to keep bulk food fresh?
The things that you put in bulk storage can be kept relatively fresh if you keep them in air-tight containers. You should also store them in cool and dark places. Keeping such items out of direct sunlight is an absolute must. This applies to all bulk stored food, but especially herbs and spices.
8. How to bulk store nuts?
Nuts usually have high oil content, which may make them go bad and rancid if they’re just kept in a bulk bin – even if it is sealed in an air-tight manner. The best way to put nuts in bulk storage is to freeze them. If you can’t do that, then at least put them in the refrigerator. If you cannot do that and the pantry is the only place you have, then make sure that they’re still inside their shells.
9. Why transfer spices and pantry items to bulk storage?
The purpose of bulk storage is to provide more efficient use of your raw materials while cutting down the costs of monthly grocery shopping. If you buy spices from the bulk bin at your supermarket, then you’re also cutting down the cost of expensive packaging. Most of the tack-on’s are because of the expensive glass or even plastic jars when it comes to spices. You can ramp up your savings a lot by transferring spices and other pantry items to bulk storage. If you need more reasons, then going for bulk storage pantry also helps keep track of your food items and keep them handy when you’re running a large kitchen for a growing family.
10. What to do if mice get into your bulk seed storage?
You need to mouse-proof your pantry if you’re investing in bulk storage. Mice are naturally attracted to food and water sources, so setting up a few traps around the place is a nice segue to bigger things. Secondly, make sure that you’ve stored all your food in air-tight containers that are made of materials that the mice cannot nibble through. Most containers are rodent-proof to begin with – especially plastic drums and food-grade containers. You can also mix in mint-leaves with your food as they are natural mice deterrents.
11. Where to buy scoops?
Scoops for bulk storage are easily available at online stores and supermarkets. You can browse through the type, measuring capacity, and material choice of these scoops to determine which one suits your needs the best.
12. What materials should bulk storage scoops be made of?
Bulk storage scoops are primarily available in two materials. One is plastic, which is not as durable or long-lasting. Plastic tends to bend under weight and is just generally a short-term solution to all things. On the other hand, die-cast aluminum scoops are much more long-lasting and desirable. They do not leak or break like plastic, which makes them a long-lasting, highly durable, and long term investment. You can also find wooden scoops in the market as well. You can also find porcelain scoops, but they are quite brittle and tend to break easily.
13. What are scoop measurements based on?
Most scoops have measurements written beside them. You can find a variety of scoop sizes. From 25ml to 35ml and sometimes even bigger, scoops come in all sizes.