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Where do you store your surplus food?

Last post Tue, Apr 26 2011 2:17 PM by mtviolet. 27 replies.
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  • Sun, Mar 9 2008 10:55 PM

    Where do you store your surplus food?

    Where do you store your surplus things like canned goods?  I only have two lower cabinets, one under the sink and another with my pot, pans and appliances in it.  My upper cabinets have my dishes, glasses, corning ware and spices.  My small 1 door pantry has my boxed goods.  I have a 6x6x5 ft steel shelf that fits behind my back door on the wall by my garage entry door (it fits EXACTLY) that I keep canned goods on.  Keeping extra in the garage is out because after all--this is Texas and we all know what the heat will be like here soon.  I need things to be where I can reach them easily because of my PsA so the top of the fridge and under the bed are not options.

    What do you do?



  • Sun, Mar 9 2008 11:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Where do you store your surplus food?

    Like you I don't have a big kitchen with lots of cabinets. I do have one pantry cabinet from floor to ceiling that holds most of the food in the kitchen. one shelve, canned goods, one baking stuff, one boxed stuff like pasta and the floor cereal.  I have some built in shelves in the basement that hold my extra food stuffs like cereal, juice, canned goods etc.

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  • Mon, Mar 10 2008 8:35 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Where do you store your surplus food?

     With the new house, I have a kitchen full of cabinets. I allocatted several upper cabinets meant for other things to food. The canned and boxed goods fit really well there. 

    Before this, I had plastic containers full of foods stuffed under the couch, under the benches at the table and against the wall by the table.



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  • Tue, Mar 11 2008 3:12 PM In reply to

    • Walt34
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Dec 17 2007
    • WV eastern panhandle
    • Posts 1,406

    Re: Where do you store your surplus food?

    One of the features DW likes about the house we bought 5 years ago is that it actually has a pantry! It's almost the size of a full closet - not quite walk-in size - with shelves floor to ceiling. The house we lived in before had only kitchen cabinets.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Money Management
  • Tue, Mar 11 2008 3:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Where do you store your surplus food?

    When I moved into my house, it had a broom closet in the kitchen, but no pantry.  I took out the closet accessories, painted the inside, and painted and put up shelves; below the bottom shelf I put a set of wire mesh drawers - now I have a pantry that I needed, and no broom closet, which bothers me not at all.

  • Tue, Mar 11 2008 3:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Where do you store your surplus food?

    We have a basement and in the corner of my laundry room I have 2 shelving units, one for extra toilettries (soap, shampoo, toilet paper, kleenex, sandwich bags, laundry detergent, bleach, vinegar, ammonia). The other shelving unit holds my non-perishable extra food. I call it my "pantry" b/c that is what it is used for. Right now, I only have 2 shelves used for food. The other two shelves keep small appliances like the bread machine, waffle maker, Foreman grill, ice cream maker and some really large stock pots that won't fit in my kitchen.

    For my food shelves, I have all sorts of canned veggies, fruits, soups, tomato sauce and paste, catsup, mustard, BBQ sauce, spag sauce, salsa, peanut butter, jelly. I also keep boxed items like cereal, crackers, cookies, pasta and mixes, tea bags. I watch those carefully for expiration dates.

    I keep extra coffee, pasta, butter and sometimes cookies and crackers, in my extra freezer. I keep unopened juices (bottled) in the fridge just to keep my extra fridge part full since DH and I cut back on soda.

    When I lived in an apartment, I kept extra food under my bed in flat boxes. On any given day, I could pull out out of season clothes or some mac n' cheese, LOL.

  • Tue, Mar 11 2008 4:14 PM In reply to

    • AmyC
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Oct 24 2007
    • Posts 868

    Re: Where do you store your surplus food?

     In our basement we have a good sized pantry area in our laundry room, but the first year we lived here we had issues with mice (icky, nasty little things).  We have not had issues with them since then (two years ago) but I am still cautious of putting things down there.  It only holds things that are in metal (canned tomatoes etc) or glass (homemade jams, canned fruit etc) containers.  Anything that can possibly be chewed into by a mouse is in a dresser in our office, upstairs.  Everthing from the basement is washed throughly before opening because I am paranoid.    

    I am hoping that if we ever get around to finishing the laundry room, that I will be more comfortable storing food down there, but I will definately be more careful than I was last time.  I lost too much sleep imagining the icky things in my house, and too much money from what they ate!!! 


  • Tue, Mar 11 2008 5:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Where do you store your surplus food?

    We live in Arizona in a small-ish house with not-so-great storage, too. Does your place include a coat closet? Coats could be moved to a space in the garage (either in boxes or a hanging wardrobe--though wardrobes are a bit pricey, so maybe you would need some type of workaround. In any event, You could move out your coats, possibly redistributing to bedrooms, and keep canned goods there. 

    Another thought is, do you have a tall dresser you could squeeze in somewhere? I had a friend who had six kids. She doubled her storage by using old fancy dressers in unusual ways to decorate her home. She stored all kinds of stuff in them. If the canned goods were too heavy for you in a dresser, you could move the cans into your pantry and use the dresser for lighter stuff.

    Have you taken things out of their packaging? It is shocking how much food you can compress into your actual pantry space by taking mixes out of their boxes and storing in plastic shoe-size containers, etc. I keep my most frequently used spices, cooking sprays, and a bottle of olive oil on a lazy suzan on my countertop next to my stove. I like spices, so I have more to store, but this frees up some space, too.

    Another idea is to take some bi-fold doors and turn them into a corner-closet hideaway for some of your food. You can get bifold doors at Habitat for Humanity resale shops for well-below the usual cost. You could put this in a bedroom if an area is not available in the kitchen or nearby.

    Do you have a laundry area? Could you squeeze an extra wire shelf in there? I would use a space like that to store any pots and pans that I used only occassionally, and to store anything that wouldn't be bothered by the humidity caused by the washer and dryer. This might enable you to repurpose some of the other cabinets in your kitchen for food storage.

    It sounds like you have already pared down quite a bit. If storing food is an important priority, is there something taking up space elsewhere that you no longer need? Maybe you could find ways to repurpose other areas of closets or former video or craft storage? 

  • Wed, Mar 12 2008 8:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Where do you store your surplus food?

    I am lucky; I have an insulated canning room in my basement for surplus.

    I would suggest you think outside the box...you can store surplus anywhere. Think under the bed, under your dresser, etc. Think where there may be unused space.

    Michelle in Northern Michigan

    "Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve neither" - Ben Franklin

  • Wed, Mar 12 2008 10:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Where do you store your surplus food?

    No coat closet, only two clothes closets, one for each of us.  No broom closet just a hot water heater closet.  No room for another armoire or dresser.  My carousel collection is packed into boxes under the bed.  Laundry room is outside so there again I'm afraid to store out there because of the heat.  Does anyone know how hot (or cold) canned goods can get before they spoil?  I guess warehouses are pretty hot and they aren't shipped in refrigerator trucks.   I do appreciate all of the suggestions!


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