Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reusing Plastic Ice Cream Pails Work For Me!

After my last Sam's Club run, I had several people comment asking about how I store my bulk flour, grains and other bulk items.  I know of people who use the large icing buckets for their storage but for my space and set up of my pantry those large buckets would not work the best for me.

Instead of those large icing buckets, I reuse 5 quart ice cream pails for my bulk storage because it works best for me. Ice cream is a staple for the Sonshine household. We love having homemade chocolate shakes, brownie sundaes, or ice cream sundaes. Once the ice cream is gone, I wash and dry the pails really good. I then refill the 5qt. pails with my flour (all purpose and bread), sugar (white, brown, 10x), powdered milk, noodles and oatmeal that I buy in bulk from Sam's Club.

I also found that the pails are good for storing bags of dry beans or other poly bag type things(like small bags of candy or baking chips!) so the items don't get crushed or lost in the pantry. Yes! I see from my picture that I have some work to do in getting a few things, like those marshmallows and that bag of wheat flour, into some pails!

For smaller quantities items, like wheat flour, I reuse 5lb margarine tubs.

I am able to see through the sides of the pail so I know what it is each pail. I also take the time to write on the lid with a black Sharpie marker so that I am not having to guess if it is bread flour or all purpose flour. The pails' lids are resealable and stay on quite well, however, for the flour pails I take the extra measure of putting a couple of bay leaves in the flour and piece of plastic wrap over the opening of the pail before putting the lid on to keep the bugs at bay.

Speaking of bugs, I haven't had any issues with bugs getting into my pails as my main pantry is in the basement of my house in a room that is like a cold cellar. There is a basement window in that room which we have taken black spray paint and blackened the window so there is no light that comes into the room.  Having the room totally dark helps to keep a consistent temperature in the room so that keeps the worry of bugs away as well.

I find that using plastic pails/tubs over glass jars allows my "little hands" helpers to help me get things from the pantry. I have had those "little hands" drop too many jars that have broken in their short life so I find the plastic route to be safer and easier for my little hands to handle. 

Now you know why plastic pails/tubs work for me on my pantry shelves.

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Aiming4Simple said...

What a fantastic idea! I love that you reuse containers instead of buying new. And the handles sound so useful. It's wonderful to teach little ones to help while they are still eager to do so.

Greg and Renee Rouse said...

Ice cream is a staple at our house too, and with 8 of us the pail is the only way to go.

We've use our pails for weeding, cleaning, painting, you name it. They're also great when you get to take a meal to someone, no worrying about returning your dish.

Danielle @ Transforming Home said...

Great tip! Thanks


Sue Rogers7 said...

Thanks for this great idea!