Thread Number: 38964  /  Tag: Recipes, Cooking Accessories
Canned Goods Storage
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Post# 413595   9/8/2019 at 22:02 by electrolux137 (Land O Plenty USA)        


Here was a good Sunday afternoon project.

Ever since we've lived here, we've kept canned goods crammed into two shelves by the stove. These shelves are low to the floor and very deep and narrow.

This was a ridiculously impractical storage space for canned goods -- the two-foot-deep shelves made it hard to find anything or keep any sort of inventory. I frequently went out and bought more stuff because I thought we were out when I couldn't find it.

Well, I finally decided to make a solution to the canned goods dilemma. I pulled everything out and went through it all, discarding expired goods. Some of the cans way in the back had expiration dates of 2012 on them!

Then I de-cluttered a narrow bookshelf in my bedroom and placed it alongside the wooden cabinetry that encloses the refrigerator.

The shelf fits there perfectly, as if it had been made to order! That's where the canned goods are now. It's easy to see what's there, so this will make life just a little bit easier.

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Post# 413644 , Reply# 1   9/10/2019 at 00:38 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Post# 413651 , Reply# 2   9/10/2019 at 08:30 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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My storage shelf/ deep freeze in the garage space saves my butt. I do have to keep up on the rotation of new to the back. Great idea Charles!

Post# 413671 , Reply# 3   9/10/2019 at 19:45 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Built-in medicine cabinets make use of space in the walls that usually goes unused. These are in the side of the pantry. I had added them to my house right after it was built so that they matched everything else. However, you can get style-creative if that is not possible due to age differences.

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Post# 413871 , Reply# 4   9/15/2019 at 22:51 by dartman (Portland OR)        

We bought a cheap pantry type cabinet with 2 doors in a light wood vanier cheap and put it against the wall in the dining room. It matches the look of the kitchen cabinets and I wish we could find another or something similar. We have cans and gadgets everywhere on top and in the cabinets but at least some of the overflow is in that pantry thing and it looks nice enough.

Post# 413877 , Reply# 5   9/16/2019 at 01:04 by huskyvacs (Upper Midwest)        

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I did the same, have on rolling racks in my basement, but only temporarily until I eat it all. I don't want two big shelves hogging space in my basement. My mother always over-buys food, and me I just buy food and snacks when I see it on sale or on clearance, and save it to go with my lunch or as a meal another day.

There is no danger in eating expired food, I eat 2-3 years expired food all the time because I do not make a hobby of wasting food. But always check canned goods because acidic foods can eat away the protective liner inside the can and put that metal into the food. Also just common sense if it looks discolored from normal or smells bad, don't risk it.

You should have saved the expired cans, people collect old cans. I wish I would have thought of that when I purged the fridge in 2014 - there was old jars and stuff from Walmart's old Great Value design in the mid 2000's. I just have a few old cans from the early 2000's so far.

Here's the racks, eventually working through eating the stuff or eating enough to file the rest away into the cabinets. I always take empty boxes I see on store shelves to assist in keeping the shelves organized and the food from falling off, as they have no backs or sides.

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Post# 413878 , Reply# 6   9/16/2019 at 01:08 by huskyvacs (Upper Midwest)        

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Forgot to mention I have all the locations in the house cataloged and inventoried with a phone app called "Freezer". It takes a long time to catalog it all by hand and get it all entered in (took me a few months), but it's worth it when you have your own unintentional supermarket. lol

Post# 413920 , Reply# 7   9/16/2019 at 19:55 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Respectable points you made. The local food bank will take canned goods up to a year past the date, as there is a good safety built in to accommodate potential improper storage conditions. I will try most things up to a year or two past the date if they pass the look, smell, touch, and taste rules. Eggs I have had up to 8 months past. Milk up to 1 month past. It all depends on storage conditions and how well it was processed. However, after 3 years i will not even try it. Meat I am pretty pick on.

People collect old cans?? New one on me, and ironically I had just chucked about 30 old cans last night. I was given a small bag of rice last week that I put in the pantry, not knowing it was infested with bugs. Found out yesterday and they were everywhere on that shelf. During the cleaning scramble, stuff came out that I had long forgotten about. First 2012, then 2008, then 2004, then.......... 1996. Yes, almost 25 years old. I then stopped and my eyes teared up. These were part of the many groceries my mom had brought over when I had first moved into this house in 1995. Over the years new stuff was bought and covered the old. Some of these cans were ok but most were leaking or starting to leak. Two cans of carrots had already leaked and were dry inside - talk about dehyrated! I was sentimental enough to carefully cut off the labels from each but the cans just had to go.

Today the trash was emptied so I started cleaning through the boxed stuff, and I found more very old factory sealed packages. Cup a Soup packets, hot chocolate, crackers, cookies, pasta, and more. Remember Walmart's 'Sam's American Choice?' Coca Cola Classic 'Santa pack' from 1996? Doritos 'Star Wars' R2D2 limited edition bags? 'Dinosaurs' cookies? M&Ms from Pirates of the Caribbean? All were here. I found coupons inside some that had expired 1997, which caused me to get teary eyed again as I prepared to dump them into the trash. I stopped and went out to mow the grass for a change of mind. If there are any food historians around here who wants this stuff, I would be happy to let them have it! The interesting part is that much of this smelled and looked just fine (but some were rancid). There were no bugs in any of it so far. Was food processed better back then or what? I have 3 more shelves and two more cabinets to go through so more treasures may be found. Just very difficult to let it all go due to its history. A strange guy I am!

Post# 413922 , Reply# 8   9/16/2019 at 21:41 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Husky, looks like you're prepared for the apocalypse. Was gonna mention tomato acidity in canned food, but looks like you've got the whole eating expired canned goods thing down pat :P

Post# 413930 , Reply# 9   9/17/2019 at 00:21 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I notice the racks have wheels. Where did you get them.
You guys are great organizers. I may use some ideas on my upcoming project.

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