PETE bottle storage and bulk buckets

This is my favorite way to store because it is so easy.  Save any soda or juice bottle with the letters PETE and a triangle with a 1 in it on the bottom.  This means it is food grade.  You can even ask others to save them for you!  Clean it out and let it dry. 

Utah State recommends sanitizing water containers before storing
water in them. You could do the same with your PETE bottles for
storing dry goods. Here are the directions:

Fill container with potable tap water and then add 1 tablespoon
bleach for each 1 gallon of water. Shake well, turning bottle upside
down a time or two to sanitize the cap. Let stand for 1 minute and
then pour out the bleach water. Let the container air dry.

Store dry goods in it with an oxy absorber (except sugar which needs no oxy absorber).  My sister taught me to put the oxy absorber in first, then what you are storing.  Make sure the bottle is closed tightly and then tape it to make sure it doesn’t come open.  The last step is label the product with a name and date and expiration date if you like.  Then pat yourself on the back because you are following the prophet!


Welfare Services Home Storage Center


Dry-Pack Food Storage Using PETE Containers


PETE refers to a type of clear plastic bottle commonly used for many foods sold in grocery stores.  The bottles are identified on the bottom, next to the recycle emblem, with the letters PETE.  This type of container has good oxygen barrier qualities and can be used with oxygen absorbers to store bulk dry foods.  The low oxygen content of the sealed containers protects the stored food from insect infestation and helps preserve product quality.  These containers are well suited for products that are rotated on a regular basis, while still providing several years of storage capability.




1.   Use only PETE bottles that have been previously commercially packaged with food.                     Bottles need to have screw-on lids with plastic, not paper, lid seals.


2.   Wash and rinse bottles to remove any residue.  Drain and dry bottles.


3.   Place an oxygen absorber packet into each bottle.


4.   Fill bottles with bulk dry products that are low in moisture and oil content.


5.   Wipe top sealing edge clean.


6.   Screw lids on tightly.  Tape the lid edge to prevent loosening.


7.   Store the products in a cool, dry location, away from sunlight.


8.   Use a new oxygen absorber packet each time a bottle is refilled for storage.


Oxygen absorbers

Welfare Services absorbers packets are packaged 100 per bag.

This size of absorber can be used for containers of up to 1-gallon capacity. 

When packaging products, take out of the bag the number of absorbers you plan to use in 30           minutes and store the remainder in glass canning jars with new lids.  1 pint will hold 25 absorbers.


Containers that work well for long-term storage using oxygen absorbers include:

#10 cans

Foil pouches                                                                                                                     

Glass canning jars with screw-on lids

PETE plastic containers with screw-on lids


Containers that do not work well for this type of storage include:

Translucent plastic containers such as milk bottles

Snap-on lid containers

Containers that have contained non-food products should not be used for food storage




Welfare Services Home Storage Center


Approved Dry-Pack Products


Dry-pack products for home storage need to be low moisture (10% moisture or less), good quality, and insect free.  Packaging in foil pouches, #10 cans, glass canning jars, and PETE plastic bottles should be limited to foods that best retain flavor and nutritional value.  An oxygen absorber packet should be included in each container for all products except sugar. 




·         Milk                             Non-fat dry milk and milk/whey products such as hot cocoa


·         White Flour                  Bleached or unbleached


·         Whole Grains               Wheat, white rice, dry corn, popcorn, rye, barley, etc.

                                                      Grains that are not milled or cracked and do not have an oily seed coat


·         Rolled Oats                  Quick or regular          


·         Legumes                      Dry peas and beans, including dehydrated refried beans


·         Pasta                            Pasta products that do not contain egg


·         Fruits and                     Dehydrated or freeze-dried products that are dry enough to snap.

                        Vegetables             (Best items: apples, bananas, potatoes, onions, carrots, corn, and peas

                                                      Marginal items: apricots, peaches, pears, tomatoes, and green beans)


·         Sugar                            Granulated or powdered (Do not use oxygen absorbers in containers of sugar)


·         Miscellaneous              TVP (Texturized vegetable protein), Cheese powder, Gelatin,

                                                      Soup mixes (without bouillon)




The following items are examples of products that do not store well due to high moisture or oil content.     These items keep best when stored in freezer bags in a freezer:


·         Milled Grain                 Whole wheat flour, Cornmeal, Cereal, Granola


·         Oily Grain/Seeds          Nuts, Brown rice, Pearled barley, Sesame


The following types of products should be stored in their original containers and rotated frequently:      


·         Leavening                    Includes mixes containing leavening such as cake or biscuit mix


·         Miscellaneous              Spices, Oil, Bouillon, Dried Meat, Dried Eggs, Brown Sugar, Candy,

                                                      First-aid   supplies


 NOTE: All food items should be rotated. This may be accomplished by personal use or by sharing with others.


You can do the same procedure with food grade 5 gallon buckets or food grade frosting buckets from grocery store bakeries or anywhere that has buckets like that. Sometimes they may charge a small fee, but Publix has always just given them to me for free – a HUGE savings.  Then go to the cannery – buy in bulk, layer the food with 6 oxy absorbers since it is so big and voila – you have food storage.



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