I believe this is one of the best ways to store beans for long term storage.
To store beans beyond one year, here’s what I do:
The reason I say it’s “one of the best ways” is because it allows me to store a large variety of beans and legumes without having to buy large bulk quantities of each variety to be stored in 5-gallon pails with Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers (unless I particularly want to keep 50 pounds or more of one type of dry bean or another of course…).
This method costs some, and it increases the cost per pound to store the beans, but in my opinion – it’s irrelevant for the purpose of long term food storage and preparedness.
Since we like a variety of beans (rather than buying a 50 pound sack of one type of bean for example) we buy them at the grocery store in their 1-pound packages.
Like I said, we enjoy a wide variety of beans (legumes) and this enables us to pick and choose what we store ahead in a diversified way.
As you can see in the picture, to store them, we first vacuum seal each individual one-pound bag of beans with our FoodSaver and vacuum seal bags.
Besides the initial outlay for the cost of a FoodSaver (which we’ve had for quite some time and use it on all sorts of things – paying for itself already), the cost is that of a vacuum seal bag.
Each bag costs about 50-cents, which does increase the per-pound cost of the beans fairly dramatically (percentage wise). However this cost is miniscule when considering what you’re doing (storing ahead for emergency). Plus, the cost of food is only going to continue to rise, so the more you acquire at today’s prices, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
I also believe that to store beans this way (vacuum sealed with a FoodSaver type sealer), may be better for shelf life longevity than that of storing a bulk quantity of beans in a Mylar bag (with an oxygen absorber) in a 5-gallon bucket.
Reason being – it appears to me that a kitchen vacuum sealer removes more air than an oxygen absorber packet. The 1-pound bags of beans are really tight – hard as a brick with no air left inside. On the other hand, Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers (in 5-gallon buckets) don’t seem to draw out as much air comparatively. Sure, more O2 absorbers would help, but that’s just my general instinct…
As you can also see in the picture above, in a single heavy duty Sterlite 70-Qt plastic bin I can easily hold 50 pounds of individually sealed bags of beans. That’s a-lot of beans. They will store well for many years. I estimate 5 years without issue. Even then, probably no problem with just some extra soak time for the aged beans…
Just think about it – with just two bins of beans, you’re looking at 100 pounds. That will go a long way (with rice and/or other ingredients) in your emergency meal plans!
Did you know that rice and beans are a great survival combination?
Again, I think this is one of the best ways to store beans for the long term because it enables you to buy and store a variety – which would be particularly important to avoid food fatigue in a SHTF situation.
On the other hand, if your intention is to store large quantities of beans for lots of people, then the traditional method of filling 5 gallon buckets with bulk ordered beans (and sealing them with oxygen absorbers) is going to be more cost effective (per pound) and quicker to accomplish.
How do you store your beans?