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Food Storage in Mason Jars, Just add Black Beans!

Some of you may be wondering why I am storing individual food items in jars when there are so many options out there to create a full meal in a jar and then seal it. My answer to that question is this: I believe in soaking our grains to maximize the absorption of nutrients. It’s that simple. Plus, if there were an emergency and we did have to live completely off of our food storage, we would need to make sure that we were getting the most out of every single meal (additionally, who’s going to be able to afford to go to the Dr. if you don’t even have money for food. Just a thought).  I’m also doing this so that the next time I need to add a particular item to my own food storage, I will know exactly how many jars and lids I will need (which will save me a trip or two to the store). Anyway, if you’d like to read more about soaking your grains, go here to read up on it. This is my favorite resource about soaking.

Lately, it seems that Winco has been my go-to place to find whatever I need to add to our food storage, at the most affordable price. That’s where I found this 25 lb bag of Black Beans…I can’t remember how much it was though, I swear my memory gets worse the more kids I have ;).

I started out with what is now the usual (the only thing that changes is the # of jars and the food item):

  • 25 lb bag of Black Beans
  • 14 Quart Jars + 1 Pint Jar Sterilized, Lids, and Rings
  • My handheld vacuum sealer (charged in advance for a couple of hours)
  • My Regular-Mouth & Wide-Mouth Jar Sealing Attachments
  • A Sharpie
  • A Clean Rag
  • A Large Bowl & Scoop (to pour the beans into first and then you scoop into the jars, because if you’re doing this alone, the 25lb bag is too bulky to work with)
At the risk of feeling VERY redundant, here’s the link to my little tutorial on how to fill & seal them…in case you don’t already know. 
Everything all laid out.
I was pretty shocked to see how dirty the black beans looked this close-up…I never would have guessed! I thought I’d show you because it’s interesting and a good reminder to always wash your beans really well before you put them in a meal (Another reason not to do those pre-made canned meals in a jar…yuck!)
This is to show you how full the 14 Quart jars are, and the one on the bottom is the pint jar.
This shows how full the pint jar was.
I love being able to see the indent from the lids being sealed…I know, I’m a nerd!
Boy did it feel weird writing ’14 as the year on these jars… it’s a little harder to see the sharpie on the beans because they’re pretty much the same color, but you can still see it. 
There you have it!  Fourteen quart jars + one pint jar full of black beans for our food storage. Like I usually say, since I cook from scratch it’s pretty easy to realistically estimate how long it will last us. At our current rate of consumption, I estimate this to last us somewhere between 12 and 14 months for our family of five.
To check out all of my other food storage posts (most will always be in mason jars), go here.

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