Warning: Unless the thought of white buckets makes you giddy I highly recommend you stop reading now. But if you are a Mormon Nerd like me, proceed.
If you know what these are you might be a Mormon.
If you have more than one of these in your home you are Mormon, or soon will be (resistence is futile).
If you have 20 or more of these in a climate controlled room and they have been packed using a dry ice method... well, there is just no hope for you. You are a Freaky Mormon.
Me? I'm a Freaky Mormon wannabe, just a Mormon Nerd. I only have 18 buckets, and they aren't all 6 gallon size. I don't pack mine with dry ice. And I don't have a climate controlled food storage room to enshrine them in... yet. =) If you aren't LDS you might be wondering what is with the bucket madness. FOOD! I have wheat, oats, rice, salt, sugar, flour, honey, and hot cocoa in my buckets. We nerdy Mormons like to fantasize about the economic system of our country crashing and then showing everyone how smart we were for keeping a mini-mart in our cupboards and closets. Hey, don't knock it. Have you watched season 1 of the TV show Jericho? It could happen.
Anyway, I'm here to share with you my favorite trick for being a thrifty Mormon Nerd. Buying food buckets can be pricey, especially when you need a lot of them. But did you know that bakeries go through myriads of food buckets a day and just toss them? And did you know that if you call these bakeries, and ask nicely, they will often give you their buckets for free? Sure, you will have to clean them real good before using, but you have to wash the clean ones you buy anyway. And the 3 gallon bakery buckets fit in my sink a lot better than the big ones do.
I usually call my local grocery store's bakery and say, "Hi, I was wondering if you give away your empty icing buckets? You do? Great. Do they have lids with them? Would you mind if I come pick them up in the next 15 minutes?" Albertson's recently tried to charge me for their buckets so I called Safeway and they were more than happy to give me five buckets with lids absolutely free of charge. Make sure you don't use pickle, vinegar, or garlic spread buckets because they can give the food you store a bad flavor. But if your rice, flour, or sugar has a very mild (I've never noticed it) taste of chocolate, maple, or vanilla it really won't hurt a thing.
And see these lids? They have a black rubber gasket that makes them air tight. When you buy food buckets you have to pay a premium to get lids with gaskets.
Here is the rice that I bought back during the big rice scare of 2008. To quote my husband when I asked him if we should join the rice rush, "We have no need to panic... but we don't want the panicked people to get all the rice." Those yellow bags are medium grain rice from California that is especially good for making sushi rice. Because it has special cooking instructions I make sure to cut the instructions out and tape them to the side of the bucket.