Bottling food is the best! It’s a great way to preserve food from your garden, jam the berries in season, or even store up meats for stews. Who doesn’t love homemade salsa right out of the jar? It can last for years and you can save your favorite foods and know exactly what is in them.
Yet here’s a dilemma:
How do you safely store all your bottled food to be safe from the effects of an earthquake?
Think of all that shaking with your jars sitting on your pantry shelves? And what if you end up having to bug out or evacuate? How do you scramble to take all your bottled delights with you without breaking?
But at around $15 a box (that holds 12 jars), I simply cannot afford that for all the jars I want to store!
Here is what I have done that is working for me that mostly involves simple resources I have already at home.
- I bought boxes from the LDS Home Storage Center. They cost 95 cents Per box and also come in packs of 25. These boxes normally fit six #10 cans. Since I also store #10 cans in this size of box, it makes it perfect for stacking and having my glass canning jars in them as well.
- After taping the box together at the bottom with quality packaging tape. I LINE the bottom of the box with about 4 plastic grocery bags, and then a paper grocery bag or cardboard on top of the plastic bags. This creates a small cushion for the bottom of the box.
- Then I place my jars in the box. I put as many as I can fit in. Note – the quart size jars fill the depth of the box nicely, where the pint size (as pictured) and smaller will have some gaps to fill in from above the jars to the top of the box.
- Using the cardboard from the box that the empty jars came in, and other boxes I have cut up small pieces of cardboard that can fit IN BETWEEN each jar. I made sure that no jars can come in contact with each other. If there are any gaps larger than a cardboard slat, I use any crumpled up plastic, paper or grocery bags to fill those spaces.
- Once the jars are secured, I put a grocery sack on top and then more cushioning. I save any bubble wrap from my Amazon orders and use it here, or wadded up newspaper, or wadded up grocery sacks. This fills the gap from the top of the jars to the top of the box as mentioned earlier. For quart size jars, I only put a large piece of cardboard or a paper grocery sack on the top before closing the box.
- I close the top and tape it securely.
- I use RED DUCT TAPE and a RED SHARPIE to label my boxes “Fragile – Glass”.
- On the top and ends I label how many of what food item is in the box and the date.
Now the boxes can stack right along with my other storage. The only way they will break is if they are crushed or fall extremely hard. I can see exactly what’s in them and how many, and if I need to grab them to leave – they are all ready to go.
Other tips: You can use mis-matched SOCKS to put over your jars to help protect them as demonstrated by The Survival Mom. Also, use OLD TOWELS, saved BUBBLE WRAP, or unused SWEATERS.
Happy Canning!! There’s no excuse now not to bottle your food and keep it safe for times of need. 🙂