Long Term Storage w/ Canning Jars

This is quick and easy way to store your food for the long term. A step-by-step guide with pictures.

It is very easy to do, and children can also help in the process.
Limited amount of materials necessary to start with long term food storage.
Does not have to have additional protection from rodents.
Glass jars can be used for canning once the food is used.
Smaller portions to rotate into your everyday food.
The contents don't have to be transferred into another container when moved into the kitchen.
Allows you to buy small portions at a time.

The glass jars are breakable.
Light is not prevented from degrading the nutritional value of the food. They can be stored in dark cellar or basement which takes care of that problem.
Not as portable as mylar bags.

So here we go....

Items needed:

Quart sized canning jars ( Buy American!!! )
Oxygen absorbers ( 300cc )
Half pint size jar for storage of unused oxygen absorbers
Food to be stored
Scissors (optional)
Packing Tape (optional)
Index cards (optional)
Sharpie & pen

 I save time by cutting the instructions from the package and putting them on index cards. I also cover the instructions with packing tape to seal them onto the card. You can just write on the index card if you wish.

I slide the index card so that it is visible from the outside. You can also write the type of grain on the top of the index card for easy reference. Today, I am storing Garbanzo beans and Lentils.

Fill to the top of the can, then shake to settle the contents, refill if necessary, then place an oxygen absorber into the canning jar.

Screw the lid onto the jar, and it should seal within an hour.

 The unused portions can be saved for later jars or used in the kitchen.

These are the lentils - same process.

The canning jars are sealed and waiting for the oxygen eaters to do their thing.

I put a small piece of invisible tape on the lid and notate the date with a Sharpie pen.

Here is the finished product ready to go back into the original box. I keep the original box so that they can be neatly stacked and moved if necessary. Additionly, if you live in an earthquake zone this might prevent some damage from the jars bouncing around during an earthquake.

TIP: Be sure to place those newly opened oxygen absorbers into the smallest canning jar that you have to keep them fresh. If you don't have any small canning jars, be sure to fill it up with rice/beans/lentils to displace the extra air within the jar.

I'll add the various pounds per product per quart jar as I expand our food storage.

My Planning and Foresight Amazon Store currently has Oxygen Absorbers and Mylar Bags for sale under the Recommended Section. Plus, any purchase made through my Amazon store supports this site with Gift Certificates. This allows me to do more book, gear, and item reviews for this blog. 


1.5 # Garbanzo Beans
1.75 # Lentils
1.33 # Black-eyed peas

Keep Right On Prepping - K


  1. Where do you get the oxygen absorbers? I need to get some mylar bags too, do you have a recommendation on where to buy them?

    1. I have provided a link at the bottom of this post to My Amazon store, which gives me a 4% rebate. Emergency Essentials also has good prices. Please price compare, because there can be a wide range for them. For the larger sized Mylar bags (5 gal), a hand warmer like those sold at China-mart does the same thing and are not toxic, just as an FYI and those frugally minded. Drop me a line if you any other questions, and I'll get back as son as I can or make a new post about it.

  2. Excellent pics and directions. Please keep adding to this post w/ amts. of whatever dried foods you pack. Anticipated shelf life for these dried beans in the quart jars if the seal remains intact and they are stored in the dark?

    1. Thanks for the comment. Dried beans have a shelf life of ten years, without benefit of an oxygen absorber or special storage. The canned variety, such as those from the LDS have a shelf life of 30 years. I would venture a guess of at least 20, just because of light being able to reach the product.

  3. Question for you K, I just had one of those "AH HA! moments. Do you use oxygen absorbers in your ammo storage? I ask because I just had a bit of a random revelation regarding my pellet stores. I have seen plenty of corroded pellets over the years (none my own) and was wondering about how to avoid that as well as decrease the amount of space my ammo took up. I also have a bit of a problem with some of my tins since they don't have screw on lids and the BAM! out of nowhere it occurred to me I should be storing my pellets in pill vials! So that great question was answered but I wanted to keep them from corroding as well. Then I remembered your post on food storage and though the oxygen absorbers would be perfect to drop into each vial. So do you use oxygen absorbers in your ammo cans?

    1. You want to use desiccant packets for ammo storage and a vacuum sealer on low moisture days.

  4. I dont want to use a vacuum sealer and bags because I would like to be able to store my pellets in such a fashion that I can conveniently take them along in my pocket, pop them open, and close off again. I think the pill vials will do quite well since they have kept our antibiotic stores jim dandy for Lord knows how many years at this point. We'll talk more on it at school, thanks for the heads up on the packets though. Don't know why I didn't think of that? I have a giant silica pack in the gun safe right now with my dehumidifier.

  5. Thanks for the step-by-step instructions!