Being that rice is the perfect survival food because of its long shelf life, you must also know how to store it effectively – otherwise it’s money down the drain. Moisture and bugs can ruin rice and your appetite, so the goal is much like any other food in that you want to store it air tight.
If you’re going to go to the trouble to prepare your rice for long term storage, I recommend buying it in bulk because it’s el cheapo. You can buy a 50 pound bag of rice at Costco or any wholesale store for around $35. One bag would feed four people for around 3 months!
So you’ve bought the rice, now what? Well there are a couple of ways people usually store their rice. It all depends on how cheap you want to be. If you drink soft drinks and have spare 2 liter bottles laying around, rinse them out and let them dry completely. Simply fill up the bottles with the rice – you can use a funnel to make the job easier. Once you get the bottle full, put the cap on loosely and squeeze the bottle gently to get all the air out and tighten down the cap. One advantage of using 2 liter bottles is that it makes stacking much easier as your storage grows and you can pace your portions easier. I have also read where some preppers like to freeze the rice for a week or so, then let it thaw for a week before storing it in containers, just to ensure they kill all bacteria. Personally, I don’t see that being terribly necessary.
Another way of doing this is using 5 gallon buckets and mylar bags. You can find mylar bags online in any size. Some like to buy the size to fit 5 gallon buckets and pour all the rice in at once to make the job easier. In order to get the air out, I’ve seen oxygen absorbers like hand warmers thrown into the bag, then sealed with a bag sealer. That seems to be the easiest way. Another alternative is using the portion-sized bags so you can pack them away in bug out bags and so you don’t have to reseal a 5 gallon bag every time. It’s really just preference at this point.
If you prefer to take the easy way out, you can find a 42 pound bucket of “Thrive” pre-sealed rice at Costco for around $55 that has a 25 year shelf life or you can check out Amazon.com for Instant White Rice (112 servings).