I was packing some 25# bags of pinto beans and spring wheat the other day and found that the 5-gallon food storage buckets were too large, so I went to our food storage outlet and found some smaller ones. To my surprise, they had some odd sizes available which they recommended I try.
The size of bucket you will need depends on the density of the product you are packing. (Most of the time a 5 gallon bucket will hold 35 pounds of hard red wheat, but other grains can vary.)
The spring wheat I was packing had much smaller kernels than the winter wheat I had stored previously, but I was able to pack 25 pounds into a 4 1/4 gallon bucket with about 1 3/4 inches of headspace.
The 25# bag of pinto beans fit into a 3 1/2 gallon bucket with about 2 inches of headspace. I have several other bags of these foods to pack so it will help me know what size buckets to purchase.
There is an advantage to having smaller buckets because they can fit into smaller spaces and you don’t have to dig into your larger buckets when you want to use some of the food. A better option might be to use two /2 gallon buckets for short term use. You want to use and rotate your food storage as much as possible, so this would be an efficient way to do it.
If you have a bunch of 5 gallon buckets stacked somewhere on top of each other, chances are you aren’t going to dig them out and use them as often and you miss out on the opportunity to utilize these foods in your everyday diet.