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Why Small Shops along Broadway Are Getting Fried (in Analysis)

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As subway-driven land values zoom, so do taxes. And land speculators feast.

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emerymat
10 days ago
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Vancouver, BC, Canada
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How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

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I have a confession to make: My dog’s breath stinks—well, at least it did before I started taking her oral hygiene seriously. Now that I brush her teeth regularly, I don’t turn my head away every time she jumps into my lap. Instead, I happily greet her, toothy grin and all. And brushing a dog’s teeth isn’t that complicated. It just takes a couple of minutes a day to banish bad breath and plaque for good. Brushing a cat’s teeth may be effortless too. I’ll let you know just as soon as my cat lets me test out that theory, which will probably be … never.

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emerymat
13 days ago
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Vancouver, BC, Canada
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The Ultimate Guide to Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits: 2022 Edition

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Google Ad Grants are a terrific fundraising and marketing tool that Google makes available to nonprofits and charities. So what are Google Ad Grants? A Google Grant provides $10,000 each month to nonprofits to spend on Google Search ads. This can bring an additional 60,000 new, targeted visitors to your website each year. While there are program requirements, as long as a nonprofit continues to meet these eligibility requirements, there is no end to the period that they will receive these benefits and no maximum benefit that can be received.

Over 100,000 nonprofits worldwide have taken advantage of Google Grants since the program was established in 2003, yet most nonprofits have never taken part in the program and many more are no longer receiving Google Ad Grants because they did not take the necessary steps to keep their account active.

Google Grants can be a great fundraising option for almost all nonprofits. Essentially all 501(c)(3) organizations qualify unless they are hospitals, schools, or government organizations.  As long as an organization meets the basic eligibility requirements, which almost all nonprofits do, and the application is submitted correctly, the nonprofit will be approved for a Google Grant.

Nearly all nonprofits could benefit from the Google Ads that Google Grants provides. The free ads can be used to drive additional traffic to your website, increase your organization’s reach, and help get out your message.

How Can You Use a Google Grant?

Organizations use their Google Grants several different ways. These include:

  • Encouraging donations from donors and potential donors.
  • Building a donor or subscriber base by collecting contact information from those subscribing to newsletters, white papers, and other resources that you make available.
  • Educating the public and advocating about issues and informing the public about issue areas.
  • For use in program services and better enabling nonprofits to reach their target audience in order to perform their charitable purpose. It can also be used to provide information about any services provided by the organization.
  • Recruiting volunteers and other individuals who can get involved in supporting the nonprofit’s mission.
  • Informing about events and selling tickets to meetings, galas, fun runs, or any other activity.
  • Encouraging actions such as signing petitions or driving social media engagement.

Any goal of your organization that can be accomplished by reaching a wider audience and having them come to specific pages your website can be accomplished with Google Grant Ads and you can certainly use Google Ads to accomplishing multiple goals.

An example of Google Search Ads for nonprofits featuring the American Red Cross, TechnoServe, and The Ocean Conservancy

Can Small Nonprofits Participate in the Google Grant Program?

Absolutely.  The program is available to any nonprofit that can benefit from having more exposure and a bigger audience. Small nonprofits are eligible for Google Grants and they can often reap the same advantages that a larger organization, such as additional donations, increasing their audience, and encouraging people to take action.

Many small organizations accomplish a lot with their Google Ads Grants. If they have valuable content that will spark engagement or if they provide pertinent information that people search for, they will likely get a lot of value out of the Google Grants.

For brand new organizations, they may need to wait a few months before being eligible to participate, but they can qualify for Google Grants and thereby make sure that more people can learn about their organization.

Which Organizations Are Eligible for Google Grants?

Nonprofits and charities in over 50 countries can be eligible for Google Grants. For the United States, the organization must have filed with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. In addition, the organization must meet the following requirements:

  • The organization cannot be a governmental agency, a hospital, or a school.
  • You must agree to the Google Ads and Google for Nonprofits terms of service.
  • Your website must be hosted on your own separate domain.
  • Your website must have an SSL certificate installed to ensure that it is secure.

In other countries there are similar requirements regarding the types of organizations that can participate. As long as an organization meets these requirements, they will be eligible for a Google Grant. You do not need to apply during a certain period or be selected in place of other nonprofits.   Every organization that qualifies and applies correctly can get a grant.

How Do You Apply for a Google Grant?

It can be complex to figure out how to apply for a Google Ad Grant. Prior to the Google Grant application, there are a few steps that must be completed first:

  • Make sure you have Google Analytics set up on your website
  • Register as a nonprofit with TechSoup.org
  • Enroll in Google for Nonprofits
  • As part of the enrollment in Google for Nonprofits you will need to go to your TechSoup account, then to the tab called Validation Token and get a validation token
  • You can then apply for Google Grants using the Google Grants application form.

Free Webinar: An Introduction to the Google Ad Grant for Nonprofits

Join Grant Republic for a free webinar on May 3 that will provide an overview of the Google Ad Grants program and guide your nonprofit through important areas, such as eligibility requirements, potential uses of Google Ad Grants, the application process, and how to remain compliant in the program month after month.

<<Learn More & Register>>


How Do Nonprofits Build Out Their Google Ads Account?

In addition to an approval to your Google Grant Application, your nonprofit will also need to build out your Google Ad accounts with the appropriate campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, etc., and get them approved. There are several different requirements and best practices for setting up your Google Ads campaigns which you should follow to get the most benefit from your account and continue being able to participate in the program.

This is a quite detailed subject, but a basic guideline to follow is to avoid using Smart Campaigns which are automated and less powerful because Google hides most of the functionality for these types of campaigns.

You will also want to create multiple campaigns with numerous ad groups each of which should have at least three ads. It is a good idea to use different ad types, but you will need one to be a responsive text ad. Additional Google Ad features that you will want to take advantage of are:

  • Ad extensions which provide more information to web searchers
  • Negative Keywords which exclude some searches from seeing your ads if they are not relevant
  • Geotargeting and audience set up so only those that would be interested in your ads see them

Getting Your Site Ready for Google Ads

Along with setting up a campaign correctly, a nonprofit will also need to set up its website well to take full advantage of its Google Ads. This is in part because Google Grants only allows ads that are at a Quality Score of 2 or higher and also because a strong website will just lead to better results for your Google Ad campaigns.

Your website should be mobile-ready and should load fast. It also should have some “cornerstone content” pages which are key pages that are authoritative and detailed about a commonly searched for topic and which link to other key pages on your website. Make sure the page provides relevant content and ideally is written for a large audience.

Google has a lot of rules that need to be followed for an organization’s Google Ads account to continue to be active.  Below are the most important ones from Google’s Ad Grants Policy Compliance Guide.

Performance:

  • The account must maintain a 5% click-through rate each month. This can be a tough hurdle for those that did not optimize their accounts.  Failing to meet this threshold for 2 consecutive months can result in a temporary account deactivation.
  • All accounts created after January 2018 must have conversion tracking in place in Google Ads and need to have at least one meaningful conversion per month. The conversion goal needs to be more meaningful than just tracking if someone clicks on your ad, but should instead record key actions taken by site visitors such as their filling out a contact form.  You should set up the conversion in Google Analytics and import it into Google Ads.

Account Structure:

  • The account must have at least 2 ad groups per campaign.
  • The account must have at least 2 ads per ad group
  • The account must have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions. Sitelinks are links to specific pages of your website that appear as part of the ad.

Keywords:

  • All Keywords must have a quality score higher than 2. You should set up an automated rule that pauses all keywords when they have a quality score of 1 or 2.  Alternatively you can change your website and make the keywords more relevant and thereby increase the quality score.
  • All keywords must be composed of at least two words and cannot be single-word keywords. There are a few exceptions such as the organization’s brand, but in general, Google wants you to avoid overly broad keywords.
  • Similar to the last item, no overly generic keywords are permitted.

Activity:

  • You must log in to the account at least monthly
  • You must implement changes to the account at least once every 90 days

Miscellaneous:

  • The nonprofit must respond to Google’s annual program survey. The annual survey is emailed once a year and can also be submitted by going directly to the online form.
  • There are rules about election advertising and specific rules for certain types of organizations that may need certain certifications.
  • You can only advertise domains that you own and that you have submitted to Google. You cannot have ads that send people to third-party sites such as your social media pages.
  • Your campaigns should be about your charitable purpose, events, and similar topics.
  • Certain groups such as hate groups are prohibited.

How To Set Up a Google Grant Ad Account

Below is a description of what your nonprofit should do when setting up your Google Ads account, but you may want to use a professional that knows additional tricks and tips. At the minimum, your nonprofit will benefit from a free consultation with Grant Republic about your Google Ads and Google Grants accounts.

The requirements which Google Grants implements should be viewed as a starting point. While having two campaigns is the minimum required for Google Grants, ideally you should have at least four or five campaigns. You should have a campaign for each of the main goals that you are trying to accomplish. So you could have one for recruiting donors, one for recruiting volunteers, one for spreading your message to a wider audience, etc. This will make the campaign easier to manage and allow the keywords, ads, and extensions to be more tailored.

Each of the campaigns should have several ad groups.  Each ad group should be very tailored to a specific topic and group of keywords. That way each ad group, ad, landing page, associated keyword, audience setting, and extensions are tightly related and fit together like pieces of a puzzle. You want to make sure that the ads that you show are as targeted as they can be and very directly relate to what the user was searching for.

Each ad group should contain at least two ads, but more ads is generally better. Google will show the ad that it thinks is the best fit for each individual web search.  By having more ads you give Google more opportunities to pick the best fit. Similarly, it is a good idea to have multiple types of ads and in particular to include Responsive Search Ads which act as a stand in for many different ads.

Responsive Search Ads display multiple different headlines and descriptions and Google selects the ones that it feels would be the best match and thus would create the highest probability of the user clicking on the ad. Responsive Search Ads can increase your click-through rate which helps keep you above Google’s thresholds.

Your ads should be well-written and have powerful call-to-actions to encourage those viewing an ad to take a specific course of action. An ad should be written to grab a reader’s attention which can be done with engaging content, interesting statistics and facts, and by laying out a specific benefit that the reader can gain by clicking the ad and going to your site.

Audiences should be defined. Google Ads gives you lots of options on who to show ads to and when.  You should use these settings to make sure the ad is showing to the intended target audience. You should also use negative keywords to make sure that your ads do not get shown to those that are not the intended audience and would not be interested in them.

Over time you can monitor the searches that people use to find your site and continue adding them to a negative keyword list if they are not relevant to your organization. Similarly, you should limit your ads so that they are only shown to people in a specific geographic area.

Use Maximize Conversions for at least one campaign.  Typically it makes sense to control as much of the campaign as possible and until November 2021 when Google changed the Google Grants program there was not a reason to use the Maximize Conversions Bidding Strategy instead of Manual bidding. Before this change, all keyword bids were limited to $2 per click.  Due to this limitation and the 5% Click Through Rate (CTR) requirement, most Google Grants recipients only used a small percentage of their Google Grant allowance.

Google has now changed the Google Grants program so that you can circumvent the $2 bidding restriction if the campaign uses the Maximize Conversion bidding strategy.  By using the Maximize Conversions bid strategy for one campaign you can set a budget for the conversion which will in practice makes the bids exceed the $2 per click threshold which will lead to your ads in that campaign being shown and clicked more often. This will use up some of the grant allowance, but since most nonprofits under-utilize the amount of the grant each month anyway, using Maximize Conversions on a campaign should bring better results in terms of clicks and conversions and not have any downsides.

Use lots of keywords.  To fully take advantage of your Google Grant and your Google Adwords Account, you must make use of lots of keywords. Keywords can be any collection of words that are relevant to web searchers and which relate to your organization. Certain popular keywords will have lots of organizations or companies bidding on them and it is hard with Google Grants to compete with paid search accounts since your ads will only be shown below all paid ads. Thus you should focus a lot of attention on long-tailed keywords which appear less commonly in searches, but are still common enough to be useful.  If you are bidding on dozens or hundreds of long-tailed keywords this can be a very effective strategy.

Use Ad Extensions. There are many types of Google Ad Extensions that can lead to higher click-through rates. All extensions give you extra screen real estate and so are worthwhile for that reason alone. Google Ad Extensions that every nonprofit should definitely use are:

  • Sitelink extensions include links to specific pages of your website. Having two sitelink extensions are required for ads under the Google Grants program, but having more is better, so try aiming for six or more sitelink extensions.
  • Callout extensions are those where you get to specify what makes your organization special and include phrases to entice web searchers to click your link.
  • Call extensions provide a phone number in the ad so that people can easily call you.

There are numerous other extension types that can be useful depending on the nature of the nonprofit, such as:

  • Location extensions which list the organization’s address and thus can be useful for organizations serving a certain geographic area, such as a church.
  • Message extensions which allow people to send a text message to your organization and communicate through texts.
  • Structured snippet extensions which are a bit more complex, but can be a good way to provide information about the organization’s services in a format that machines understand.

How Can Google Grants Be Used in Conjunction with Other Advertising and Marketing?

Google Grants is a great addition to a nonprofit’s overall fundraising, marketing, and communications strategy. Google Ads can drive people to join a mailing list, follow the organization’s social media accounts, and be used to convert visitors into donors. You first may need to introduce visitors to your organization, then later convert them into subscribers and ultimately donors. For many visitors, your Google Ad may be the first time an individual has heard about your organization so it may not be the best time to ask for a donation, but instead, make it a gradual process.

You may also want to take the knowledge gained in your Google Ads account to set up a Microsoft Ads or Facebook Ads account, or improve campaigns your already running on Microsoft and Facebook. Many of the things you learn about your audience in Google Ads and what they are looking for will be applicable to other advertising methods.

If you are having success with your Google Grants account, you also may want to consider also having a paid Google Ads account that offers additional tools and settings. These include advertising on the Google Display Network, which includes numerous other sites such as YouTube and Gmail, and can be used to place banner ads on affiliated websites as well as on videos, sites, and apps. You can pay for the paid Google Ads with the funds raised by your Google Grants account and use paid ads to expand your reach even further.

You can also use retargeting in conjunction with display ads so that you can show display ads to those that had previously visited your website. This can put off some users if used excessively, but it is a very powerful strategy not available to those only using a free Google Grants account.

Another advantage of a paid Google Ads account is your ads can rank higher in search results than under your Google Grants Account. Under the Google Grants program, ads in a free Google Grants account will appear beneath any paid ads. With paid ads, you can ensure that your ads appear at the top of the page.

How to Track Google Grants Conversions and Google Ad Results

You advertise to get results, so how can you make sure that things are pointed in the right direction? The way to do this is to have detailed conversion tracking. Conversion tracking allows you to have important metrics about how traffic is driven to your website and how it interacts with the pages on your website. With conversion tracking set up, you can find out how your ads lead people to take action, such as:

  • Calling the organization
  • Submitting a contact form
  • Making a donation
  • Signing up for your mailing list

Nonprofits need to set up conversions in Google Analytics for each key action that they want to keep track of and then create conversion goals for each action. Once conversions are set up in Google Analytics, then you can then use them in Google Ads.

An example of Google Analytics for nonprofits featuring data for Nonprofit Tech for Good.

How To Use Google Grants Effectively

Make sure that you are using the full Google Grant amount. Most nonprofits do not utilize anywhere near their full ad allocation and this is in effect wasting money. It takes a lot of time each month to make sure the Google Ads account is as optimized as it can be. To be fully optimized, it also takes an individual or a firm who has experience with both Google Grants and Google Ads.

You will also want to make sure that you define your audience effectively and only relevant show ads. There are many ways to define an audience, such as geotargeting and modifying search keywords and negative keywords for your ads.

You will also want to make sure your website is user-friendly and that it has adequate content about specific topics. Writing additional pages and blog posts is often a good idea to maximize SEM and SEO.

You should continue to make changes to your ad campaigns and evaluate how these changes improve the effectiveness of your ads. Ideally, you should conduct A/B tests where you change minor details of your campaign, such as ad text, and then try to test different wording or settings to see which is most effective. You can also use A/B tests to determine the effectiveness of different landing pages.

In Google Analytics you can also learn about those that visit your website from Google Ads as well as organic traffic. Google Analytics provides demographic information and other important insights about your site visitors. Another tool that can be useful is Google Data Studio which can be used to sort through data and create reports.

It can be a challenge for a nonprofit to manage Google Grants effectively due to a lack of Google expertise, a lack of staff, or a lack of time available to devote to managing the account. It often makes sense to bring in a Google Grants Expert to manage your Google Grants account. If Google Ads are too much to handle in-house, it is worthwhile to reach out to a firm that specializes in Google Grant acquisition and management for nonprofits.

About the Author

Stephen Urich is the CEO of Grant Republic – a firm specializing in Google Grant acquisition and management and Google Ads management for nonprofits.  Stephen Urich has 20 years in the nonprofit sector and has been the Executive Director of a few nonprofits and the CEO of other firms that specialized in assisting nonprofits such as Labyrinth, Inc.

The Ultimate Guide to Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits: 2022 Edition
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emerymat
14 days ago
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Study finds strong correlation between playing loud music in public and having terrible taste in music

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BERLIN ― New research from the Berlin University of the Arts has revealed that those with the greatest tendency to play music at maximum volume on subways, in college dorms, and while biking through previously pleasant parks are also the most likely to prefer music that is complete shit. This confirms statistically a known phenomenon, […]

The post Study finds strong correlation between playing loud music in public and having terrible taste in music appeared first on The Beaverton.



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emerymat
14 days ago
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Survival Food on a Budget: How to Repackage Bulk Dry Goods for Long-Term Storage

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The following is an adapted excerpt from The Disaster-Ready Home: A Step-by-Step Emergency Preparedness Manual for Sheltering in Place by Creek Stewart. 

A long-term food storage pantry is designed to provide a buffer of food for you and your family in case of unexpected shortages due to a large-scale disaster of some kind. Long-term food storage can take many different forms, but is primarily comprised of three types of food:

  1. Shelf-stable grocery store items such as canned goods, boxed meals, and dry pastas.
  2. Freeze-dried food that has a 30+ year shelf life.
  3. Bulk dry goods such as beans, rice, and grains.

Bulk dry goods are foods, typically seeds or grains, that can be purchased in bulk in large bags or buckets. While this is likely the category that will be least familiar to most people, it is also the category that presents the greatest opportunity to amass the most amount of food for the least amount of money. While you may have purchased 1-pound bags of rice or beans at the grocery store, not many people have purchased 50-pound bags of rice, lentils, oats, elbow pasta, or whole-wheat berries.

If repackaged and stored properly at home, bulk dry goods can last 20+ years. This makes them a fantastic option for a “set it and forget it” buffer of backup survival food. A free PDF publication by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) titled “Food and Water in an Emergency” states that whole-wheat berries, dried corn, soybeans, pasta, and white rice all have an indefinite shelf life when properly stored.

I would argue there are many more dry bulk foods that do as well. If packaged and stored properly, bulk dry foods can last as long as freeze-dried foods. One of the big advantages is that bulk dry goods are very inexpensive in comparison. In fact, just a few hundred dollars’ worth of bulk beans, lentils, and rice can feed a family for several months. These items, along with some spices for flavoring are always my suggestions for people who are looking for some quick long-term food storage and are on a very tight budget.

A variety of bulk dry goods, ready to be repackaged for long-term storage.

One downside of bulk dry foods for survival is that they’re especially susceptible to moisture, oxygen, pests, and sunlight. These seeds, beans, and grains are durable when stored properly but extremely vulnerable when not. The problem is that most of these goods are sold in large paper bags or, if you are lucky, a cheap plastic bucket. This may work for restaurants or large catering companies that will use the goods within a few days, but it does not work for the long-term food pantry enthusiast who wishes to stash away said goods for twenty years or more. The good news is that I will teach you how to store these items in a way that keeps all the threats at bay.

The process outlined in the next section will give you peace of mind in knowing that the investment you have made (in time and money) in your long-term food storage is protected for many years to come.

How to Repackage Bulk Dry Goods at Home for Long-Term Storage

The best container for repackaging bulk dry goods is a 5-gallon plastic bucket with a waterproof lid—they are cheap, readily available, and stack well. They also help protect the food inside from three of our four main threats: water, sunlight, and pests. However, they do not protect your food from oxygen. Because of that you will need an oxygen barrier and absorber. This is why we use Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers.

Mylar was developed by DuPont in the 1950s and revolutionized the food packaging industry. It is technically a metalized polyester—a polyester bag coated in aluminum. This combination makes the bag a superior barrier against moisture and gases, including our nemesis oxygen. When you package bulk dry goods in Mylar bags and then pack them inside durable sealed plastic buckets, you can essentially create a time capsule of food and a microclimate of protection around it.

Below, you’ll find the step-by-step process I recommend for repackaging.

Purchasing Materials

Purchase the plastic 5-gallon buckets from your local hardware store. A food-grade bucket is best but not necessary because of the Mylar lining you will be using. I purchase my buckets from stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Menards. You will also need to purchase lids. I suggest spending the extra few dollars on what is called a gamma seal lid. This type of lid is unique in that the center screws out and gives you easy access to the contents without having to remove the lid. This is a convenience, not a necessity. If you are on a tight budget, you can opt for a regular lid.

While you’re shopping, you’ll also need a rubber mallet to seal the lids (either style) and a bucket wrench for getting the lids off once they’re on. If your local hardware store does not have a bucket wrench, just do a quick online search for “bucket wrench,” and many options will pop up.

5-gallon food-grade plastic bucket with a gamma seal lid can be used as a storage container for bulk dry foods.

Once the outer ring of the gamma seal lid is snapped onto a bucket, the inner portion of the lid can be screwed out for convenient access to the food inside.

You will also need to purchase Mylar bags and some oxygen absorbers to seal inside with your food. The Mylar bags keep oxygen out once you seal your food inside. The oxygen absorbers soak up any oxygen that you seal inside of the bag with your food. You will need to buy either 5-gallon or 6-gallon Mylar bags (6-gallon bags give you a little more wiggle room but are not necessary). Oxygen absorbers come in many different sizes for different-sized containers. The size you will need for 5-gallon buckets is 2000cc. Often you will find Mylar bags and 2000cc oxygen absorbers sold together. You can find these online at MylarPro, PackFreshUSA, or Amazon.

Once you have these supplies and your dry bulk goods, you are ready to repackage.

Tools needed to repackage food in 5-gallon plastic buckets include a rubber mallet for hammering on the lid and a bucket wrench for getting the lid off.

A 5-gallon Mylar bag acts as an oxygen barrier to protect the food stored inside plastic containers.

This vacuum-sealed package contains 2000cc oxygen absorbers that will be opened and placed individually inside Mylar bags with food. These will absorb any trapped oxygen inside the Mylar bag with the food. These must be kept sealed until ready for use.

Oxygen Absorber Tips

Oxygen absorbers will immediately start absorbing oxygen when taken out of the airtight package they are shipped in. They will be fully spent in roughly 30 minutes, so you do not want to just open your oxygen absorbers and leave them sitting on the table while you are repackaging. While it is best to use an entire package of oxygen absorbers once it is opened, it is not always realistic to fill ten or twenty 5-gallon buckets of food at a time. My solution is to store the absorbers in a simple 1-quart glass Mason canning jar with an airtight canning lid. The lid with the screw-on rim creates a tight seal that does not allow oxygen to get inside and keeps my oxygen absorbers fresh in between filling buckets or until the next time I repackage.

Step 1: Prepping Your Bucket

Put your bucket on a sturdy work surface, put your Mylar bag inside, and spread it open in the bucket a little bit. You do not have to be too meticulous about this because the weight of the food will do most of the work.

Step 2: Filling Your Bucket

Pour your dry bulk food (grains, beans, rice, pasta, and so on) into the Mylar bag, shaking the bucket a little bit as you go to help the food settle. Fill the bucket to within about 2 inches from the top. Toss one 2000cc oxygen absorber right on top.

Step 3: Sealing Your Mylar Bag

1. Place a 2 × 4-inch or 2 × 2-inch board across the rim of the bucket. This creates a smooth, solid surface against which to seal your bag.

2. Neatly fold the top of the Mylar bag across and over the board and smooth it out with your hands.

3. Mylar seals with heat, and the best tool I have used for the job is a home clothes iron set on the cotton setting. Start in the middle and work your way out to each side. You’ll see the Mylar seal as you run the hot iron over it. Leave about a 3-inch opening in the Mylar bag before you completely close out the second side.

4. Use a Shop-Vac or vacuum cleaner hose to suck out as much air as you can from the bag, then quickly seal up the last 3 inches with the hot iron. As long as you keep the tip of your Shop-Vac or vacuum cleaner hose several inches away from the dry goods you will not run the risk of sucking any up.

Step 4: Closing Your Bucket

Neatly tuck the top of the Mylar bag into the bucket and use the rubber mallet to
hammer the rim of the gamma seal lid into place. You have to hit it surprisingly hard to make sure the lid is pushed down to the seal. You will know when it is seated correctly because it will snap into place. Then, screw in the center of your gamma seal lid.

Step 5: Labeling Your Bucket

Finally, label your bucket with the following for easy visual inventory in your long-term food storage pantry:

  • Date of packaging
  • Quantity of contents

You can write right on the bucket with a Sharpie marker or use a label or duct tape. Once done, these buckets are ready to store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Once opened, there is no need to replace the oxygen absorbers or reseal the Mylar bag as long as you plan on eating the food within several months. As long as they are kept away from moisture, sun, heat, and pests, dry bulk foods are shelf stable for many months on their own.

A Note About Killing Insects, Insect Eggs, and Larvae

Like it or not, there are live insects, insect eggs, and/or larvae in pretty much all bulk dry food goods. It’s just a fact of life. They can be microscopic and undetectable to the human eye at the time of storage. Over time, they can hatch, grow, reproduce in and feed on the food inside of a bulk packaged container. I take two measures with my bulk packed food to help prevent this from happening and destroying my investment of time, materials, and money.

Oxygen absorbers are the first step in preventing insect infestation. Sucking out available air as described and then reducing the oxygen within the sealed Mylar bag with oxygen absorbers creates an environment that is not easily compatible with life, even for insects.

I place each of my bulk packaged containers into a chest freezer for three days. In fact, I have a small chest freezer in my basement dedicated for this purpose that I purchased for $50. It fits three 5-gallon buckets perfectly. Neither step is 100 percent effective at killing all insects, eggs, or larvae, but when combined, they have worked very well for me over the years.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is also an option to kill insects in food storage. Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from ground fossilized remains of a plankton called diatoms. This powder has been used for a very long time to deter, control, and kill insects. The sharp edges of these ground remains cut through the insect’s exoskeleton and cause it to dry out and die. It does not work on insect eggs and only works on insects with an exoskeleton. According to a Utah-based supplier of DE, 2 teaspoons of DE should be used for every pound of stored food. The powder should be mixed directly with the dry food at the time of storage. 

Conclusion

I consider bulk dry goods to be a great solution for “fast action food storage” on a budget. Bulk dry goods don’t have the variety or flavor of freeze-dried food products, but they don’t have the price tag either. If you’re looking for a set-it-and-forget it option to long-term food storage, this is it. In just one trip to a buyer’s club like Sam’s or Costco, you can purchase enough food to feed your family for months without breaking the bank. Don’t forget spices and flavorings because you’ll need them!

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN.

__________________________________

Creek Stewart is the author of The Disaster-Ready Home which shares practical, affordable, and achievable disaster preparedness projects for the average household. Learn more about Creek at https://www.creekstewart.com.

The post Survival Food on a Budget: How to Repackage Bulk Dry Goods for Long-Term Storage appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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SkipTheDishes fans go most often for garlic naan and butter chicken across Canada but prefer chicken sandwiches in B.C.

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The company delivered some startling statistics from its database of orders over the past year.

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emerymat
29 days ago
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Vancouver, BC, Canada
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