I include links to products I use and trust in my posts – I want people to know about the good stuff and the links help me cover the costs of producing content. But I’ve been asked about some of these books and tools often enough that I wanted to give them their own page on the site to make it easier to get to the good stuff.

These are all affiliate links. The retailers give me a percentage of their revenue when someone makes a purchase uses any of these links, which helps me keep making content. So when you use or share these links, you’re helping me do my work here – thank you.

You’ll see that I’ve emphasized books on this list because I think it’s really important to surround yourself with as much information as possible. The books I’ve linked to here are the ones I use most but there are many others I also recommend. You can check out my entire store on Bookshop and see what else I suggest.

These are the best smaller containers for short to medium term food storage:

I use airtight canisters for all-purpose flour, bread flour, brown rice. Those are dry goods I use often but I only want a few weeks worth out at a time. Why? Because flour and brown rice start to turn rancid after a few months. The canisters help maximize their shelf-life while making it easy to get to them.

The canisters I’ve linked below are all very sturdy and airtight. They’re the same ones I use in my food storage, so I’m recommending them from extensive personal experience.

Best food storage container for up to 8 pounds

Use airtight canisters like these to store larger amounts of flour, rice, beans, grains, sugar, starch, etc:

These containers seal well, open easily and stack neatly.

Each canister measures 7″W (at widest point) by 11″ T and holds 220 ounces (8 pounds or so of dry food)

The best storage containers for 5 to 7 pounds

One of these will hold a five pound bag of flour or sugar easily. They hold about 7 pounds of beans or rice very nicely.

Each canister measures 7″W and 8.5″ T. The canister can hold 176 ounces or a little over 4 quarts (1 gallon).

The best food storage containers for three pounds or less

These small canisters are perfect for storing 2-3 pounds of dry food, like rice or beans.

They’re 6″W by 6″T and hold just over 2 quarts.

I use these to store some of the varieties of beans we don’t eat as often, making it unnecessary to stockpile larger quantities.

The best food storage containers for pasta and noodles

I added these containers to my food storage because I was tired of trying to fit large or long noodles in other containers.

These are amazing. They hold 4-5 pounds of spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine and 2-3 pounds of chunkier pasta or noodles. Each container can hold about 2 boxes of standard sized lasagna noodles.

There’s no shortage of spaghetti containers but these are the only ones I’ve found that are horizontal and stacking.

I haven’t used them for other foods but I’m sure they’d be excellent for 3-4 pounds of most drygoods.


Essential homesteading and garden tools

Obviously there’s a LOT of ways to homestead, and that’s going to influence what you want or need. But on my little urban stead, these tools and supplies have been serious game changers. Note that these are bigger ticket items and that’s a deliberate choice – these are things to add to your stead gradually, as you solidify what your own homesteading vision and priorities are.

A paper shredder? For homesteading? Yep! Most of us end up with waste paper, junk mail and old but sensitive documents that all need to be disposed of. I use this shredder to turn all of that, plus paper packaging or packing materials, into tiny squares that break down fast in my compost bin or worm farm.

There are lots of food dehydrators out there. But the Excalibur is, well, the Excalibur of them all. I use mine all summer long to turn garden produce and herbs into shelf-stable bounty. But I also use it the rest of the year if I’ve got produce that’s going to go off before I eat it. You can also culture yogurt in it or use it to proof bread.

You don’t have to grow your own food in order to preserve it – and a good quality dehydrator is a great addition to your food preservation plan.

There’s plenty of food you can safely can without a pressure canner. But if you want to safely can meat, most vegetables and legumes, you need a pressure canner. I have a Presto 23 quart canner from the early 70’s and it’s still going like a champ. While pressure canners aren’t cheap, they’ll last a lifetime (or longer). Definitely worth the investment!

A good quality food mill makes it possible to process things like apples and tomatoes into fine, seedless, pulpless sauce. If you want to make things like ketchup, applesauce or velvet-smooth tomato sauce, you need a food mill.

I use mine all the time in the summer. You can read more about my experience of using this exact mill here.

Speaking of mills and investment purchases…being able to quickly and consistently grind whole grains into flour and meals opens up a whole new world of possibilities. No more storing sacks of factory flour and hoping they don’t go rancid or get infested. And no more overpaying for premium non-wheat flours. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s well-made and reliable, and it ups the flavor and nutrient content substantially.

If you have even a small outdoor space, you might want to consider composting. And this compact but very efficient bin makes it easy to do. Yes, you can certainly build a compost bin but if you don’t have the time or tools, this is a great option. I have a single bin and I’ll be adding a second this summer. It’s easy to put these together or connect them, and they hold up well.

My post on setting up a compost worm farm has more details and links, but here are a few of the essentials you’ll need to set up your worms.

Grab a pound or two of Uncle Jim’s red wigglers and they’ll turn your kitchen scraps and old paper into brown gold in no time.

You can use any plastic tote for your worm bin. Worms like it dark,so use an opaque tote if the bin will be in a bright area. Otherwise, clear plastic lets you see how the castings are coming along. See my post for how to set up your bin.

Ok, so you don’t NEED this. But if you have a little wiggle room in your budget, I highly recommend picking up a crosscut shredder. You can quickly and easily turn all your scrap paper (non-glossy, minimally dyed) into really nice bedding for your worms. Adding crosscut bedding was a big game changer for my worm bins – it stays light and fluffy but breaks down easily. And it’s useful for your outdoor compost pile, too.

Supplies for waterglassing eggs

This is the pickling lime I use to store my eggs. Dissolve 1 ounce lime per quart of water. WEAR GLOVES AND RESPIRATORY PROTECTION.

Use food grade plastic buckets or bins to store the eggs. Don’t overfill the buckets, they’re going to get heavy. You can fit 2-3 dozen eggs in a five gallon bucket.

The best books about homesteading

These are, in my opinion, the best books on cool things like raising chickens, keeping bees, growing your food and being self-reliant. I use these extensively in my own city homestead and as research sources for my articles.

The best canning books and books about food preservation

The All New Ball Book is my favorite canning book. In addition to providing sound instruction, it has really interesting recipes and it offers guidance on how to use the food you’ve canned in other recipes. I really like their ‘meals in a jar’ recipes, which include some tasty variations on canned vegetables and meats. Remember, canning isn’t just a way to preserve food – it’s also a great way to prepare food in advance.

If you only buy one canning book, that’s the one I recommend. But if you can add some of these others to your library, you won’t be sorry.

Printed canning planner

Want to make canning easier?

Grab your copy of my printable canning planner and have your best canning season yet!