Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Barter Bottles

Normally I just throw our 2 liter bottles and 20 ounce Gatorade bottles into the recycle bin so we can get a little bit of our taxed money back.  We rarely have 2 liter bottles because soda is a treat (although if I had my way I'd probably drink a 2 liter bottle each day) but we have lots of Gatorade bottles.  I pretty much get an unlimited supply of that.  I have a good stash of 5 gallon buckets so I haven't really thought about using the bottles for food storage.  But this morning, as I was getting ready to pitch the bottles into the recycle bag in the yard I changed my mind.

The bottles could be filled with beans and rice.  The wider mouthed Gatorade bottles may be able to hold some noodles as well.  They'd all be able to hold spices and seasonings.  Salt would work well in these.  The plastic bottles are lighter in weight than canning jars, which I use to hold a lot of dry goods in the trailer.  They do have a drawback though.  Mice can chew on them and get into them so if you have a bad mouse problem this is something you have to watch out for.  If you live in earthquake country storing in these bottles rather than jars could mean the difference between having and not having any food!  If the plastic bottles fall on the ground they won't break.  Don't use old milk containers.  Not only can't you usually get them clean enough to get the milk smell out, those bottles don't hold up well.  They are not made the same and will quickly start to decompose and split apart.  Then you'd just have a big mess.

If the SHTF and someone shows up wanting to work for food what can I do?  I can offer up some food stored in these bottles.  I figure you can probably get about a pound of beans or rice in a 20 ounce Gatorade bottle.  Loading someone down with several bottles will seem like a goldmine to someone who doesn't have food.  You can vary what you put into the bottles.  I could give them five bottles of food: pinto beans, rice, black beans, navy beans, and salt. Or maybe wheat, powdered milk, sugar, etc.  The list can go on and on and on. 

For my own use?  I'm going to fill the trailer with these and take out the glass jars.  That will give me more jars to use for canning! 


  1. Excellent idea...super great for bartering!

  2. What a great idea for those wide mouthed bottles. Being able to give away food in a plastic container rather than in a good canning jar is a valuable idea.

  3. I've used the 2 liter and 3 liter bottles for holding rice. They are easy to store when they lay on their side. It's easier to use them than to deal with big buckets that weigh too much. Using the smaller bottles with wide lids is a realy good idea.

  4. Any bottle with a sealing lid is great for this. I use the big Rolaids bottles as they are tough plastic.

    They are also great for torpedo stashes of food that is buried. Taking a piece of PVC or ABS 6" pipe with two caps and sealing food in these containers inside and burying it gives you a second chance if your main storage burns down post collapse. Never put all your eggs in one basket.

    I also love to make beer. I use the liter pop bottles washed in water and bleach to sterilize them. I then put my wort in them with a little water and yeast. This gives me a beer in about twelve days. If for some reason I get too much yeast the bottle explodes and it is only plastic. Glass grenades into glass shrapnel. (Don't ask me how I know, lets just say I was afraid to go into my storage shed for two weeks one time !! :# )

    The larger soda bottles can have strings tied to them as a makeshift disposable water carrying device.

    Plastic bottles truly are the survivalist's best storage device........

    Great Post, What If !!

    G.I. JIM