Stocking the Pantry

(originally posted @ My Day Job)

I am thinking about the benefits of buying certain items in bulk.  I already enjoy stocking up on things when I find a good sale/coupon combination.  But now I seriously find myself considering buying larger quantities of some staples to keep on hand.  Items such as rice and flour.  Maybe some dried beans.  Things which I plan to start using on a regular basis. 

As is often the case, I get a brainstorm and think it will be simple to undertake.  And instead discover how much research and planning actually has to go int to it.  I started to consider this plan, only to be faced with the stark realization of my own ignorance.  For starters - are these types of things truly "non-perishable"?  And if not, how long is the average shelf life of these sort of pantry staples? 

I also have to carefully weigh the potential benefit with the possible risk of protecting these items from those annoying tiny little ants which occasionally like to invade my home during the summer months.  Which means a well planned out line of defense in my storage of these bulk purchased delights.

So, I present the questions to you: 

Do you purchase any staple items in bulk form? 
If so, what?
How do you store them to best protect them from creepy crawlies and the elements?

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