#10 Cans and 5 Gallon Buckets: How Much Can They Hold?

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Don’t you hate it when you buy your foods in bulk along with some buckets and then end up with one bucket too few when you repackage it all?

Or how about when you get your food storage calculator all filled out and it says to buy 600 pounds of wheat and you have NO IDEA how many buckets or cans that equates to?

We HAVE come up with a handy chart for you that includes the most common items recommended for long term food storage and how many pounds you can store in both #10 cans and 5 gallon buckets. Please note these are estimates depending on how you are packaging (i.e. using mylar bags or not)

Food Item #10 Can 5 Gallon Bucket
Wheat 5 pounds 37 pounds
White Flour 4.5 pounds 33 pounds
Cornmeal 4.3 pounds 33 pounds
Popcorn 5 pounds 37 pounds
Rolled Oats 2.5 pounds 20 pounds
White Rice 5.3 pounds 36 pounds
Spaghetti N/A 30 pounds
Macaroni 3.1 pounds 21 pounds
Dried Beans 5.6 pounds 35 pounds
Lima Beans 5.4 pounds 35 pounds
Soy Beans 5 pounds 33 pounds
Split Peas 5 pounds 33 pounds
Lentils 5.5 pounds 35 pounds
White Sugar 5.7 pounds 35 pounds
Brown Sugar 4.42 pounds 33 pounds
Powdered Milk 3 pounds 29 pounds
Powdered Eggs 2.6 pounds 20 pounds

#10 can data comes from ShelfReliance.com and is what THEIR #10 cans contain. Numbers could be slightly more or less elsewhere.

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  • Beth Marble

    None provide full services anymore. And they no longer sell the cans or the bulk food items except wheat.

  • Jenny

    Where can I purchase empty #10 cans and lids?

    • Paint stores are a good source for them!

      • Jenny

        No not paint stores – the buckets and cans need to be food grade.

    • Mary And Bill

      Where do you live? Our lds cannery sells them =) Mesa Arizona

      • Beth Marble

        Not any more. They stopped selling all bulk items except hard red wheat and hard white wheat and no longer carry the cans, lids, or equipment for our use. They only sell precanned dry foods.

    • Shinar Stephens

      Local bakery’s at stores usually get butter and frosting and 5 gallon bucket my local grocery store sells them to me for one dollar each

  • Nicole Banaszak

    How can I find out how many #10 cans of something (like corn or green beans, etc.), I would need for 1 year for a family of 8?

    • I usually calculate it myself. So if you want to have 1 serving of corn per day per person you would need 8 servings. If a can has 48 servings then you could eat corn for 6 days with one can. So for a year supply of one serving of corn a day you would need about 61 cans of corn.

      I have calculated mine based on just general number of servings of fruits and vegetables per day and then just get a mix of cans to meet those needs.
      Hope that helps a bit!

  • Rene

    I noticed that there is no measurement for the spaghetti on #10 can. Why is that? One can buy the spaghetti from home storage centers,granted they are not long noodles but still marked as spaghetti.
    Also do you happen to have guide as to how many cans of powdered cheese etc to how many cans of macaroni for Mac and chees? Same with the spaghetti and tomato powder etc to make sauce for spaghetti?
    Hey Marie B! Have you tried a two gallon bucket with a gamma lid for your homemade laundry soap?

  • Marie B

    This isn’t for food, but for storage. I make me own laundry soap and I can not find a container to store it in. My recipe makes 24 cups of laundry soap, so a little more then 24 cups would be great! Anyone have any suggestions? TYVM!! 🙂

  • Alicia

    Thanks for taking the time to research and post this! This list is super helpful!

    • Shut down the tiger


  • Kathleen

    LDS canneries are no longer going to have empty #10 cans. Do you happen to know of someplace else to buy them?

    • Mary And Bill

      FYI…Our cannery (Arizona)
      still sell the empty #10 cans as of today 2016 and also the plastic lids for after opening them.

  • younghomesteader

    I ran across your website searching for lb. capacity for different dried goods in 5 gal. buckets. This site is really awesome, and i gavent even gone through the whole site yet. i just visited wheat montana, 100pk of ixygen absorbers are now priced at $27.60. It’s midnight and i need some sleep, stocking up at the local market case lot sale tomorrow.

  • I’ve been using your chart as I filled food storage buckets today and it’s great! However, I  only fit 25 lbs of dry red beans in the 5 gallon bucket WITHOUT a mylar bag. The other measurements seem correct  so I wonder is this is a typo?

    • Which item were you putting in the bucket? I’ll have to check my storage and see if I can figure out the discrepancy.

  • RedHeadMom

    this is awesome!  I was trying to figure out how my fruit that I can over the summer in quart bottles fits into “25-30 lbs or 8 cans” of dehydrated fruit for each person.  Understandably, dehydrated 10 cans of fruit are very different from canned fruit in glass quart jars, but it still is part of my food storage, and I can’t figure out how to calculate that. Any great info on that conversion chart?  Thanks!

    • I am not super scientific with my home canned foods. I estimate that I want to have 1 quart of fruit every few days for my family and then I can up the appropriate amount. I usually eat out of that store, so one of these years I need to can DOUBLE so that I can eat from one amount, then can a normal amount the next year and store that while I eat through the previous year’s stock. Anyway, hope that helps a little?

      • RedHeadMom

        Yes, this helps. thanks so much!

  • Perfectlessons

    I found your post and yelled out WOMAN I LOVE YOU! I’ve been looking each item up for just this type of comparison. I also have 3 1/2 gallon buckets, but I can calculate it. AWESOME! THANK YOU!

  • Corby Wagner

    I purchased your binder last month but cant seem to find this update.  What section is it in?  Thanks!!

    • It’s in the October 2011 update after all the 7 day challenge pages.

      • Wagnfun

        ok I think I”m lost. I originally ment where in the binder was that information.  I purchased the binder January 2012.  Is there a seperate place I have to go to print up all the updates you’ve had or are they automatically added to the binder as you go?  If I have to find them seperately, where on your website do I do that?  Thanks!

        • The past updates should have been sent to you in an email after you made your purchase. We don’t add them to the main file because we like people to be able to choose which ones they want to include or not. Otherwise the main file would bet getting way too huge! Email us at info@foodstoragemadeeasy.net if you did not get the list of udpates and we can help you get them. Thanks!

  • Lisa

    Just found Insta-Fire in little single use packets at the Honeyville store in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca on Saturday. They are now in our 72 hr. kits. Funny, after learning about it on your blog, we found it and both hubby and I were like…. SCORE! California stores do not carry food storage items like in Utah and other places. We really have to track them down. Again, thanks to your blog, we found Honeyville which is about 80-90 miles from us. But totally worth the trip!

  • ogdenmom

    I hope people realize that these are estimates. I can only fit about 15 pounds of oats and 28 pounds of flour in a 5 gallon bucket (and I tried really, really hard to fit more). It’s a good chart to do ballpark estimates, though, so thank you.

  • Cynthia

    I’ve been looking online for a list of what is possible to dry-pack in the #10 cans. Of course the list from the cannery is a good place to start, but are there other things that can be canned for longer storage? For example, is it possible to can brown rice?

    • Jennifer W.


      You can can pretty much anything that has 10% moisture content or lower.

    • kissyfur

      brown rice has a high oil content so will go rancid pretty fast. actually should be stored in the freezer.

  • Blt205

    Just so you know most companies that sell prepacked buckets of wheat pack them in 6 gallon buckets that hold 45lbs

  • Mynina9

    Where is the best place to buy oxygen absorbers ? I am new to long term food storage and also an avid gardener. As such would like to store the produce I grow and dehydrate myself.

    • Jennifer W.

      The LDS canneries sell them for $0.10 a piece. Most of the emergency preparedness stores sell them. Wheat Montana sells them for about $22 for a pack of 100.

      LDS cannery is probably the cheapest place to get them.

  • Lgm1229

    I had this question a few years ago. I called Emergency Essentials and they gave me the information I needed.

  • Once I have put the dry stuff in the 5 gal. bucket, how do I keep it fresh for long term. Add oxygen packs? how many? or something else?

    • Jennifer W.

      You can add oxygen packs…probably about 3 or 4 of the size that the LDS cannery sells, fewer if they’re larger. You could add Diatomacious earth. You could nitrogen pack it with dry ice (you’d have to look that one up).

  • Keke_d_83

    So, if the totals depend on whether one is using mylar bags or not, then does this chart account for mylar bag use, or just what fits in the bucket itself? I have seen a chart that said 29.17 lbs fits in a 5 gallon bucket for comparison.

  • Andrea

    Thank you for this resource. I think my most frustrating aspect of food storage calculation is when they tell us to gather so many pounds of PB and shortening and oil. Are these liquid ounces or ounces by weight?

    Also, I’ve looked at year supplies from various companies and they all seem to have many fewer pounds of the bare basics than what your food storage calculator recommends, lots of fluff like dried fruit and tvp, and they’re cheaper by about $2,000. Are there benefits to acquiring either sort of year’s supply? I know I would rotate the food no matter what I end up getting because there’s no way I’m going to drop that kind of dough and not use the stuff.

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