If you bake much, you probably go through a fair bit of flour in a year.
Large food-safe buckets with lids that seal tightly are a good way to store larger amounts of flour. The lid should be airtight, not just firmly closed. Otherwise, air, moisture and pests can all get into your flour.
For smaller quantities, heavy duty food containers or glass jars work well. Again, a tight seal is important. If reusing another container, make sure there’s no odour in the plastic that could transfer to your flour.
If you have to store your flour in bags, store it in a cupboard without any strong smells that could transfer to it, and away from any possible pests. Avoid storing flour bags on concrete floors in the basement, as the moisture can seep out of the floor and into the bag.
Flour only stays fresh for a limited amount of time, so don’t buy more than you’ll use. White all-purpose flour can last for around 8-12 months in the pantry if stored correctly, while whole-wheat flour will spoil much more quickly – usually within 3 months in the pantry. Whole-wheat flour or flour with whole grains can be stored for a longer time, tightly wrapped in the freezer.
If you only use a little bit of flour for adding to sauces, etc., buy a small amount – it’s easier to store in the cupboard, and there’s a better chance you’ll use it up before it goes stale. For extra convenience, some flour manufacturers now sell smaller bags with zip-top seals.