Food storage is a hot topic. It can be hard to know what food to get if you’re just getting started or if you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford too much extra. It can seem daunting.
When storing food, you should always consider the shelf life of an item. Some foods you can either put in mylar bags or vacuum seal it to make it last longer.
There are some food items that you can, and should, store in your home that never go bad, or they last for a very long time and are perfect for some long-term food storage.
10 foods to store with a long shelf life.
1. Hard Wheat Berries
Hard wheat can last forever!! Ok maybe not forever but 30+ years. That’s a long time. You will want to get yourself a wheat grinder (preferably one that doesn’t need electricity) so you can make your own flour.
Wheat berries are rich in fiber, and they are excellent for your heart health. You can prepare the wheat berries by soaking them in water or you can grind them into flour.
2. Dry Beans
Beans are an excellent item to store. Dry beans can last anywhere from 5 – 30+ years! The best way to store them is either in food grade buckets with oxygen absorbers, mason jars (vacuum sealed) or mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. You can store them in your freezer for 30+ years as well, but sometimes freezer storage is prime real estate, so I always put them in mylar bags or mason jars.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a good replacement for cooking oil. It can last 2 years. However, if it’s unrefined it can last up to 5 years.
Now, that’s what is on the containers. However, I’ve read that coconut oil can last for years and years as long as it is stored in optimal conditions. Dark, cool place that is kept dry.
Coconut oil lasts longer on the shelf than regular vegetable oil and it’s supposed to be healthier for you as well.
Not only salt awesome in cooking, but you can also use to cure meats, clean and even healing properties.
You can store a variety of salts from Himalayan, sea salt, iodized sea salt.
Imagine food without salt? It’s a must for every house.
5. Canned fruit and vegetables
These are convenient to have on hand for many reasons.
Canned food should last at least 2 years past expiration date as long as there isn’t any rust, dents or swelling.
6. Dry herbs and spices
Dried herbs and spices don’t necessarily go bad, the flavor can lose intensity. If you use a spice that’s been on the shelf for a bit, you may just want to add a bit more than you normally would. But the chances of it going bad are slim.
Having spices on hand will help food not be bland and will help with the potential of
7. White Rice
This is one of the major staples according to most preppers. It’s full of carbs and can fill tummies. If you combine it with beans, it becomes a complete protein, meaning it’s a natural meat substitute if there is no meat to be had.
It’s cheap and can go a long way.
I like to vacuum seal my rice in mason jars. I also have some in some mylar bags. Many other people have 5-gallon buckets of white rice or #10 cans of white rice.
Rice can store for about 4-5 years in the original container. If you vacuum seal, it or put it in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers it will last 30+ years.
8. Natural sweeteners
This can be honey, natural maple syrup or molasses. They all can basically last forever. If they crystalize, then just run the jar under warm water.
These are all better for you than white sugar, not to mention delicious.
Also, did you know that you can make brown sugar using molasses and white sugar.
9. Baking soda
There are so many uses for baking soda. You can clean, bake, use for toothpaste etc. It may clump together but just break it apart and it’s good to go. This is something that you want on your shelves.
If you decide to put it in a mylar bag or mason jars, there is no need to vacuum seal it or use oxygen absorbers. Those can actually make the baking soda become rock hard.
This item is one of my favorites. I use it to help preserve food, in my laundry, in my dishwasher and for cleaning. It’s something that I think can actually last forever.
Don’t just stock up on white distilled vinegar, but also get some apple cider vinegar. That can be used for your hair, skin as well as in food.
I like to have multiple types of vinegar in my home but these two are probably the two that most people would use the most.