Our site is ad-supported and this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you complete a purchase using one of our links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more about our editorial and advertising policies.
If you’re trying to save money on groceries, it helps to know what food has the longest shelf life. This way, you can stock up on these staples in bulk and trust that they’ll last a long time!
What is shelf life?
Shelf life is the length of time that an item remains fit for consumption. Over time, some foods will become rancid and dangerous to eat. Others may lose their nutritional value but remain edible.
Pay attention to how the food is stored.
Foods that are improperly stored will not last as long as properly stored foods. It is very important to make sure that the foods you purchase are stored correctly, especially if you are purchasing the items in bulk.
In most cases, airtight storage is preferred. You can store the food in sealable food storage, like Mylar bags, with an oxygen absorber.
The food should be kept in an area with cool temperatures that isn’t freezing. Moisture, more than anything, is a danger.
These foods have the longest shelf life.
There are several foods with a ridiculously-long shelf life. Some of these foods can last for centuries and still be edible!
Honey is amazing. Archaeologists in Egypt discovered a container of 3,000 year old honey that was still edible and usable. Honey also has great nutrient value.
Salt can be stored indefinitely, as long as it doesn’t fall victim to moisture. Keep it dry, and you can keep it almost forever.
Sugar, like salt, lasts for a very long time as long as it doesn’t become contaminated with moisture. Keep it sealed and dry, and it can be stored for a very long time.
White rice can last up to 20 years, if stored correctly. It is very filling and can be used in many different ways.
Dried beans can be safely stored for 30 years, as long as they are kept dry and contaminant-free.
Rolled oats can be saved for up to 30 years. Again, moisture is the enemy.
Dried pasta can be kept for up to 30 years, as long as they are kept dry and stored properly.
Dried potato flakes also have a ridiculously long shelf-life. When stored properly, they can be kept for up to 30 years.
Dehydrated Fruit and Vegetables
Most dehydrated fruit and vegetables that are stored in #10 cans can be safely kept for up to 20 years. Once opened, the shelf-life is greatly reduced.
Freeze Dried Food Storage
Food storage (food with the longest shelf life) is becoming more common. I’ve spotted some #10 cans of various things in Walmart stores all over the country. These items are generally expected to survive unopened for around 15 years.