15 Foods That Last Forever

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When you are on your food storage journey you may want to add these 15 foods to your stash that last forever. There is something about having some foods in your pantry that you never have to worry about going bad. We spend our hard-earned money to stock our home with the food we can eat in the future, right?

I remember when Mark and I first started our food storage project many years ago. One of the biggest mistakes was storing beans, sugar, and powdered milk in 50-pound barrels. Yes, large green barrels not buckets. We had a large “fruit room” in the basement where it was cool and dry. That was the good part, the bad part was the large barrels. They were too large to maneuver.

We eventually converted to five-gallon buckets with those lids you couldn’t remove unless you had a “tool” to lift them off. Then came Gamma Lids, thank goodness for those airtight and easy to open lids. They were a life changer for me. I color code my entire food and fuel storage with those colored lids.

15 Foods That Last Forever

1. Honey

If you can buy raw honey, it will last forever. Please remember that storing honey in 5-gallon buckets is not the best idea. You may have to chisel the honey to use after a few years. It will crystalize, which is fine if it’s stored in quart mason jars. You can set your jars outside in the heat of the summer and they will eventually go back to their liquid state. If you microwave the jars you will lose some critical nutrients in the honey.

My favorite place to buy raw natural honey is Cox’s Honey from Shelley, Idaho. Cox’s Honey

2. Sugar

Sugar is very inexpensive and it will store indefinitely if it does not get moisture in it. If you find a bucket of sugar that is rock hard, it has gotten moisture in it. Please keep it dry and stored in a cool place. I store my sugar in 5-gallon buckets with Gamma Lids. Gamma Lids

Please DO NOT use oxygen absorbers in your sugar to store it. Some people use Mylar bags for storing their sugar, I do not. I use 5-gallon buckets with Gamma Lids. I open the bags of sugar and store it in in clean white 5-gallon buckets.

Read More of My Articles  How To Organize Your Pantry On The Cheap

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar lasts forever as long as the unopened bottles are stored in a cool dry place. You can use apple cider vinegar for so many things. Check this out: Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits

4. Pure Vanilla Extract

A pure vanilla extract will last indefinitely if stored in a cool dry place. This is the one I buy: Pure Vanilla Extract

5. Maple Syrup

If you can buy REAL Maple Syrup in a glass jar it will last about 50 years. That’s a very long time. I’m not talking about Pancake Syrup. There are different grades of Maple Syrup.

Information on Andersons’ Maple Syrup

6. Salt

I grew up with salt with added iodine, it does not last as long. Good old plain salt will last indefinitely if stored in a cool dry place. Himalayan salt will last forever as well. Just purchase salt without added ingredients and you’ll be good to go.

7. Corn Starch

You can store your cornstarch in its original container and as long as it stays dry it will last forever in a cool dark place.

8. Wheat

Thank goodness wheat lasts forever because I store a LOT of it. I’m very picky where I buy my hard white wheat because I don’t want to ruin my wheat grinder with rocks or debris from certain brands of wheat. I only buy my wheat from Lehi Mills here in Utah. I’m sure there are other brands that have similar quality, but I’ve researched this brand and Lehi Mills cleans their wheat about nine times. If you decide to buy hard white wheat make sure it is thoroughly cleaned.

9. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce can last indefinitely if stored unopened in a cool dry place. It has a lot of sodium. I tend to buy smaller bottles because I like a fresh bottle stored in my refrigerator that has been opened for six months or less.

10. White Rice

White rice will store indefinitely if you store it in a cool dry place in an airtight container. You may remember brown rice has a higher fat content so you can only store it for six months. White rice can be used in so many recipes and it fills the belly and is a very inexpensive food storage item. The longer you store white rice the less sticky it becomes. I LOVE sticky rice.

Read More of My Articles  Why You Need Food Storage In Your Home

I learned something from a Chinese restaurant. The owner told me when he opens a new bag of white rice he mixes some of the old white rice into the storage container to make sure the old rice will still be “sticky.” Is it an old wives tale? I don’t know, but I mix some of my old rice with my new rice, just in case.

11. White Distilled Vinegar

Its acidic nature makes vinegar self-preserving. You can use it for salad dressings, canning, and so much more. Please store your bottles in a cool dark place. They will store forever if unopened.

12. Corn Syrup

I quote Karo Syrup, “Karo syrup is safe to eat for an indefinite period of time regardless of whether it has been opened. However, for best results, we recommend using before the “Best by” date stamped on the container. Bottles may be refrigerated after opening, however, the syrup may be thicker and slower to pour.”

13. Hard Liquor

I don’t drink alcohol, but I did go to the liquor store in town and ask how long the different bottles would last. (These would be great for bartering after a severe disaster.) I was told that vodka, rum, gin, whiskey, and tequila last forever. They mentioned I should store them upright in a cool dark location.

14. Dry Beans

Beans will last forever, and I mean forever. One thing to keep in mind, the older the bean, the more water and fuel will be needed to cook them. A pressure cooker is great for cooking old beans. You can also soak the beans overnight, drain and cover the beans again with fresh water and cook them until tender. You can pressure can the beans as well.

15. Instant Coffee

This is a really great food storage item because it lasts over 20 years, if not longer, if the containers are unopened. It’s basically dehydrated coffee. It makes for a great bartering item as well.

Final Word

This is a shortlist, but at least you get the drift that there are 15 foods that last forever. Please be prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

Survival Food Storage

Copyright Picture:

AdobeStock_124769665 by Karandaev

16 thoughts on “15 Foods That Last Forever

  • August 28, 2018 at 7:51 am

    My experience with maple syrup is that it doesn’t last forever. If I don’t keep it in the refrigerator it will get mold on it. Any suggestions? Different brand? The rest of your list I totally agree with though. I bought black beans from the BIshop’s Storehouse (I forget the current name) and they turned out to be very bitter when cooked. I threw them away because they were inedible. I would love to know why they were this way. Do you have any ideas? Thanks.

    • August 28, 2018 at 9:36 am

      Hi JoEllen, I did the research on Maple Syrup and it said it had to be in a glass jar. Was yours in a glass jar? Just asking, I would love to know. I read where not all Maple Syrup is the same. I’m thinking it’s like raw honey compared to some honey you can buy in the store. I’m puzzled over the black beans and concerned as well. I’m going to contact some bean companies to see why they would be bitter. Let’s see if any readers have had issues as well. Great comment, Linda

      • September 20, 2018 at 5:46 am

        One thing I know for sure is that wheat and such may last forever but the nutrition does not. Neither does the flavor. If it is not constantly rotated then you have something to fill the belly but not nourish the body or tastes great adding stress in an already stressful situation. I believe in emergency preparedness but feel self-sufficiency is far more important. It is the thing that can’t be taken away. My emphasis has been on learning to produce all we can and take care of ourselves not just try to buy security for a short time until someone else can take care of us once more.

        • September 20, 2018 at 7:27 am

          Hi Holly, you are so right about being self-sufficient. You get it, I love it! We need to learn how to produce our own food and take care of ourselves. I wish more people understood the need to take care of themselves. I don’t buy wheat for 30 years. I buy enough for three years and rotate what I have. I make bread so having wheat stored is critical for me. Keep doing what you’re doing, you see the big picture. Good job, Linda

    • August 29, 2018 at 9:49 am

      Maple syrup will grow mold after awhile, in my experience. Simple to solve, remove the mold. I thoroughly clean everywhere the mold was to remove all spores. The syrup can be reheated in a pan on your stove, then poured when cool into a clean glass bottle. Once my syrup is open, I store it in the fridge. I’ve stored it there for years. You can also buy it from places like T.J.Maxx and Home Goods, usually in glass bottles. I used to buy it by the gallon from a great place in Vermont. Just check your syrup from time to time, or, eat it more often 🙂

  • August 28, 2018 at 9:23 am

    I now live in a rural area and get some really good ideas from my new friends. When honey crystalizes and is stored in pint/quart jars, place it on a electric candle warmer and it will liquify in less than 24 hours with no loss of nutrients.

    • August 28, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Hi Lynn, oh my gosh I have got to try this!! I love new ideas! Thank you so much!! Linda

  • August 28, 2018 at 11:51 am

    No my maple syrup is in a tan color plastic jug. I either buy it at Costco or Trader Joe’s depending on which is cheaper. So if I decant it into a glass jar it should keep?

    • August 28, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      Hi JoEllen, no the bottle of maple syrup is open so it’s now been compromised so to speak. Once the seal is broken it needs to be used. The next bottles I order will be in glass jars. The company that looks good to me is this one: https://andersonsmaplesyrup.com/. You may want to check out this group. There may be others but this one is family owned and has been open since 1928. Linda
      P.S. They have a list of stores: https://andersonsmaplesyrup.com/store-locator/

  • August 28, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    When I was married in 1983, one of my husband’s friends gave us a wedding gift of 2 1/2 gallon jars of crystallized honey. One of the things that he told me was that if honey did not crystallize, it was not pure honey. I purchased some honey from the grocery store shortly after getting married and did not use it. (it was an experiment!) 10 years later, it was still liquid and had never crystallized. SO, I did a bit of research about that as I thought pure honey would crystallize but honey with additives would not. What I found out was somewhat conflicting at best.

    One place said that if the honey was heated (I thought pasteurized) that it would not crystallize. Another said that the higher amount of water in the honey would keep it liquid vs low amount would crystallize. A third place said that it depended on the time of year that the honey was harvested, i.e., early harvest (spring) did not crystallize as fast as later harvest (fall). A fourth place said that it depended on the amount of glucose in the honey – low glucose slower to crystallize and higher glucose faster to crystallize.

    All of the research indicated that honey, no matter if it crystallized or not was still “good”.
    One of the things that I do if I purchase a large container of raw, liquid honey is to put the honey in smaller containers (mason jars – I like pints or 1/2 pints). Just make sure that your jars and lids are sterilized. This way, when the honey crystallizes, I only have to “melt” a small amount and not a large 1 gallon jar!

    One of the things I don’t care for with the Long Term storage of sugar that I have gotten: all of the cans have oxygen absorbers and the sugar is rock hard! I have one of those kitchen tools that you use to break up ground beef or sausage when browning it. It works great to break up the sugar lumps!

    Linda ~ I think I will get some 2 1/2 gallon buckets to store my future sugar in. That seems like the right size for me and the limited storage I have. Most of my storage is in #10 or pantry cans or mason jars!!

    • August 28, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      Oh, Leanne, I’m sorry you got sugar with oxygen absorbers. Sugar and salt should never have oxygen absorbers. Darn!! There was a church organization in Salt Lake City, Ut that had people “dry canning” food incorrectly. Yes, that happened to me ONCE. I wasted $1200.00 because the oxygen absorbers were the wrong size and therefore useless. A costly mistake you only make once. I had to throw out ALL of it. It was all rancid. I have all sorts of storage buckets, my favorite size for my pantry is this 2-gallon bucket (I add Gamma Lids designed for this 2-gallon size). https://pleasanthillgrain.com/two-2-gallon-buckets I buy my honey from Cox’s honey through the mail from Shelley, ID. I would trust what they say. Linda

  • August 28, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Linda! Thanks for the great info as always! I’m excited to add more of these 15 food items that never go bad to my stash. And really like the idea of the 2 gallon buckets.

    I’ve been meaning to email you about a great find. You have talked numerous times about the Blue Can Water and I’ve really wanted to add that to my stash as well but the price was always holding me back. Well I found a company Brownells.com which is actually more of a hunting/firearms website but they have a section for emergency and survival…..which makes sense if you’re going out in the woods to hunt. Anyhow they sale a 24 pack for 29.99. And if you have patience they have sales every few weeks that can be anywhere from 10-20% off depending on how much you buy and even Free shipping! I got my stash and even had 2 boxes mailed to my parents and my brothers family for emergencies. Hoping this info can help others to add to their stash especially if the price tag on Amazon scared them away because I know I was.

    Thank you so much for all you do. I’m feeling more prepared, although I still have a long way to go.

    • August 29, 2018 at 4:44 am

      Hi, Kimmy, OH MY GOSH!!! I just bought four cases of BlueCan water!! This is the cheapest place I have ever seen it. I want to share this on Facebook. I signed up for the emails too! I got $10.00 off with submitting my email and free shipping!! This is an awesome find!!!!! Thank you so much! Linda

  • August 29, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    What is the temperature range you recommend when you say to keep foods in a “cool” and dry location? My basement ranges in temperature between 55 deg in the winter to 68 in the summer.

    • August 30, 2018 at 6:12 am

      Hi Arthur, you have the perfect temperature. I have a one level home in the desert and it will never be that cool. Most commercial food storage companies recommend a temperature of 65 degrees. Because I cannot keep the temperature of my home that low my food storage will have a shorter shelf-life. You are lucky to have a basement with temps that low. Love it! Linda


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