Preppers Guide to Basic Long Term Food Storage

What Foods Have a Long Shelf Life?

Thankfully, there are some foods that by their very nature, have a surprisingly long shelf life when they are packaged properly. All most all of the following foods are available at your local grocery store and are incredibly affordable for those wanting to get started in being self-sufficient.

Be sure to check out or articles on properly storing foods to increase the shelf life of your investment.

List of Food for Long Term Storage

Honey

Emergency Essentials

Honey can last virtually forever. While excavating the Egyptian pyramids, archaeologists found containers of honey in an ancient tomb. The honey was dated back to approximately 3,000 years and it’s still perfectly edible. You can bet that in a long term SHTF situation, you will be glad you had plenty of honey as a deviation from the normal disaster fair.

Salt

Salt is a preservative in and of itself. There is no special preparation that is needed to store salt. That being said, it is best if salt is stored in a cool, dry area and stored in something that is impenetrable to pests such as mice and insects.

Sugar

Sugar, like salt, is a preservative in and of itself. There is no special preparation that is needed to store sugar. But again, sugar should be stored in a cool, dry area and stored in something that is impenetrable to pests such as mice and insects.

White Rice

Although white rice isn’t the tastiest food on the planet, it is a great way to make simple meals stretch a little further. White rice is the preppers choice over brown rice because the outer coating of brown rice contains fats that may go rancid in long-term storage.

Beans and Lentils

Beans and lentils are a great option for a source of protein. Mixed with your stored white rice, you have the perfect meal. Like white rice, beans are also extremely versatile and can be added to different dishes to bulk them up. Beans and lentils are also very affordable and store very well in a long-term situation.

Pasta

Pasta is another great dry good to add to your long term storage (LTS). Pasta is mostly carbohydrates but can, like beans and rice, be added to just about anything to add flavor and nutrition.

Oats

As an affordable breakfast choice, oats may take the prize. Although, oats on their own are fairly boring, they can really make a great tasting meal with a little added honey. You can also add other ingredients such as dried fruit and powdered milk to enhance the dish. I will cover more advanced preps and more LTS foods in another article.

Instant Coffee

Who doesn’t love a hot cup of coffee to start their day? You may ask, why instant coffee? Well, simply, it stores better long term. Instant coffee is dehydrated coffee that can last almost indefinably. Regular coffee grounds tend to lose flavor and become stale in LTS.

Additionally, you could store coffee beans in their green state and roast them as needed. You will need a few more prepper tools to get this done such as some way to roast the beans and something to grind the beans into usable coffee.

Here is a general guide to how long food will store when packaged correctly:

Food Item Time
Dried Beans and Lentils 20-30 years
Oats 20-30 years
Pasta 20-30 years
Potato Flakes 20-30 years
Dehydrated Fruit and Veggies 20-30 years