What should you include in your food stockpile, be it for survival or for the winter? A very good question.
You want the food to be healthy and feed your family and you don’t know exactly what the emergency may be so you have to plan ahead. In a medium or long-term survival situation, you may not have running water, electricity, or a means to cook and prepare the food if you haven’t planned ahead.
In our area, we often get blizzards and are snowed in for a few days to occasionally a week or more.
Choosing Foods That Will Last
One important factor to consider is that you’re going to want to make sure that the foods that you select for your stockpile are foods that will last.
When properly stored, many may last as long as 20 years and still retain their nutritional value and taste. It’s also important to note that not all food that is labeled “Survival Food” will work for your particular situation.
Some foods will have an overabundance of such ingredients as corn syrup which has actually been banned in many countries. You also want to make sure that there isn’t too much sugar in your survival foods as this won’t be as full of nutrition (although it may enhance the flavor).
Keep in mind also that there are many “weeds” that are edible. The lowly dandelion is a prime example of an edible weed.
You can use the root to make tea, the greens for salads, and the flowers in a variety of healthy recipes. Take a look around you before winter hits and see what weeds you could be storing as well.
There are different types of foods that you can store in your stockpile. These include dehydrated foods, freeze-dried foods, powdered foods that are reconstituted with water or other liquids, canned fruits or vegetables, canned meats, dried foods such as beans or pasta, or rice, and condiments.
Most people choose to store a variety of foods and use all of the above in their stockpile.
If you’re looking for the PDF printable you can get it right here, by the way. You can also see the same table just below.
|Food||Shelf-Life (Unopened)||Ideal Storage Temperature||Where to Store|
|Apple cider vinegar||2 years||70 °F / 21 °C||Pantry|
|Applesauce||3 months||40 °F / 4 °C||Root cellar or fridge|
|Apples||2 – 4 months||32 °F / 0 °C||Fridge or root cellar|
|Avocadoes||4 – 5 months||0 °F / -18 °C||Freezer|
|Bay leaves (dried)||1 – 2 years||0 °F / -18 °C||Freezer|
|Beans (dried)||1 – 3 years||70 °F / 21 °C||Pantry|
|Bouillon cubes||1 – 2 years||32 °F / 0 °C||Fridge or root cellar|
|Biltong||2+ years||0 °F / -18 °C||Freezer|
|Blueberries||6 – 12 months||0 °F / -18 °C||Freezer|
|Broccoli||10 – 12 months||0 °F / -18 °C||Freezer|
|Carrots||6 months||40 °F / 4 °C||Root cellar|
|Canned Soup||3 years||60 °F / 5 °C||Pantry|
|Canned Tuna||3 – 5 years||60 °F / 15 °C||Pantry|
|Cocoa||3 years||66 °F / 18 °C||Pantry|
|Coconut Oil||2 – 3 years||66 °F / 18 °C||Cool, dark place, dark airtight container|
|Cereal||6 – 12 months||Room Temp.||Pantry|
|Chicken (canned)||3 years||60 °F / 15 °C||Pantry|
|Coffee beans||6 – 10 months||66 °F / 18 °C||Pantry|
|Cornmeal||Indefinite||0 °F / -18 °C||Freezer|
|Corn Syrup||Indefinite||Room Temp.||Pantry|
|Distilled Water||3 – 5 years||Low Temp.||In glass bottles|
|Dried Fruit||1+ years||50 °F / 10 °C||Cool, dark place, plastic bag inside metal can|
|Dry Salami (Uncut)||Indefinitely, according to USDA||40 °F / 4 °C||Fridge|
|Eggs (Powdered)||5 – 10 years||65 °F / 18 °C||Pantry, inside airtight containers|
|Flour||2 years||0 °F / -18 °C||Freezer, in freezer bags|
|Freeze-dried cheese||10+ years||70 °F / 21 °C||Pantry|
|Ghee||1 year||40 °F / 4 °C||Fridge, airtight container|
|Hard liquor (unopened)||10+ years||Room Temp.||Pantry|
|Hardtack||25 years||65 °F / 18 °C||Cool, dry dark place in Mylar bag with O2 absorber|
|Honey||Unlimited||Room Temp.||Airtight glass jar, cool dark location|
|Jerky||3- 5 years||50 °F / 10 °C||Vacuum-sealed, inside root cellar|
|Baking Powder||1 – 2 years||65 °F / 18 °C||Pantry, airtight container|
|Maple Syrup||1 year||40 °F / 4 °C||Glass jar, fridge|
|Nuts||3 years||0 °F / -18 °C||Freezer|
|Oatmeal||2 years||70 °F / 21 °C||Cool, dry, dark place in airtight container|
|Oily Fish (Canned)||2 – 5 years||70 °F / 21 °C (or lower)||Cool, dry, dark place|
|Dried Oranges||2 – 3 years||Cool, dry, dark place in airtight container|
|Parmesan Cheese||1 year||0 °F / -18 °C||Freezer|
|Pasta||1- 2 years||50 °F / 10 °C||Root cellar, or other cool, dry, dark place; airtight container|
|Peanut Butter (not open)||6 months – 2 years||50 °F / 10 °C||Root cellar or fridge|
|Pemmican||2 – 4 years||70 °F / 21 °C||Pantry|
|Pickles||2 years||Room Temp.||Pantry|
|Popcorn kernels||2 years||Pantry or other cool place (in sealed jar)|
|Potatoes (Cooked)||1 year||0 °F / -18 °C||Freezer|
|Powdered Drinks||6-12 months||Room temperature||Cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry|
|Powdered Milk||2-10 years||Room temperature||Cool, dry place|
|Protein Bars||6-12 months||Room temperature||Cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry|
|Ramen Noodles||1 – 5 years||Room temperature||Cool, dry place|
|Raisins||6 – 12 months||Room temperature||Cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry|
|Rice||2+ years||Room temperature||Cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry|
|Salt||Indefinite||Room temperature||Dry, covered container|
|Sauces||2-3 years||Room temperature||Cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry|
|Soy Sauce||3 years||Room temperature||Cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry|
|Spices and Herbs||6 months-2 years||Room temperature||Cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry|
|Sprouting seeds||3-7 days||60 °F (15 °C)||Rot cellar or cool pantry|
|Sugar||Indefinite||Room temperature||Airtight container|
|Tea||1+ years||60 °F – 80 °F (15 °C – 26 °C)||Cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry|
|Tomatoes||1 – 1.5 years||0 °F / -18 °C||Freezer|
|Vanilla Extract||Indefinite||Room temperature||Pantry|
|White Vinegar||Indefinite||Room temperature||Pantry|
|Whole Grains||1 – 15 years||65 °F / 18 °C||Pantry|
|Winter Squash||Up to 6 months||50 °F (10 °C)||Cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry|
|Yams||Up to 1 year||0 °F / -18 °C||Freezer|
The Best Foods to Stockpile
#1. Apple Cider Vinegar: Along with many health benefits, this is also very versatile and you can use it for a variety of purposes such as cleaning, or cooking. Make sure to get the organic version that has the “mother” intact for the most health benefits.
Store your ACV for up to two years in the pantry at around 70 °F (21 °C).
#2. Applesauce: You can use applesauce over your pancakes, waffles, alone as a dessert, as a side dish, as a replacement for oils in cooking, and more. It’s a delicious addition to any meal and has an excellent shelf life.
Applesauce will keep for up to three months, but in a cooler environment like a pantry or fridge.
#3. Apples: Yup – just good ol-fashioned apples! Apples store well in a cool dry location and can last for several months in a root cellar. They are nutritionally dense, offering lots of fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in a pinch.
Keep your apples in the fridge or root cellar for 1, 2, 3 or even 4 months depending on the variety.
#4. Avocadoes: You may not have known that you can keep avocadoes for long-term stockpiling, but you can. As long as you purchase these unripe, they will last for quite a while without going bad. You don’t need to refrigerate them, but you should store them in a cool, dry location.
The only way to keep these for longer than a few months is in the freezer, as the ripening process will be significantly reduced.
#5. Bay Leaves: Not only are bay leaves essential for making homemade soup, but they also are excellent bug deterrents in dry foods. All you need to do is place a few leaves directly into the bags, boxes, or containers of your dry foods, such as beans. You only need about two bay leaves per gallon.
This may surprise you but dried bay leaves actually sit best inside the freezer. This way they’ll last for at least one year, possibly two. Just toss them in a freezer bag or small Tupperware container (like I have) and you’re good to go.
#6. Beans: You can store beans dried or canned. They’re an ideal addition to any meal and add some protein in as well.
You can use them as filling, or as a side dish, and they also have plenty of fiber, carbohydrates, iron, and flavor to add to any meal. Most beans, such as pinto beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans, will last for up to ten years.
#7. Bouillon Cubes: Bouillon cubes come in cubes or as a liquid and even as powder. You can add this to soups, stews, and more for additional flavor.
They can be stored at room temperature or in the pantry if you plan on using them within a few months. If you want more shelf life, you’ll have to refrigerate them. Expect them to last at least a year if you do.
#8. Biltong: This is a kind of dried and cured meat that originated in South Africa. It’s quite similar to beef jerky, although, it’s much thicker than beef jerky.
It is soaked in vinegar that has spices and salt added in and then it’s cured and dried which gives it texture. Biltong is never smoked like jerky is.
You can store biltong in your pantry, fridge, or freezer, depending on the timeframe you intend to consume it. Expect it to last up to several months in the pantry, at least a year in the fridge, and several years in the freezer.
#9. Blueberries: Blueberries are full of nutrition and an excellent source of vitamin C as well as fiber. They also have tannins in them, as well as tons of antioxidants.
Blueberries are an ideal dried fruit that will last for as long as 2 years in the freezer. Don’t expect them to last too much in the fridge, though, a couple of weeks tops.
#10. Broccoli: One of the healthiest vegetables broccoli is full of Vitamin B, vitamin C, Vitamin E, calcium, folate, and potassium. It’s full of antioxidants and works well to help fight diseases.
Sadly, it doesn’t have a long shelf life however, it can be dehydrated and used as a powder or rehydrated with water for health benefits. You can also purchase freeze-dried broccoli.
#11. Carrots: Carrots are full of beta-carotene which is needed for keeping vision sharp. Carrots can be dehydrated or canned or you can leave them whole and place them in a root cellar. Canned carrots have a long shelf life of approximately 5 years. Dehydrated carrots can last for decades.
#12. Canned Soups: We keep a variety of canned soups and canned cream soups on hand. These make for a quick and easy meal and they can be added to other dishes to make a full meal that is hearty and healthy.
#13. Canned Tuna: Canned tuna is one of the best survival foods on the market. As a meat product, this can is full of nutrition and ideal for storing for survival food. It can last up to five years under the right conditions (keep cans in a cool dry location and leave them unopened).
It’s full of protein and has a lot of nutrients. Available in flaked or solid forms there are a few different varieties to choose from.
No survival food stockpile is ready unless there are several cans of tuna in the stockpile. You can also store other canned meats for an emergency situation.
#14. Cocoa: In addition to a hot mug of cocoa, you can also use it in baking, add it to dairy products and use it to flavor muffins and more. It will typically last for 3 years in the pantry. Ideal temperature should be at around 66 °F / 18 °C.
#15. Cereal: There are many types of cereal on the market today. Many people are stockpiling cereal however, it’s important to keep in mind that it does have a shelf life after which it can become stale.
Store it in its original packaging and seal it again in a plastic container with a lid for longer preservation. Keep it in a cool pantry or even room temperature for six months to a year.
#16. Chicken: Canned chicken is ideal for protein. It’s also a good source of niacin, selenium, Vitamin B6, and phosphorus. Canned chicken will last for several years and is an ideal resource for any survival pantry.
#17. Coconut Oil: Most oils only have a short shelf life, however, coconut oil has a long shelf life of at least 2 years and is an ideal addition to many foods.
You can use it for frying, cooking, baking, and as a skin cream if your skin is dry and itches. Full of plenty of nutrition, this is a great addition to your food pantry.
Coconut oil should be stored in a cool, dry place, preferably in a dark airtight container. Light and moisture aren’t its friends. Still, it will hold well at room temp but may start to liquify.
#18. Coffee: If you’re a coffee drinker, you are likely already storing away plenty of your favorite brand. Coffee will give you a boost and it is a very long shelf storage life. Coffee beans in airtight containers will give you a 6 – 12 months of shelf life (in a cool, dark place and an airtight container), of course, but be sure to also get a manual coffee grinder.
#19. Cornmeal: Cornmeal is an ideal substitute for flour. It can also be used to make homemade corn tortillas and it doesn’t require yeast to bake with it. It can be used to thicken foods and make them tastier, and the best part is: its shelf life is indefinite even when you store it at room temp. That’s right, there’s no need to freeze it.
#20. Cornstarch: Ideal to thicken soups, gravies, and stews, and it also makes foods fluffier as well as heartier. Cornstarch can also be used to wash windows, deodorize your shoes, soothe rashes (including diaper rash), repel insects, and more.
#21. Citrus: Citrus fruits may not last as long as other hard-rind fruits, but they can store for quite some time in a cool, dark location. You’ll get a good dose of vitamin C out of fresh citrus, but if you can’t keep them for that long, you might want to consider canned or frozen citrus, too.
#22. Corn Syrup: Used as a sugar substitute, corn syrup is banned in some countries however, many are still using it. It works well as a replacement syrup for pancakes and waffles, and for making candy and cookies.
#23. Distilled Water: Purified water is important in survival situations and also serves some medicinal purposes.
#24. Dried Fruit: Dried fruit of any kind is important to have on hand. Whether it’s apricots, cranberries, or other fruit, dried fruit will provide you with vital nutrients in the absence of fresh fruit.
Dried fruit should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place, at around 50F (or 10C) but don’t expect much more than a year in shelf life.
#25. Dry Salami: Dry salami can last for up to six weeks without refrigeration. Because it is salted and cured, it’s a great source of protein if you don’t have refrigeration systems.
Though we all know cut salami won’t last forever even in the fridge, the USDA does give it an unlimited shelf life if you refrigerate it.
#26. Eggs (Powdered): Yes, eggs, believe it or not, can be preserved for a long-term stockpile. Buy eggs when they are cheap or get them from the local farmer’s market (or your own chickens) and preserve them for later.
Although freeze-drying eggs will give you the longest shelf life, this isn’t something you can comfortably do at home. Instead, aim for powdered eggs and you should still get 5+ years of shelf life. be sure to store them in airtight containers.
#27. Flour: Whether you plan to make your own bread or you just want to have flour on hand for baking, flour is essential in your stockpile.
Bags of flour left in the pantry can usually be stored for 6 months to a year, but if you put it in the freezer, you should be able to get 2 years! use freezer bags and leave as little air in when you seal them.
If you can, pop the flour in the freezer for a week. This will kill any weevil eggs that sometimes can be found in bagged flour.
#28. Freeze-Dried Cheese: While it may not sound appetizing, a container of freeze-dried cheese is ideal to put over casseroles, spaghetti, and more. A can of this can last anywhere between 10 and 20 years. This isn’t something you can do at home, you can just get #10 cans that are sealed and have oxygen absorbers inside.
As with all freeze dried food, store it at at temperatures below 75 F / 24 C, like in a pantry or root cellar.
#29. Ghee: Ghee is very much like butter. When you boil butter and allow all of the moisture to dissipate you have ghee as a result. You can seal it up and keep it in a cool and dry area and store it for a very long time.
Keep it in the fridge and expect one year of shelf life.
In addition to the foods mentioned in this article, we also keep fresh spices and seasonings on hand. We grow a lot of our own herbs and dry them for future use.
We store these in small glass jars, and when those are full, we put the remainder in larger glass jars. They store indefinitely and add delicious flavor to all of our meals.
In addition to the ubiquitous salt (mentioned below), you should stockpile bouillon cubes, pepper, ketchup (should hold 6 – 12 months), mustard (1-2 years), and various dried herbs which you should keep in airtight glass jars.
#31. Hard Liquor: There are many uses for hard liquor on the homestead including sterilizing and disinfecting wounds and injuries. It can also ease physical pain.
Hard liquor doesn’t go bad even after it’s been opened. Many believe that it can also be used as “trade” with others in a survival situation.
#32. Hardtack: Made up of flour and water, this was carried by civil war soldiers. It will keep for decades. Although it is very bland, it forms a dry cracker that will help to make a person feel full and it can be used with other meals to extend the meal.
#33. Honey: Discovered in ancient Egyptian pyramids, honey can be preserved pretty much forever. It will crystallize and you just warm it up and stir it and it will be right back to an edible consistency.
It can add calories and sweetness to meals and it can be used in a variety of recipes. Try to get local honey whenever possible as it has many health benefits for survivalists. It can help to prevent allergies if you’re eating local varieties of honey.
Store it at room temperature to prevent crystallization over the medium term.
#34. Jerky: Whether it’s beef, buffalo, deer, or any other meat, jerky can give you a quick boost of protein and some energy.
Dry your own, it’s fun and easy and there are a variety of recipes out there. Store cool jerky in a glass jar with a lid and leave it in a cool dry location.
#35. Leavening Agents: If you plan on making your own bread, you are going to need to keep leavening agents on hand – think baking powder and other rising agents.
#36. Maple Syrup: Just as corn syrup and honey, maple syrup can be used in a variety of recipes including baking and waffles or pancakes.
#37. Nuts: Nuts will last a long time if you leave them in their original containers and store them in a cool dry place. Once opened store them in a glass canning jar with the lid on in a cool dark place.
Full of essential nutrients including Vitamin E, protein, magnesium, selenium, fatty acids, and fiber you’re sure to find a variety of uses for nuts.
Choose a variety of nuts or mixed nuts for the most benefits. Ideal as a snack, in recipes, or as a topping for cereals.
#38. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is full of nutritional benefits. It’s ideal for nursing mothers to help encourage more milk and it has a very long shelf life. You can use it in cookies, or as a filler in baked goods.
Oatmeal should last a couple of years under ideal conditions like a pantry, but do make sure you keep it in airtight containers.
#39. Oily Fish: Oily fish that has been canned will be a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Sardines are a popular
#40. Dried Oranges: Oranges are full of Vitamin C and they can help to prevent such diseases as scurvy.
Dried oranges are an ideal way to make your oranges last for as long as 2 years, maybe even three, and can be added to a variety of foods to enhance their nutritional value.
#41. Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese can last for up to six months in dry storage. It’s a great cheese to have on hand as it does not need to be refrigerated.
You can also use grapefruit, lemons, or limes if you’re not fond of oranges. You can also turn dehydrated oranges into a powdered form and make them into juice.
#42. Pasta: After cereal, this is the easiest grain product to stockpile. You can choose from spaghetti, noodles (of every variety) and you can find pasta that is wheat-based, corn-based, or other vegetable based. It stores forever and is a healthy addition to many meals.
#43. Peanut Butter: From no-bake cookies to the proverbial peanut butter sandwich, peanut butter has its place in any survival food stockpile.
Keep it in a cool, dry, dark place but do expect a variable shelf life depending on what preservatives it has. Expect it to last anywhere between 6 months to 2 years.
#44. Pemmican: Native Americans who had no refrigeration stored their meat by making it into pemmican. They would then store it in leather pouches that helped to keep it fresh.
It was ideal as a “fast food”, or when they were out hunting, in battle or otherwise in need of a healthy meal. It’s made from dried pounded meat that is mixed in with fat and other ingredients that they happened to have on hand including berries and spices.
#45. Pickles: Pickles can add some zing to any meal. They’re also ideal to add to sandwiches, canned tuna, and more. We keep a lot of pickles on hand and even eat them as snacks.
Pickles should last at least a year if not two in the pantry (so long as the jars remain intact).
#46. Popcorn kernels: Delicious popped up and eaten as a snack. Some say they store indefinitely while others give them a shelf life of a few years. in any case, you should keep them in a cool place such as a pantry or even in the freezer, and in airtight containers.
#47. Potatoes: Full of many great nutrients you’ll want to store these in a variety of ways. Store some in the root cellar, can them, store them dehydrated and you can even cook them up and freeze them as mashed potatoes.
Potatoes are a valuable source of protein and carbohydrates, and they have many essential vitamins. Potato flakes can last as long as 15 years if you’ve purchased them commercially.
#48. Powdered Drink Mixes: Powdered drink mixes like tang, lemonade, fruit drinks and such are ideal ways to stay hydrated and keep plenty of fresh juice on hand. Many contain added vitamins including Vitamin C.
You can squeeze a one-year shelf life if you keep them in a cool, dark, and dry pantry.
#49. Yams: Yams and sweet potatoes store just as well as regular potatoes and are a great source of nutrients to have on hand.
#50. Powdered Milk: Babies survive just fine on a diet of milk for almost a year. Milk has all of the important nutrients required for survival.
Powdered milk will store indefinitely and you can also find canned milk as well. It’s full of calcium, Vitamin B, protein, phosphorous, and iodine.
If you store your powdered milk in a glass or airtight plastic container it can last as long as 10 years.
#51. Protein Bars: Full of protein you can either make your own or purchase them ready-made. They’re delicious and easy to store when you store them properly.
#52. Ramen Noodles: While we all know that these aren’t overly nutritious, they can make a great soup base and a quick meal if you’re on the run and need something fast.
They’re cheap and you can add mixed veggies to them and more. Ramen noodles have a long shelf life and have long been a college student staple for late-night studies. They’ll at least add some variety to your emergency food supply.
#53. Raisins: Along with the dried blueberries you stored in your stockpile above, raisins are easy to store and very nutritious. They’re full of vitamins and minerals and will last for several years.
You can add them to baked goods, oatmeal or other cooked cereals, and regular cereal, and eat them as a snack.
#54. Rice: In many countries, rice is their main food source. Rice is a grain that is full of nutrition and makes a variety of meals that are healthy. It can also be made into a “pudding”.
It’s easy to store as long as it’s kept in a cool dry location and you can store it in jars, or plastic containers.
#55. Salt: Although this is a spice or seasoning, it has a variety of uses in a survival situation. It can be used to make food taste better, it can be used to cure meat (and turn it into jerky), it can be used to ease sinus congestion, and even for cleaning.
#56. Sauces: We’ve combined this one to include such things as mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, salsa, ketchup, barbeque sauce, and the like.
We keep a variety of these on hand in our pantry and I always stock up when I find them on sale. They can jazz up any meal and turn a ho-hum survival meal into something spectacular. Stock up on what your family uses the most.
#57. Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is a salty seasoning that can add flavor to foods and turn a boring dish into something spectacular. We keep several bottles of this on hand for just this reason. It’s full of sodium so use it sparingly.
#58. Spices and Herbs: Many spices and herbs have medicinal benefits in addition to the ability to flavor your foods.
Some good ones to consider (all of which can be stored dried and last for several years) include basil, oregano, thyme, mint, lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, sage, coriander, and cumin.
#59. Sprouting seeds: Seeds that can be sprouted are also a good idea. You might want to include beans, seeds, and nuts that can be sprouted into fresh greens. These are not only nutritious and delicious, but they mature quickly – some sprout in just a few days so you will always have some greens on hand.
#60. Sugar: On our homestead, we have a lot of white sugar, brown sugar, and powdered sugar stored away. We use it in a variety of dishes and drink mixes and it adds sweetness and flavor to our meals.
It’s also ideal for baking. Sugar will store indefinitely as long as it’s in a sealed plastic or glass container. We like gallon glass jars for this purpose.
#61. Tea: Tea is a nice beverage hot or iced. The tannin in the tea bags can also be helpful for toothaches.
#62. Tomatoes: Canned tomatoes have a long shelf life. You can also run them through a blender and have tomato sauce which can be used in recipes as well.
If you’re looking for a great versatile food, this is one that you must have on your list. Tomatoes are full of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, and potassium. You can also store unripened tomatoes for a few weeks at a time, too.
#63. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract will add flavor to your foods and if you buy the real stuff which is made from alcohol, it’s only going to improve with age.
#64. White Vinegar: Ideal in cooking and it stores indefinitely. It is also great for cleaning and disinfecting any surface.
#65. Whole Grains: Whole grains like spelt, rye, and wheat are excellent for providing energy and fiber, which will help ensure digestive health. If you have your own flour mill, you can make your own bread from these grains, too.
Hard grains, like buckwheat, kamut, dry corn, hard red wheat, millet, and spelt, can be stored for up to twelve years. Soft grains will last up to eight years in proper conditions. These include barley, quinoa, oat groats, and rye.
#66. Winter Squash: Winter squashes, like butternut or acorn squash, can last for quite some time in a cool location like a basement. They are filled with calories and carbohydrates to keep you well-fed throughout the winter – no additional refrigeration or processing required.
#67. Water: There’s just no way one could end this list without the ever-so-important water. Water can last a long time without developing bacteria provided that you store it correctly. Even if that happens, you can always distill it or use a water filter to clean it.
Tips for Stockpiling
Whether you’re preparing for a long winter or for a freak pandemic, being ready for anything is a key component of successful homesteading. Here are some tips to follow as you are beginning your stockpile.
First, know exactly how much you want to store and how much space you have to store it. The Department of Homeland Security recommends that at minimum, each home has enough food and water for each family member for 72 hours.
However, if you have room and can afford to do so, stockpiling for weeks or months – or even years? – you will be much better prepared should disaster strike.
You will need to have a clear idea of your household’s food needs. Keep in mind how many calories each person in your family needs, as well as his or her individual food preferences and dietary needs. This will give you a good estimate of how much food you need to stockpile.
When you are preparing, buying everything all at once can save you some money. In addition, investing in foods that don’t require refrigeration or freezing will be best.
Think of foods that can be dehydrated or canned as you are getting started. Buying in bulk will help you save money, especially if you are buying things that can last for a while – such as canned goods or dry foods.
You can also buy in bulk and split canning chores with a friend. It’s easier to can a bunch of one type of food, and then share that with a neighbor than it is to can multiple different kinds of food.
Planting a garden can help reduce the expense of building a stockpile of foods, but farmer’s markets are good resources to find inexpensive food, too.
Whenever possible, make sure you have lots of space to store all your food. You should ideally store your foods in a cool, dark, and dry location. A dry basement or root cellar is best, but a pantry can also work for storage, too.
Make sure your foods are easy to access, rotate, and that you have adequate shelving. Large can organizers can hold hundreds of cans and will also make it easy for you to rotate your stock.
Finally, make sure you keep an eye on the freshness of your stockpile by keeping an inventory and rotating your foods. Make sure you put the foods that are closest to being at the end of their shelf lives at the front of the shelf so that you will grab it first.
If you want this list in a printable format, you can get it here. This way you’ll have a reminder of what foods to stock up on in long-term disasters or emergencies, or simply over the winter.
Hi, I’m Linda. I’m a mom, grandmother, homesteader. I love simple living and enjoy my life on a homestead where I garden, raise a variety of animals and strive for a life more like my grandparents lived.
My goal is to enrich life by living it as simply as possible and focusing on the way my grandparents did things. Life is so much more fun when it’s lived simply.