best foods to stockpile

Best Foods to Stockpile That Will Last for Years Without Spoiling

No matter your reason for stockpiling, it is essential you get food that can last a long time without spoiling. You need foods that will last for a long time without going bad and provide essential nutrients.

When considering the best foods to stockpile, many people think about canned fruits and vegetables, but there are some other important foods to have to keep you filled and provide other essential nutrients. Some of these 10 foods may even be ones you didn’t realize had a long shelf life or even existed.

10 Best Foods to Stockpile

1. Nut Butters

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Peanut butter is often a default for nut butters, but that doesn’t have to be the only option. Almond and cashew butter are also a great investment for a stockpile if you can’t have or don’t like peanut butter.

Tahini is also a good option. It can be eaten with vegetables or turned into a hummus or salad dressing. All of these nut and seed butters can provide healthy fats, and a little protein, and are filling, which makes them essential to any stockpile.

Their versatility is also a benefit. They can be eaten plain, on bread, mixed into oatmeal, or as a sauce or dressing.

Making the butter yourself, or finding a brand that makes pretty simple peanut butter is best because it only contains the nuts and maybe a bit of salt. Common store-bought brands often have extra sugar, fat, salt, and preservatives which may not be a great option.

However, the store-bought ones do have an advantage. Thanks to the preservatives in them, they do tend to last a lot longer than more natural peanut butters, which makes them the better option for stockpiles.

Most of them don’t have to be refrigerated either, but you may want to check the back of the container before buying some.

2. Crackers

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As long as the container is unopened, crackers can last quite a while before growing stale. Even when they become stale, they can still be edible, just not as crunchy.

Crackers are filling, especially if they have a lot of fiber in them. They don’t provide a whole lot of nutrients but can be a way to make yourself feel more full when eaten with other products like dried fruits, meats, and cheeses.

This means you won’t feel so hungry and extends the life of the rest of your food that does have a lot of nutrients. They are also pretty cheap and easy to buy in bulk so you have a lot of them lying around.

Depending on what you are looking for in your stockpile, you may do better with whole wheat crackers or white crackers. White crackers tend to last longer because of the preservatives. However, crackers with whole-grain or whole wheat have more fiber, which makes them a more filling option.

If you want a mix, you can vacuum pack your whole wheat crackers to prolong their shelf life and buy ones that will last the longest according to their expiration dates. You can likely get them to last about two to three years that way. Choosing crackers with less fat also can extend their lifespan.

3. Canned or Dried Beans

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Beans are full of essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, potassium, and iron. There are all kinds of beans, including chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, and even refried beans.

They are filling and can be used in almost any meal, including salads, soups, snacks, sandwiches, and even desserts if prepared right. There are plenty of canned options, or you can get bags of dried beans.

Generally, dried beans take longer to cook, and need more preparation, but they are easier to store and buy in bulk. You can grind them up to create a thickening agent, or just stir in a little extra protein to whatever meal you are making.

4. Grains

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Grains, like crackers, provide a portion of great filling food. It can act as a vessel for many dishes, or be made into its own dish, like rice pudding. It is an easy filler that is shelf stable for many years.

Rice and beans alone can provide you with many essential nutrients, especially protein and fiber. Try to avoid white rice, as it is the lowest in nutrients.

Instead, go for brown rice and whole grains. Some great examples are quinoa, farro, barley, and bulgar. Some of these can even be used to create salads that you can throw pickled foods into.

If you are using pasta, try to get whole-wheat pasta or something that has added vegetables in it. This provides you with extra fiber and fullness than white rice.

There are options for ready-made rice that just need some water and heat, but there are also plain ones that can be bought and stored in bulk.

5. Powdered Milk

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Milk has a lot of health benefits, including essential minerals and vitamins like vitamin D, calcium, amino acids, protein, and potassium. The powdered version has all the benefits of milk, but in higher doses as all the liquid has evaporated. Milk keeps your bones strong and keeps you healthy so you can feel better.

Powdering milk makes it shelf stable for many years. It also doesn’t need to be refrigerated and takes up a lot less space than regular milk.

Powdered milk can be added to any baked good or meal to add essential nutrients with little flavor change. It can also be rehydrated to act as normal milk.

This can be a lifesaver for babies as well. While it isn’t as nutrient-dense as formula milk, it can work in an emergency if the mother isn’t producing as much as she should.

If you can’t have milk, don’t worry, there is even powdered non-dairy milk as well, such as oat, soy, and coconut milk. There are also options, such as evaporated milk, that are shelf stable, but not dry.

6. Powdered Eggs

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Like powdered milk, powdered eggs can be a lifesaver. They don’t have to be refrigerated, have a long shelf life, and don’t take up a lot of space. You can use them directly in baked goods like cakes and bread, or add a bit of water to rehydrate them into things like scrambles, omelets, or just plain scrambled eggs.

They provide essential protein and carbs. The process of powdering eggs has even been shown to oxidize the cholesterol present in eggs, which has been said to help reduce some diseases. They also last five to 10 years if stored in a stable environment.

Eggs also have some ability to boost your immune system and they have minor antibacterial qualities.

7. Spices, Seasonings, Flavorings


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One category of food that often gets overlooked is seasonings and flavorings. While they don’t provide much as far as filling, having seasonings around can make food taste better. This, in turn, increases your mood and makes you feel a bit better about your situation.

It also allows normally inedible foods to be a lot more palatable. Sure, you could wait until you were starving to eat them, but why not add a few spices and flavorings to just make yourself happier all around?

Salt, sugar, and pepper are a must. But you can also bring in other spices. Keep stores of a bunch of your favorite dried spices in your stockpile, or even create pre-made mixes that just have to be poured into a dish.

For example, if you are going to have all the stuff to make a ham and bean soup, mix up a blend of spices that you can pour right in. This works for chilis, pasta, tacos, and pretty much any meal.

If you don’t want to make your own mixes, you can easily find pre-made ones in your local store to keep in your stockpile.

Included in this list are jarred pasta sauces, dried and jarred stocks, condiments, and sauces. If kept in sealed jars, these can last several years and they don’t need to be refrigerated.

If you get to the point that you need to survive on your stockpile, you will be amazed by what a bit of seasoning or flavor enhancement can do. Having ingredients pre-made like sauces as well can reduce the number of fresh ingredients you need, cut your cooking time quite a bit, and make it easier to get the nutrients you need without a lot of effort.

8. Oatmeal

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Oatmeal is filling and full of nutrients. It makes a healthy breakfast on a normal day, and its ability to be shelf stable makes it valuable in a stockpile. It is filling and full of fiber which is good for the body.

Some studies have even shown that oatmeal can help mothers to produce more milk. There are instant oatmeal mixes that just need a little hot water. There are also normal oats like rolled oats and steel-cut oats.

You can use these to make oatmeal, but you can also throw them into baked goods for a bit of extra flavor and chew.

9. Water

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Water can never be overlooked when creating a stockpile. While it isn’t technically a food, it is something that you will need to make a lot of the foods included on this list. For example, it is needed to boil dried pasta, thin out sauces, and rehydrate dried foods.

It is also important for drinking. Water is essential to survival. While you can last quite a time without food, you will need water all the time and you can only go days, at most, without it.

Store water in thick, dark containers in a cool dry place to increase its lifespan. You also want to make sure the water is clean. While regular water can be used for bathing, having clean water is necessary for drinking, cooking, and washing dishes to prevent you from getting sick.

10. MREs

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If you want to be really prepared, find places you can get MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat. When you think of MREs, your mind might go straight to military food, but that’s only a portion of what makes up pre-made and dried meals.

If you go to a popular camping store or a section of a store that provides camping gear, you can find all sorts of food options. Most of them are freeze-dried meals that include items such as vegetables, meats, and filler carbs. Many of them also have spices included to add to the flavor.

All you need for these is often a little hot water. If you get the nice ones, some of them come with built-in heating elements that work a lot like those hand warmers for cold nights.

These pre-made meals are expensive, but last a long time and are designed to be used with minimal equipment and to be ready quickly, which might be exactly what you need when trying to survive on a stockpile.

You can find all sorts of flavor combinations and some for every meal, so having several of these around can make life easier for a while. They are shelf stable and are often high in calories because they are made for those living an active lifestyle.

You can even find some dessert ones for a sweet pick-me-up when times get rough.

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