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Food Storage Shelf Life (plus printable chart!)

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Food Storage Shelf Life Chart

I frequently get asked the shelf life of food storage products.  How long will peanut butter last?  What about dehydrated foods or powdered milk?  For my book, Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival I compiled a food storage shelf life chart that includes the most common food storage options and I’m sharing it with you here.  Download this chart as a printable PDF here.

These shelf life estimates apply to foods that are properly packaged and stored unopened in a cool, dark, dry environment.

1-3 Years

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Peanut butter

3-5 Years

Vegetable oil and shortening
Drink mixes
Hot cocoa
Brown rice
Peanut butter powder
Home or commercially canned fruits, vegetables, and meats

5-7 Years

Powdered eggs
Butter powder
Yeast stored in a freezer
Brown sugar

10 Years

White flour
Sour cream powder
Textured vegetable protein (TVP) products
Shortening powder
Cheese powder

20 Years

Dehydrated fruits and vegetables
Freeze-dried cheeses
Powdered milk
Dehydrated carrots

25 Years

Freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, and meats
Instant beans

30+ Years

Dry beans
Rolled or whole oats
Pearled barley
Potato flakes
Cocoa powder
White rice


Baking powder
Baking soda

Shelf life is very much affected by storage conditions and will be shortened considerably by storing the food where it is subjected to extreme heat, wide temperature fluctuations, moisture, or exposure to pests.

The very best way to make food storage shelf life not matter so much is to rotate your food storage and use the food in your every day meals.  If I am using my food storage properly, I won’t have any of it in my pantry for thirty years since it will be used and replaced long before it expires!  Then it doesn’t matter if my peanut butter expires in 2 years or 30 years since I used it within a year of purchasing it.

For more assistance with your own food storage plan plus lots of other helpful tips, get your own copy of my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival.

Keep preparing!


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