May 5, 2024

Save Money: 25 Shelf Stable Products Lifetimes and Storage Information

Hello Friends!  Do you like to plan things, some things, all things?  The older I get the more I plan. This former hoarder sitting in the craft room surrounded by unused supplies is thinking and planning. 

Spring is here summer is right around the corner and there are so many things I want to make happen. Do you wish sometimes there were ten of you?  I do.  

We removed an above-ground pool from the yard leaving a weed-free circle. This gardening lady sees a blank slate! I'm excited!  🤔Contemplating what to plant there. I'm spending a little money for an immediate display of floral colors. A splurge for fun. 

You know the old saying, "When life gives you lemons make lemonade". 

Back to the topic at hand: 

My grandparents had massive food storage inside and outside.  As a child, I enjoyed raiding their pantry and outside looking at the meats hanging in the smokehouses. It was fun visiting and watching them get the potatoes they'd stored under the mounds of dirt to save them!  Talk about being self-sufficient they really were. 

Read on for some shelf-stable product guidelines and their longevity. Saving money in the long run. 


Keep In A Cool Dry Dark Location In  Good Quality Airtight Containers  


  •   SALT   forever although salt has no expiration date iodized or seasoned salt 
            will deteriorate over time  

  •    SUGAR   keep it dry

  •    CORN STARCH     keep it dry 

  •    RAW HONEY   is best kept in glass bottles or jars

  •    MAPLE SYRUP   is best kept in glass bottles or jars

  •    DRIED BEANS, LENTILS, and LEGUMES    are best kept in airtight containers
             older beans, peas, and legumes may take longer to cook when older but will still be edible.  

  •    POPCORN   keep in a sealed container in the cupboard 

  •   JELLO   keep it dry

  •   VANILLA FLAVORING    forever if kept in a dark container and away from sunlight heat &     moisture.

  •   LIQUOR   forever more info here

  •   VINEGAR   keep in the original air-tight container in a cool dry place away from heat



    Store At Room or Cool Temperature in  Good Quality Airtight Containers


  • BAKING SODA       18 months unopened -- 6 months opened   for best quality       

  • BAKING POWDER    6 months unopened -- 3 months opened for best results.    

  • FLOUR    Best-by Date*, Freeze**, or Long-term Storage***

  1. Best Buy Dates will be on the bag.  The flour bag is made breathable so store it in Air-tight containers to keep moisture out.  Store in a cool dry location.*
  2. You may also freeze. Freezer storage for flour will extend storage life, especially whole grain and nut flour which have fats and will go rancid if you aren't using it by the best-by date.  You may use freezer bags if frozen to save space. Flour need only be removed from the freezer for a few minutes for use in recipes.**
  3. For extra long-term storage:  Put in Mylar Bags, add oxygen absorbers seal the bag label, and store in food safe 5 gallon buckets. 

  • POWDERED MILK   Up to 20 years if stored in airtight containers with moisture-absorbing packets

  • BOUILLON   Up to 2 years in a dark pantry

  • RICE     4 or 5 years in its original bag.  Up to 30 years if frozen or stored in air-tight containers or mylar bags long-term. here.  Brown rice 6 months or a little longer under refrigeration or placed in the freezer here

  • PASTA - DRIED    3 years kept in the bag, in boxes if opened put into an airtight container

  • GRAINS:  Up to 8 years stored in air-tight containers for best results Grits, Quinoa, Barley, Flax, 

  • OATS    Up to 1 year in original container and up to 2 years in air-tight containers
  • OILS   Liquid or Spray form -  Up to 2 years unopened, if opened 2 months  and should be kept in the dark and away from heat 

  • INSTANT COFFEE   Up to 25 years and even longer in the freezer

  • TEA   Up to 2 years in air-tight containers

  • DRIED FRUITS   Raisins, Dried Cranberries, etc.  1 year or more kept in original or other sealed containers.  Freeze for an additional 6 months or more.

  •  MOLASSES   up to 10 years 5 if opened  best kept in glass bottles or jars


  • Store only what you will use. 
  • Be sure to label and inventory periodically to keep things running smoothly
  • Replace items when needed for best use and less waste. 
  • Check at least weekly or when using an item  
  • Stay on top of it less stress and work in the future
This may be time-consuming at first  
Soon the money and time saved preparing meals will be worth it all!

Have a great week!



USDA Shelf Stable Food Safety

King Arthur has great information here           

Common Sense Home here on how to store flour long term. 

RoseRed Homestead Long Term Storage of Dry Foods here

USA Rice here

A Must Read: 

Jacqueline of Deep Roots At Home has a wonderful post on Food Storage complete with charts. 

I use food quality 5 gallon buckets for large quantities and Lock and Lock containers for most foods.  


  1. This is such a helpful list - one I will keep in my recipe box for quick reference. I just threw out some 2 year old powdered milk that got pushed to back of cabinet and forgotten. I have stopped using those cheap plastic storage containers for long-term storage. I think they were giving off an odor to the food -- substituted glass. Many thanks for such informative posts.

    1. I'm sure there are many more to know about but til we find out what they are we'll use this. Thank you sweet friend. I don't use those anymore myself. Things cost so much now too much to use those. I was wondering if anyone had some still I've given away so many and have a box of some still got to do something with them. You can't go wrong with glass for sure.

  2. Amazing, yes love organizing, and after 18 months since we moved into a basement suite, I am still organizing or let's say re-organizing. Thanks for your tips in this post.
    I visited you via A Stroll Through Life: Inspire Me Tuesday. My entries are numbered #55+56
    Please join us at SSPS: M-S

    1. Welcome! So good to have you visit. I'll have to revisit and pay particular attention to your entries and visit your site! Thanks so much!