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Stocking Up the Pantry: What Foods Last Longest?

By Stephen R. Farris

When it comes to buying groceries, do you buy just enough to make dinner for the evening, plan for a few days or the entire week? Maybe you stock up for the month or several months, especially if you live in rural areas where there are no supermarkets close by.

If you do your shopping in order to stock up for a while, there's always a chance for certain food items to go bad before you have a chance to use them. However, there are many items you can buy that will last longer than the storage time you may have planned.

For instance, we all know milk, bread, eggs, refrigerated meats, fresh fruits and vegetables are only good for so long. Usually a week or two, sometimes less, sometimes a bit longer. So if you're looking to stock up for the "long haul," take a look at some of the foods that can be bought and stored for weeks and months.


Whether they are from a can or in a package, beans have a pretty good shelf life. Check this out: canned beans can be kept anywhere from 2-5 years (depending on inside temperature), and packaged beans a whopping 10 years or longer. Beans are also a good source for plant-based protein, fiber and B vitamins.

Dried Fruits and Vegetables

Consider buying dried fruits the next time you're shopping. If they come in a vacuum-sealed package, they can last up to a year in your pantry. When it comes to dried veggies, they may be hard to find at the supermarket. If you do find them, just make sure they are available in vacuum-sealed packaging. Oh, by-the-way, they last about six months on the shelf at home.


Canned meats, such as tuna, sardines, chicken, spam, ham, etc., can last upwards to five years in your pantry. Frozen meat usually has a life of six months to a year, depending on what it is. Even though canned meats are considered high processed foods, the good news is that you shouldn't run out of meat to serve at meals throughout the year(s).

These are just a few items to choose from. You can do further research on foods that can be kept for long periods online. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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