When stocking up on these items, consider repacking bulk foods in five-gallon buckets with airtight, sealed lids. Color-code your supplies for easy storage and organization.
If you're not sure what kinds of foods to stock up on before SHTF, consider some of the 15 forever foods included in the list below. Most of these foods won't go bad for an incredibly long time, especially if you store them properly.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) lasts forever if you keep unopened bottles in a cool dry, place. When SHTF, you can use ACV as a home remedy, a cooking ingredient, or as a natural cleaning product.
Cornstarch – when kept in its original container and stored in a cool, dry place – will last a long time. (Related: What are the best foods to stockpile for emergencies?)
Dry beans will last forever, but you need to remember one thing when stocking up on this item. The older these get, the more water and fuel you'll need to cook them. You can prep beans by canning them. Make sure you have a pressure cooker for cooking older beans.
Alternatively, you can soak the beans overnight, then drain and cover the beans again with fresh water. Finally, cook them until tender.
Whether you enjoy the occasional drink or not, it's important to know that hard liquor will last forever in your stockpile. If you're not sure what type of alcoholic drinks to get, purchase gin, rum, tequila, vodka, or whiskey.
Keep several bottles in your pantry because alcohol is a useful bartering item when SHTF. Store the bottles upright in a cool, dark room.
Raw honey will last a long time in your stockpile. When stocking up on honey, you can repack it in quart mason jars for easier storage.
After several months or years, honey will start to crystallize. The crystallization process is “natural and spontaneous.” Aside from changing its color and texture, crystallization doesn't affect the taste of honey.
If the honey in your stockpile has crystallized, leave your jars in a bowl of warm water until it returns to its liquid state. Alternatively, you can leave honey to melt in direct sunlight in the heat of summer.
Unopened containers of instant coffee can last for as long as 20 years. Stock up on a lot of coffee because it's also a useful bartering item.
Real maple syrup stored in glass jars can last for at least 50 years.
Pasta stored properly can last for several decades. Use pasta to make delicious, filling meals for your family when SHTF.
Pure vanilla extract
Store pure vanilla extract in a cool, dry place to make it last indefinitely. You can use vanilla extract when baking various desserts.
Plain (or even Himalayan) salt is another useful survival food that will last indefinitely when stored in a cool, dry place. When purchasing salt, make sure the product you're buying doesn't have any added ingredients.
Sugar is one of the most inexpensive items that you can stock up on, and it will have a long shelf life if it is stored in a cool, dry place. Take note that sugar which has been exposed to moisture will turn into hard lumps.
Store tea bags in an airtight container and keep in a cool, dry place so they don't lose flavor or potency.
Hard white wheat lasts almost indefinitely. When buying this type of wheat, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned, so it doesn't ruin your wheat grinder with rocks or debris.
White distilled vinegar
White distilled vinegar's acidic nature makes it an essential self-preserving ingredient. You can use this type of vinegar for various purposes, such as canning, salad dressings, homemade cleaners and more.
Unopened bottles of vinegar stored in a cool, dark place will last forever.
Brown rice has a higher oil content and it only has a shelf life of about six months. However, white rice kept in an airtight container will last indefinitely in a cool, dry place.
Use white rice to make different sweet or savory dishes like pudding or fried rice.
Before SHTF, make it a habit to add different forever foods in your stockpile. Store food items properly, so you have access to versatile ingredients if you ever experience a long-term disaster scenario.