102 Non-Perishable Foods That Last a Long Time Without Refrigeration


What Are Non-Perishable Foods?

Non-perishable, shelf-stable foods don’t require refrigeration and have a long shelf-life ideal for the 72-hour emergency preparedness kit suggested by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Top 102 Non-Perishable Foods

*Shelf life and calorie information for all foods is provided by the manufacturer, the USDA, or The Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

If you’d rather watch or listen check out Ready Squirrel’s video cast of this article on YouTube

Water

People drinking water from a fountain

According to the rules of three, you can last three weeks without food but only three days without water. Water storage is a priority in the emergency pantry.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests an emergency water supply of 1 gallon of water per person per day for a minimum of three days.

The CDC is now suggesting a minimum emergency water supply of 1 gallon of water person per day for two weeks.

4 Uses For Water In An Emergency

  1. Hydration
  2. Hygiene or keeping your body clean
  3. Sanitation: cleaning dishes, tabletops and waste removal
  4. Meal Preparation: rice, noodles, freeze-dried foods, and dry foodstuffs

Ways To Reduce Water Usage In An Emergency Situation

  • Stock foods that don’t require water.
  • Use antibacterial wipes and waterless soaps to clean.
  • Dispose of human waste by using a bucket, a contractor-grade plastic bag, and sawdust
  • Use disposable plastic-ware and paper plates

102 Non-perishable Food Items For Your 72 Hour Emergency Kit

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is non-perishable, packed with protein, nutrients, and calories, and it tastes good.

  • Peanut Butter Shelf-life: Commercial peanut butter with preservatives will last up to 24 months in the pantry if unopened
  • Peanut Butter Calories: One, 16 oz. jar of Jif Creamy Peanut Butter Contains 2660 calories
  • Suitable for power outages or no-cook scenario

Coconut Butter

Coconut butter is delicious, and it’s good for you. It is made from the meat of the coconut; athletes often use it for healthy fat and its nutritional value.

Uses For Coconut Butter

  • Mix with canned or fresh fruit
  • Use it in your coffee or tea
  • Use it in place of butter on crackers or when baking
  • Excellent for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Coconut Butter Shelf Life: 18 months
  • Coconut Butter Calories: One 14 oz. jar of Artisana Organic Coconut butter contains 2520 calories

Almond Butter

Almond butter and toast

What do I do with Almond Butter?

  • Use like peanut butter, add honey, fruit preserves, jams or jelly
  • Use on cooked hot cereals like rolled oats or oatmeal
  • Add to trail mix to make protein bites
  • Slather on pancakes, crackers or flat-breads
  • Excellent for a power out or no-cook scenario
  • Almond Butter Shelf Life: 24 Months
  • Almond Butter Calories: One 12 oz. jar of Justin’s Classic Almond Butter contains 2090 calories

Hazelnut Butter

Hazelnuts aren’t as popular in the U.S. as in some European countries, but they are super nutritious, providing healthy fats, protein, and carbs.

  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Hazelnut Butter Shelf-Life: Commercial hazelnut butter with preservatives will last 12 months
  • Hazelnut Butter Calories: One, 8 oz. jar of Dastony, Organic Hazelnut Butter contains 1280 calories
  • Tip: If you live in growing zones 4 to 8, consider planting American Hazelnuts in your survival garden. If planted from cuttings, hazelnuts will produce nuts in 2 to 3 years. Hazelnut bushes are the fastest nut producer out there; you can press oil, make hazelnut butter or eat the nuts fresh roasted

Pistachio Butter

Pistachio butter is a specialty item that’s high in potassium. You can use it like any other butter or spread.

  • Eat on fresh-baked leavened or unleavened bread
  • Eat on Crackers
  • Add to oatmeal or breakfast rice
  • Eat it right out of the jar
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Pistachio Butter Shelf-life: 12 months
  • Pistachio Butter Calories: There are approximately 156 calories in 2 tablespoons of pistachio butter.

Cashew Butter

High in vitamins and minerals with 190 calories in just 2 tablespoons.

  • Spread on Scottish bannock or some other unleavened bread, hardtack, or crackers.
  • Drop a dollop in hot oatmeal or breakfast rice
  • Add to baked confections.
  • Eat it out of the jar.
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Cashew Butter Shelf-life:
  • Cashew butter calories: One, 14 oz. jar of Artisana Cashew Butter contains 2160 calories

Nutella

What is Nutella?

  • Nutella is a sweetened combination of hazelnuts and cocoa used to spread on bread, pancakes, or crackers.
  • My kids love this stuff. It’s a little sweet for my taste buds, but I imagine in an SHTF situation, it might hit the spot.
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Nutella Shelf-life: The best buy date is 12 months in an unopened jar but it will probably last longer if unopened.
  • Nutella Calories: One, 33.5 oz jar of Nutella Hazelnut/Cocoa Spread contains 5000 calories

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts provide nutrition and some serious calories. They are considered a super-food. The downside of Macadamia nuts is they are expensive.

  • Macadamia Nut Calories: One cup of these babies provide 962 calories, according to the FDA.
  • Macadamia Nut Shelf-life, 5 to 6 months in a cool pantry, and 12 months in the freezer. Nuts have a high oil content, so they oxidize quicker than many other pantry items.
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

Peanuts

  • Shelf-life: 6 to 9 months in dry storage and two years in the freezer
  • Peanut Calories: According to the USDA, 1 cup of peanuts contains 828 calories.
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

Almonds

Almonds
  • According to the FDA, Almonds contain carbs, fats, and protein, which makes them a substantial addition to your emergency pantry.
  • Almonds are one of the best nuts for emergency food storage. Almonds without the shell will last up to two years in the pantry.
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Almond Shelf-life: 2 Years in dry storage
  • Almond Calories: According to Nutritionix, 1 cup of almonds provides 825 calories.

Cashews

In my humble opinion, cashews and regular peanuts are pretty close when it comes to great taste.

  • According to the USDA, cashews are packed with nutrition and calories.
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Cashew Calories: According to the USDA, cashews have 754 calories per cup.
  • Cashew Shelf-life: 6 months in the pantry, and 12 months in the freezer

Pumpkin Seeds

  • Pumpkin Seed Calories: According to the USDA, there are 285 calories in a cup of pumpkin seeds.
  • Pumpkin Seed Shelf-life: 2 years in the pantry
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

Sunflower Seeds

  • Sunflower Seed Calories: According to the USDA, 1 cup of dried sunflower seeds contains 818 calories.
  • Sunflower Seed Shelf-life: (shelled and roasted) 3 to 4 months in dry storage and 12 months in the refrigerator
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

Trail Mix

  • Trail Mix Calories: According to the USDA, 1 Cup of trail mix has approximately 693 calories. Calorie count will vary depending on what is in the trail mix.
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Trail Mix Shelf-life: Trail mix will keep approximately six months in dry storage and 12 months in the freezer.
    • If you are using a store-bought trail mix, look at the best buy date.
    • If you are making your trail mix, research the shelf-life of the individual ingredients. The ingredient that lasts the shortest amount of time will be your approximate shelf-life.

Dried Fruit (Dehydration)

1 Cup ServingCaloriesShelf-life Pantry Shelf-life FridgeShelf-life Freezer
Apples3606-12 months12 monthsUnknown
Apricots3126-12 months12 monthsUnknown
Banana4001-2 months
Blueberry6006-12 months2 yearsUnknown
Cherries56012 months2 yearsUnknown
Cranberries42012 months2 yearsUnknown
Dates5321-3 months6-12 yearsUnknown
Figs56012 months2 yearsUnknown
Mango52012 months2 yearsUnknown
Peaches36012-18 months2 yearsUnknown
Pears3686-12 months2 years Unknown
Raisins43262 yearsUnknown
Strawberries44462 yearsUnknown
Calorie Information Compliments of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Freeze-dried Fruit (Sublimation)

1 Cup ServingCaloriesShelf-life Pantry
Apples36020 years
Apricots3125 to 10 years
Banana40020 years
Blueberry60010 to 15 years
Mango5205 to 10 years
Peaches36020 years
Raisins43225 years
Strawberries44420 years
Information Compliments of Honeyville Bulk Foods

Beef Jerky

  • Beef Jerky Shelf-life: Store-bought beef jerky in the store packaging will last up to 2 years
  • Beef Jerky Calories: According to the USDA, one large piece of beef jerky has 82 calories.
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

Beef Sticks

  • Beef Stick Shelf-life: 1 to 2 Years in the pantry
  • Beef Stick Calories: According to the USDA, a single beef stick that is 85% lean meat and 15% fat has 213 calories.
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

Granola Bars

  • Granola Bar Shelf-life: 6 to 8 months
  • Granola Bar Calories: According to the USDA, a granola bar has 132 calories. Check the nutritional information on the type of bar you purchase.
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

Protein Bars

  • Protein Bar Shelf-life: 12 months
  • Protein Bar Calories: Calorie count varies by bar type. A Mars Snackfood Snickers Marathon Protein Bar has 331 calories.
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

Flour

flour and butter
  • Flour Shelf-life: 12 months
  • Flour Calories: According to the USDA 1 cup of wheat flour contains 455 calories

Powdered Eggs

Why don’t I have powdered eggs in my food stockpile yet? I should; powdered eggs are good for so many things from baking to eating right out of the can.

  • Powdered Eggs Shelf-life: 10 Years
  • Powdered Eggs Calories: One, 33 oz. can of Augason Farms Whole Powdered Eggs contains 5760 calories

Canned Beans

Beans are a good source of protein and nutrients. In some cases, they work better in your emergency pantry because you don’t need water for preparation.

14 Types of Canned Beans For Your Emergency Kit

  • Black
  • Black Eyed Peas
  • Cannellini
  • Chickpeas
  • Great Northern
  • Kidney
  • Lima
  • Pinto
  • Fava
  • Navy
  • Adzuki
  • Edamame
  • Mung
  • Soybeans
  • Canned Beans Shelf-life: 3 Years after the “use-by date.”
  • Canned Beans Calories: One, 15.5 oz. can of Goya Red Kidney Beans contains 315 calories

Canned Ham

Canned ham doesn’t need to be cooked or refrigerated, and it is a reliable source of protein.

  • Canned Ham Shelf-life: 2-3 years beyond the use-by date
  • Canned Ham Calories: One, 24 oz. Dak fully cooked premium ham contains 800 calories.

Canned Tuna

  • Albacore Tuna Packed in water, contains 120 calories.
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Also available in a retort pouch
  • Canned Tuna Shelf-life: 3 years beyond the use-by date
  • Canned Tuna Calories: One, 5 oz. can of Bumble Bee, Solid White

Canned Salmon

Salmon

I use salmon to make patties mixed with crushed saltine crackers and pan-fried.

  • Also available in a retort pouch
  • Canned Salmon Calories: One, 5 oz. can of StarKist, boneless, skinless, Pink Salmon packed in water contains 100 calories
  • Canned Salmon Shelf-life: 3 years beyond the use-by date
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

Canned Sardines

You love sardines or you hate them there doesn’t seem to be anyone on the fence when it comes to sardines.

  • Canned Sardines Shelf-life: 3 years beyond the use-by date
  • Canned Sardines Calories: One, 3.75 oz. can of Bumble Bee Sardines in water contains 140 calories
  • Good for power out or no-cook scenario

Canned Chicken

I prefer fresh chicken, and you probably do too, but canned chicken is pretty good. My parents eat the Costco/Kirkland brand of canned chicken twice a week, so I know you can survive on it.

  • Canned Chicken Shelf-life: 2-3 years beyond the best by date
  • Canned Chicken Calories: One, 12.5oz. can of Kirkland Signature Premium Chunk Chicken Breast contains 210 calories

Canned Beef

  • Canned Beef Shelf-life: 2- 3 years beyond best by date
  • Canned Beef Calories: One, 28 oz. can of Keystone, all-natural beef contains 980 calories

Canned Turkey

  • Canned Turkey Shelf-life: 2-3 years beyond the best by date
  • Canned Turkey Calories: One, 24 oz. can of Lehman’s canned turkey meat contains 560 calories

Deviled Ham Spread

  • Deviled Ham Spread Shelf-life: 2-3 years beyond the best by date
  • Deviled Ham Spread Calories: One, 4.25 oz. can of Underwood Deviled Hame spread contains 360 calories
  • Good for power out or no-cook scenario

Spam

spam

I was first introduced to Spam when I was temporarily stationed in Hawaii. It seems like a staple there. A can of Spam goes a long way coming in at 1080 calories per 12 oz.

When I eat it Spam, I prefer it pan fried with eggs or rice.

  • Spam Shelf-life: 2-5 years beyond the best by date
  • Spam Calories: One, 12 oz. can of Classic Spam contains 1080 calories

Canned Fruits

  • Canned Fruit Shelf-life: 1-2 years beyond best by date
  • Canned Fruit Calories: One, 15 oz. Del Monte Fruit Cocktail, packed in 100% fruit juice contains 210 calories
  • Good for power out or no-cook scenario

Canned Vegetables

  • Canned Vegetables Shelf-life: 2-3 years (not tomatoes)
  • Canned Vegetable Calories: One, 14.5 oz. can of Del Monte, cut green beans, contains 70 calories

Canned Potatoes

  • Canned Potatoes Shelf-life: 2-3 years beyond best by date
  • Canned Potatoes Calories: One, 14.5 oz can of Del Monte Whole New Potatoes contains 150 calories

Dried Potato Flakes

  • Dried Potato Flakes Shelf-life: 1 year beyond best by date
  • Dried Potato Flakes Calories: One, 16 oz. bag of Bob’s Red Mill Potato Flakes contains 1750 calories
  • Required water for preparation

Canned Tomatoes

  • Canned Tomatoes Shelf-life: 1-2 years beyond best by date
  • Canned Tomatoes Calories: One, 14.5 oz. of Contadina, Roma Style Tomatoes diced with sea salt contains 157 calories

Canned Stew

  • Canned Stew Shelf-life: 2-3 years beyond best by date as long as it isn’t tomato-based
  • Canned Stew Calories: One, 20 oz. can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew contains 250 calories

Vienna Sausages

  • Vienna Sausages Shelf-life: 2-3 years beyond best by date
  • Vienna Sausages Calories: One, 4.6 oz. can of Libby’s Vienna Sausage, in chicken broth, contains 160 calories
  • Good for power out or no-cook scenario

Canned Corned Beef

  • Canned Corned Beef Shelf-life: 2-3 years beyond best by date
  • Canned Corned Beef Calories: One, 12 oz. can of Libby’s Corned Beef contains 720 calories

Canned Pulled Pork

  • Canned Pulled Pork Shelf-life: 1-2 years beyond best by date
  • Canned Pulled Pork Calories: One 12 oz. can of Great Value, pulled pork and bbq sauce contains 480 calories

Canned Soup

canned soup
  • Canned Soup Shelf-life: 2-3 years beyond best by date unless tomato-based
  • Canned Soup Calories: One, 19 oz can of Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup contains 220 calories

Canned Chili

  • Canned Chili Shelf-life: 1-2 years beyond best by date
  • Canned Chili Calories: One, 15 oz. can of Hormel Chili with Beans, contains 540 calories

Canned Chicken Broth

  • Canned Chicken Broth Shelf-life: 2-3 years beyond best by date
  • Canned Chicken Broth Calories: One, 14.5 oz. can of Swanson 100% Natural Chicken Broth contains 20 calories

Canned Beef Broth

  • Canned Beef Broth Shelf-life: 2-3 years beyond best by date
  • Canned Beef Broth Calories: One, 14.5 oz. can of Swanson 100% Natural Beef Broth contains 30 calories

Dry Pasta

Dry Pasta
  • Dry Pasta Shelf-life: 2-3 years beyond the best by date
  • Dry Pasta Calories: One, 16 oz. box of Market Pantry Spaghetti has 1600 calories
  • Requires water for preparation

Canned Pasta Sauce

  • Canned Pasta Sauce Shelf-life: 18 months beyond best by date
  • Canned Pasta SauceCalories: One, 28 oz. can of Hunt’s Traditional Pasta Sauce contains 250 calories

Powdered Drinks

  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Requires water for preparation
  • Powdered Drinks Shelf-life: 18-24 months beyond best by date
  • Powdered Drinks Calories: One, 6-gram packet of Kool-Aid Drink Mix, with 1 cup of sugar makes 8 cups of Kool-aid drink. The 8 cup mix contains 774 calories

Juice Boxes

  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Juice Boxes Shelf-life: 4-6 months beyond best by date
  • Juice Boxes Calories: One, 4.23 oz. Juicy Juice box contains 120 calories

Powdered Non-fat Milk

  • Requires water for preparation
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Powdered Non-fat Milk Shelf-life: 1 year beyond best by date
  • Powdered Non-fat Milk Calories: One, 9.6 oz. box of Great Value, Nonfat Instant Dry Milk contains 960 calories

Evaporated Milk

  • Evaporated Milk Shelf-life: 1 year beyond best by date
  • Evaporated Milk Calories: One, 12 oz. can of Carnation Evaporated Milk contains 456 calories
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

Condensed Milk

  • Condensed Milk Shelf-life: 1 year beyond best by date
  • Condensed Milk Calories: One, 14 oz. can of Bordon Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk contains 1300 calories
  • Good for power out or no-cook scenario

Multi-vitamins

  • Multi-vitamins Shelf-life: 2 Years or Best By Date
  • Multi-vitamins Calories:

Whey Protein Powder

  • Requires water for preparation
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Whey Protein Powder Shelf-life: According to Healthline, nine months to 2 years
  • Whey Protein Powder Calories: One, 5 lb plastic container of Gold Standard Banana Cream, 100% Whey Protein, contains 8760 calories

Hard Candy

candy store
  • Good for Morale
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Hard Candy Shelf-life: Indefinite
  • Hard Candy Calories: One, 60 oz. bag of Jolly Rancher Hard Candy contains 6650 calories

Honey

  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Honey Shelf-life: Indefinite
  • Honey Calories: 64 calories per tablespoon, purchase raw honey locally or regionally

Sugar

  • Sugar Shelf-life: 2+ years beyond best by date
  • Sugar Calories: One, 4 lb bag of Domino Sugar, Pure Cane Granulated, contains 6810 calories

Salt

  • Food Preservation
  • Improves food taste
  • Salt Shelf-life: 5 Years for Iodized Salt
  • Salt Calories: 0

White Rice

Long-grain White Rice is a cornerstone staple for emergency food storage. I can’t imagine not having it as an item in my pantry.

  • Requires water and heat for preparation
  • White Rice Shelf-life: 2 years past best by date (store packaging)
  • White Rice Calories: One Cup of long-grain white rice contains 206 calories

Bouillon Cubes

Add to water when cooking dry foodstuffs like rice and pasta. Drink it by itself to warm you up or calm you down.

  • Bouillon Cubes Shelf-life: 24 months beyond best by date
  • Bouillon Cubes Calories: One bouillon cube contains 11 calories according to the FDA

Hot sauce

Tabasco

I like hot spicy food. For me, hot sauce is a pantry necessity.

  • Hot sauce Shelf-life: 3 years +
  • Hot sauce Calories: One, 12 oz. bottle of Tabasco contains 0 calories

Soy Sauce

Lasts forever in the pantry, great on white rice, or to add flavor to soups, stews, or meats.

  • Soy Sauce Shelf-life: Indefinite
  • Soy Sauce Calories: One, 15 oz. bottle of Kikkoman Soy Sauce has 300 calories

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

  • Coconut Oil Shelf-life: 2 years
  • Coconut Oil Calories: One, 16 oz jar of Nature’s Way Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic contains 3200 calories

Ghee-clarified type of butter

  • Ghee Shelf-life: 9 months in a store-bought container, one year in the fridge
  • Ghee Calories: One, 13.5 oz. jar of Bulletproof Grass-Fed Ghee contains 3480 calories

Distilled White Vinegar

  • Distilled White Vinegar Shelf-life: Indefinite
  • Distilled White Vinegar Calories: 0

Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Apple Cider Vinegar Shelf-life: 2 Years
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Calories: One, 32 fl oz. bottle of Heinz, all-natural, Apple Cider Vinegar has 315 calories

Dark Chocolate

  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Dark Chocolate Shelf-life: 2-3 years
  • Calories: One, Lindt, 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Bar contains 575 calories

Cheese in wax

  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario
  • Cheese in wax Shelf-life: Properly stored, cheese in cheese wax will keep up to 25 years.
  • Cheese in wax Calories: One, 3 lb, Waxed Cheddar, Red Wax Cheddar Wheel from Cheddar Cheese Mart, Wisconsin contains 5338 calories

Summer Sausage

Sausage that can be kept without refrigeration until opened.

  • Shelf-life: 10 months if unopened and stored in a cool, dry location
  • Calories: One, 10 oz. Hickory Farms Summer Sausage contains 900 calories

Canned Fermented Sauerkraut

  • Shelf-life: 3 to 5 years
  • Calories: One 14 oz. can of Frank’s Quality Kraut contains 55 calories

Pickled Vegetable Medley

  • Shelf-life: 1-2 years beyond best by date
  • Calories: A jar of Cento Fancy Giardiniera contains 0 calories
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

Freeze-dried Coffee

Girl drinking coffee
  • Shelf-life: 1-2 years beyond best by date to indefinite. It depends on how it is packaged. (unopened)
  • Calories: Folger’s Instant Coffee has 0 calories

Egg Noodles

  • Shelf-life: 2 years
  • Calories: One, 16 oz. package of Great Value, Wide Egg Noodles contains 1320 calories

Whole Leaf Tea

  • Shelf-life: 2 years beyond the best by date
  • Calories: according to the USDA, 1 cup of black tea has two calories
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

100% Pure Maple Syrup

  • Shelf-life: “100%,” Pure Maple Syrup will last indefinitely if unopened
  • Calories: One, liter bottle of Kirkland Organic Maple Syrup, 100%, Grade A Amber contains 3484 calories

Ramen Noodles

  • Shelf-life: 12 months
  • Calories: One, 3 oz. package of Nissin Chicken Flavored Top Ramen contains 380 calories

Dried Beans

  • Shelf-life: Up to 30 Years if stored in #10 cans or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers
  • Calories: One, 1 lb bag of dried Goya Pinto Beans contains 490 calories

List of Dried Beans For Emergency Storage

  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils (not actually a bean)
  • Chickpeas
  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Great Northern Beans
  • Fava Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Cranberry Beans (highest folate count of all beans)

Whole Wheat in #10 Cans

This is an item that’s usually stored in long-term emergency pantries but I thought I should include it because it’s one of the bedrocks of survival food.

  • Shelf-life: 30+ years
  • Calories: One, #10 can holds 5 lbs of wheat and contains approximately 7700 calories when cooked
  • Requires a hand-crank grain mill for processing

Hard liquor

Useful for medicinal purposes, bartering, disinfecting, and home remedies. I do not include this because it’s “party time.” Hard alcohol is a useful item for the emergency pantry.

  • Shelf-life: indefinite
  • Calories: According to the USDA, hard liquor contains 70 to 102 calories per fluid oz.

Freeze-dried meat

  • Requires hot water to reconstitute
  • Expensive
  • Freeze-dried Meat Shelf-life: 30 Years (Unopened)
  • Freeze-dried Meat Calories: One, 28.2 oz Mountain House, Cooked Freeze-Dried, Ground Beef contains 4840 calories

Freeze-dried meals

  • Requires hot water to reconstitute
  • Expensive
  • Freeze-dried Meal Shelf-life: 30 Years (Unopened)
  • Freeze-dried Meal Calories: One, 4.3 oz. Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with noodles contains 560 calories

Full Pre-packaged Freeze-Dried Emergency Food Kits

  • Requires hot water to reconstitute
  • Expensive
  • Freeze-dried Food Kit Shelf-life: 30 Years
  • Freeze-dried Food Kit Calories: One Mountain House, Just In Case Classic Assortment Emergency Food Bucket contains 6120 calories

Rolled Oats

rolled oats

Scotch Highlanders were known for their strength and vitality. They survived mostly on cows milk, foraged meat, herbs, and unleavened oat bread called Bannock. Mix a fat, oats, and water and cook the flatbread on a hot griddle

Oats are definitely worth having in your emergency pantry.

  • Rolled Oats Shelf-life: 18 to 24 months in-store packaging
  • Rolled Oats Calories: According to the USDA, 1 cup of rolled oats contains 212 calories

Tip: Unleavened means bread without a rising agent. These types of bread are useful for emergency survival foods because you don’t need yeast or other rising agents.

Steel Cut Oats

I love steel-cut oats, but they take more water and longer to cook than rolled oats or instant oatmeal.

  • Steel Cut Oats Shelf-life: 18 to 24 months in-store packaging
  • Steel Cut Oats Calories: One, 30 oz. canister of Quaker Steel Cut Oats contains 3150 calories

Whole Dried Herbs & Seasonings

  • Dried Herbs & Seasonings Shelf-life: 4 years whole, 1 – 2 years ground. I’ve been using the same ground black pepper from Costco for three years, and we just finished it, so take the shelf-life with a grain of salt.
    • Spices will lose flavor over time but remain edible indefinitely.
  • Dried Herbs & Seasonings Calories: Negligible, there are almost no calories in spices and dried herbs, for instance, two tablespoons of chopped basil contain one calorie

Boxed Bread Mix

You can choose to have the staples: flour, sugar, powdered eggs, and a leavening agent or purchase pre-mixed bread, cakes, and muffins

  • Boxed Bread Mix Shelf-life: Bread mix will last 12 to 24 months in-store packaging. After this date, you may get weevils (the eggs are probably in the box from manufacturing,) and the leavening agent may be flat.
  • Boxed Bread Mix Calories: One, 14 oz. box of Pillsbury, Banana Quick Bread, and Muffin Mix contains 1400 calories

Boxed Cake Mix

  • Boxed Bread Mix Shelf-life: 12 to 24 months (keep it dry and away from humidity)
  • Boxed Bread Mix Calories: One, 15.25 oz box of Betty Crocker Super Moist Cake Mix contains 1600 calories (not including frosting)

Corn Muffin Mix

  • Corn Muffin Mix Shelf-life: 18 months
  • Corn Muffin Mix Calories: One, 8.5 oz. box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix contains 960 calories

Pancake Mix

  • Pancake Mix Shelf-life: 18 months
  • Pancake Mix Calories: One, 20 oz. box of Kodiak Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle mix contains 2090 calories

Biscuit Mix

  • Biscuit Mix Shelf-life: 2 years
  • Biscuit Mix Calories: One, 7.5 oz bag of Buttermilk Bisquick, by Betty Crocker, contains 900 calories

Fruit Preserves

Jelly and preserves are great for morale and can make an unleavened flatbread taste much better. Mix preserves in hot or cold cereals to make them more tasty. to

  • Fruit Preserves Shelf-life: 18 months after the best by date
  • Fruit Preserves Calories: One, 32 oz. jar of Smucker’s Concord Grape Jelly contains 2250 calories

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese

  • Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Shelf-life: 2 Years
  • Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Calories: One, 2.05 oz. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner contains 220 Calories

Popcorn

  • Popcorn Shelf-life: 2 years in-store packaging
  • Popcorn Calories: One, 30 oz. jar of Orville Redenbacher’s White Popcorn contains 2520 calories

Cold Cereal

  • Dry Cereal Shelf-life: 6 to 8 months beyond the best by date
  • Dry Cereal Calories: One, 24 oz. box of Kellogg’s Raisin Brain Contains 2090 calories without milk
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

Farina

  • Farina Shelf-life: 1 year in store-bought container
  • Farina Calories: One, 28 oz. box of Cream of Wheat Hot cereal contains 2640 calories

MREs Meals Ready To Eat

  • MRE Shelf-life: 5 years +
  • MRE Calories: 1 MRE Meal averages 1250 calories, three meals provide a 24-hour food supply
  • Suitable for power out or no-cook scenario

If you want to know more about MREs, check out Ready Squirrels Comprehensive article, “What is an MRE?”

Specialty Foods For Medical conditions, Elderly, Infants or Pets

This is the food group you decide! It could include medications like insulin or heart prescriptions. Cat and dog food. Baby foods or any other special consideration your family needs to address in an emergency.

Dry Packaged Soups

  • Dry Packaged Soups Shelf-life: 24 Months
  • Dry Packaged Soups Calories: One, 9 oz package of Bear Creek Country Kitchen Vegetable Beef Flavored Soup contains 880 calories

Dry Packaged Noodle Meals

  • Dry Packaged Noodles Shelf-life:
  • Dry Packaged Noodles Calories: One, 4.3 oz. Knorr Pasta Side Dish contains 440 calories per container

Dry Packaged Side-dishes

  • Dry Packaged Side Dish Shelf-life: 18-24 months
  • Dry Packaged Side Dish Calories:: One, 5.6 oz package of Knorr Chicken Flavored Rice contains 600 calories

Tips For Your Emergency Food Kit

  • Store a manual can opener
  • Have a bung wrench and a hand-pump for emergency water storage (55-gallon blue barrels)
  • Plan to store enough water for food preparation, hydration, sanitation, and hygiene
  • If you are baking, make sure you have the ingredients you need like powdered, condensed milk, and powdered eggs
  • Store a manual Grain Mill if you are using whole grains
  • I used store-bought containers when determining the majority of the shelf-lives for food in this article. Go with foods professionally packaged for long-term storage, and you can increase shelf life substantially.
  • Have a method to cook foods that require it. Store extra fuel. Only cook indoors with UL rated devices.
  • Weather Permitting set up an outdoor kitchen.
  • Learn to make yeast for leavening bread and baked goods; check out Ready Squirrel’s video, How to make bread yeast, down below.

Additional Resources

Pittsburgh Food Bank: Shelf Life of Food Bank Products PDF

For direction on creating a comprehensive emergency plan head over to Ready.gov

Creating and Storing An Emergency Water Supply CDC

How Much Food To Stockpile Per Person Ready Squirrel

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