Healthy prepping: 10 Affordable and nutritious foods that have a long shelf-life
03/29/2022 // Zoey Sky // Views

Before disaster strikes, you need to make sure that your survival stockpile contains different items and ingredients that you can use to cook for your family when stores run out of products.

If you're on a budget, Larry and Hope Ware got your back. In the program "Under the Median: Living with Joy and Abundance on a Shoestring Budget," they talked about 10 affordable and nutritious items that you can buy for your stockpile.

These items have a long shelf-life so you don't have to worry about any item expiring before you get to use them.

Grains like wheat and buckwheat

Buckwheat is a great gluten-free option for people who are gluten intolerant or cannot eat gluten at all. Buckwheat has a nice nutty flavor and like other kinds of grains, it's versatile and can be used to make:

  • Bread
  • Cookies
  • Curry
  • Pancakes
  • Pilaf
  • Porridge
  • Risotto
  • Salad
  • Scones
  • Soup

You can also stock up on hard red wheat, a hard winter wheat that can last a long time. With a grain mill, you can turn hard red wheat into flour for baking.

Canned fruits and vegetables

When SHTF, you need nutritious ingredients like canned fruits and veggies like green beans, pumpkin and white potatoes.

You should also stock up on sauerkraut or other foods stored in an acidic solution, either in a vinegar-based solution or a salt-based solution so you can make sure that they last long like olives and pickles.

Dried beans

Dried beans are full of dietary fiber, protein and essential minerals like magnesium. Note that older beans might be drier and tougher so they will need a longer cooking time to soften.


Not sure what kind of beans to stock up on? Here are some suggestions:

  • Black beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Pinto beans

If you buy 50-pound bags of beans, repackage them into smaller bags and store those in your pantry.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is high in saturated fat and can last for years on the shelf at room temperature.

It has a high flashpoint, meaning you can cook at relatively high temperatures with it without the oil burning.


Pure salt is very inhospitable to bacteria and you're unlikely to see any mold growing on salt.

Additionally, salt can be used for preserving food and seasoning.

Dried herbs and spices

Along with salt, you can use dried herbs and spices to season various dishes.

Generally, dried herbs and spices don't go bad but they will eventually lose their flavor a little bit so you may need to use more when cooking.

Here are some herbs and spices that you should stock up on before SHTF:

  • Chamomile can help you get a good night's sleep and treat a stuffy nose. Just boil it in a pot of water and breathe in the steam.
  • Fennel and lemon balm can both help soothe an upset stomach.
  • Ginger helps relieve nausea. Use it to make lemon ginger tea that can reduce swelling if you have a sore throat. Drink several cups of lemon ginger tea for relief overnight.
  • Hibiscus tea also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help lower blood pressure.
  • Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory that can help heal sores on your skin.

White rice

When properly sealed and stored, white rice can have a shelf life of 25 to 30 years.

Use rice to make breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also grind it to make gluten-free rice flour.

You can also stock up on brown rice, but it only has a shelf life of six to nine months. It has natural oils so it's going to go rancid more quickly than white rice. (Related: The Health Ranger talks with Brad Harris about budget-friendly prepping – Brighteon.TV.)

Natural sweeteners

When stored in an unopened glass jar, maple syrup can last up to a decade or even longer. The shelf life of maple syrup is reduced when stored in plastic.

If you store maple syrup in the fridge after opening a container, it will normally form crystals. This is not a sign of spoilage. Get rid of crystals by warming it a bit.

Alternatively, you can stock up on honey, manuka honey or molasses.

Baking soda

Baking soda lasts indefinitely, but it can lose its leavening power over time. To test, combine two teaspoons of vinegar and a quarter cup of baking soda.

If it bubbles, your baking soda is still good to use.


Stock up on vinegar for cooking and seasoning. You can use other kinds of vinegar like apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, rice wine vinegar, white vinegar or white wine vinegar.

White vinegar is versatile and can be used to preserve foods through pickling.

With these 10 items, you can survive a short- or long-term disaster. To make sure you don't get bored of eating the same things, stock up on other ingredients or grow fruits and veggies in your home garden.

Watch the full video below of "Under the Median: Living with Joy and Abundance on a Shoestring Budget" with Larry and Hope Ware to learn more about these 10 pantry essentials.

This video is from the Alex Hammer channel on

More related stories:

Prepping food supply tips: How to eat healthy on a budget.

Prepping food supply 101: How to survive if you run out of supplies during a long-term disaster.

Food supply 101: Top 14 food items for your survival stockpile.

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