This Chart Shows You Exactly How Long Your Pantry Staples Really Last


Since the start of the pandemic, people have been rethinking their go to trade. People have predominantly started ordering online or shopping at large stores to create supplies. Sure, fresh foods such as vegetables, fruits, eggs and dairy products are the best option, but when it is not possible to do this all the time, people have to pay attention to their shelf life when buying groceries.

The amount of food in the warehouse must always be taken into account and it must be checked that they are still good, which will save unnecessary travel to the store.

People do not have to rule only by the date on the product, because even when it has passed, that food has not expired (except when it comes to baby food, which must be eaten before the date of use.) The products have the date by which it is most convenient use, but the dishes are later of good quality and edible.

The shelf life will only be fulfilled if these foods are properly stored in hermetically sealed, cold and dry conditions. If the food boxes are opened and then improperly closed, they may become damp or exposed to high temperatures and the food may be spoiled. When this happens, first of all, you should check for mold, odor, acid, and color and texture. In closed cans, a recess or bulge may be noted. These signs tell us that food should not be eaten.

Here are some guidelines on how to explore the dark corners of your pantry or items that you should consider adding to your cart.

0–1 Year

Dried fruits – can be stored in tightly closed containers, in well-covered containers, or frozen to extend their shelf life by six months.

1–3 Years

  • Bouillon
  • Dark Chocolate – It is best when wrapped in its original packaging. If it was opened, wrap it tightly. The advantage of dark chocolate – it lasts longer than milk or white chocolate, which should be eaten within a year.
  • Dried Pasta – It lasts up to two years, while homemade jerky, should be eaten within a few weeks.
  • Oats – If you want to keep your oats good long-term, take them out of their cardboard containers into airtight ones. They should stay good for about 12 months.
  • Oil – Keep unopened oils out of direct sunlight and heat, and they should keep for a few years. Once they are opened, it would be best to use them within a few months. Cooking oil spray should keep for two years.
  • Tea
  • Ramen noodles (yes, there are healthier ways to make it, just ditch the flavor packets, use your own ingredients)
  • Powdered Milk – Powdered milk can last up to 1–2 years in an airtight container with a moisture-absorbing packet in a cool and dark area.
  • Tomato Sauce (unopened)
  • Unopened Jam – Once jams and jellies are opened, they should be kept in the fridge for up to six months. Unopened jars can stay good for two years.

3–5 Years

Canned Tuna 

Unopened Pickles and Pickled Veggies – Once they are opened, they should be able to last several months in the fridge.

Spices – Spices can lose their potency over time, but whole spices can last for about four years and ground spices are best eaten within three years.

5–10 Years

Canned Fruit, Vegetables, and Beans – These can last 1–2 years past their best-by dates, but give them a sniff test to make sure. [3]

Grains – Buy grains like quinoa, barley, rye, flax, grits, and millet in bulk and store them in airtight containers.

Molasses – Keeps up to ten years unopened, and up to five when opened.

10+ Years

Instant Coffee – This can last for about 25 years, longer in the freezer, and good thing too. Instant coffee provides a quick caffeine fix during a time when venturing out to a coffee shop is not recommended.

Rice – White, basmati, jasmine, wild, and Arborio rice have low oil content and have an indefinite shelf life with proper storing conditions. However, brown rice has more oil so it spoils more quickly.


Corn Starch 

Dried Beans, Lentils, and Legumes 

Liquor – The high alcohol content (typically 40% alcohol or higher) of hard liquor wards off bacterial growth that spoils food. Store them at room temperature; no need to freeze them. Keep in mind that some liquors like vermouth and Irish cream, should be kept in the fridge after they are opened, and have a shorter shelf life. Most manufacturers recommend using opened liquors within a year, but this has to do with taste, and not product safety. For more info on the shelf life of alcoholic beverages in general, check this article out.

Unopened Maple Syrup – Unopened maple syrup can be kept on the shelf, but once opened it should be refrigerated and eaten within a year.

Popcorn kernels 

Honey  (Of any type. It will only crystalize, which is harmless)

Unopened Soy Sauce – Once opened, soy sauce should be consumed within two to three years while stored in the fridge.

Unflavoured gelatin powder



Pure Vanilla Extract – Imitation vanilla expires after two to four years.



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