Special Report

20 Foods to Buy While You’re Sheltering in Place

Source: hayatikayhan / Getty Images

1. Apples
> Shelf life: 2 weeks to 6 months

The apples we eat in spring and summer were often harvested in cooler weather. That’s because they’re a fruit that can stay fresh and crisp for as long as six months if they’re stored in a cold, dark place (such as a root cellar in winter). If they’re kept in a fruit bowl at room temperature, they’ll generally remain at their best for at least two weeks, sometimes as long as a month.

Source: Juanmonino / Getty Images

2. Beef jerky
> Shelf life: 1 to 2 years

Many cultures have dried pieces of meat to serve as sustenance in the wilderness and on long journeys. Modern-day beef jerky serves the same purposes, on hikes and road trips, but it’s also a delicious snack to have around the house — especially for anyone on a keto diet. It’s lean, dry, and salted, a combination of qualities that contribute to its longevity if it’s kept in an unopened package.

Source: serezniy / iStock via Getty Images

3. Bouillon cubes
> Shelf life: 2 years

These tiny blocks of concentrated broth or stock, which can be turned into soup almost instantly, will last at least 24 months if you keep them dry and in a well-sealed package (oxygen and moisture are their enemies).

Source: YinYang / E+ via Getty Images

4. Canned fruits and vegetables
> Shelf life: 1 to 2 years past “best by” date

Canning is one of the most efficient techniques for preserving food. If canned foods aren’t subjected to extreme heat, their contents should stay good for at least one year and possibly two past the “best by” date on the can. Cans with swollen tops or sides should be discarded, however, as this may indicate the presence of bacteria.

Source: urguplu / iStock via Getty Images

5. Canned or vacuum-pouched tuna
> Shelf life: 3 to 5 years after “best by” date

Canned tuna (including that in vacuum-packed pouches) is the second-most-popular seafood in America, after shrimp. Part of its great appeal, besides its versatility, is that it lasts a long time. If it’s stored in a cool place and the can isn’t damaged, it will likely remain safe to eat for more as long as five years.