Special Report

20 Foods You Should Buy During a Quarantine (Because of Their Long Shelf Lives)

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11. Honey
> Shelf life: Indefinite

Jars of honey are typically stamped with a “best by” date that’s anywhere from two to five years from the time they’re packaged. Manufacturers do this because as it ages, honey may darken and sugar crystals may form — perfectly harmless, but off-putting to some consumers. However, pure 100% undiluted honey in an unopened jar, stored in a cool, dark place, will remain edible for years, and probably decades (if not generations), after it’s made.

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12. Liquor
> Shelf life: Indefinite

Wine is often said to be a living thing, evolving as it ages — sometimes greatly improving with the years but also sometimes going bad through exposure to extreme heat or cold, oxidation, or other factors. Hard liquor neither improves nor spoils. Unopened bottles of spirits virtually never change, because of their high alcohol content. Even opened bottles, if the cork or cap is kept on, will likely taste the same 20 years from now as they do today. The only exception is with some sweet liqueurs, in which the sugar might precipitate out, leaving them slightly less sweet.

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13. Onions
> Shelf life: 1 to 2 months

Store onions and onion relatives like shallots and garlic in a cool, dry, dark place if you want them to last as long as possible. And while onions and potatoes might go well together in cooking, don’t store them next to each other: Potatoes give off gases that will shorten the onions’ lifespan.

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14. Peanut butter
> Shelf life: 2 years

An unopened jar of peanut butter kept at room temperature should actually last longer than a couple of years, though with time, the oil will separate from the solids, drying out the peanut butter, and the flavor may fade a bit. Even once you open a jar, it isn’t necessary to refrigerate the peanut butter. Stored in a dark place at room temperature, it will remain flavorful and safe to eat for as long as three months, according to the National Peanut Board.

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15. Peanuts
> Shelf life: 1 to 9 months

Peanuts in their shell, especially when kept cool and dry, will survive nicely at room temperature for at least a month. An unopened can of peanuts should be good for six to nine months after its “best by” date.