SHTFPreparedness may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
How long can you rely on everyday household goods? What stock should we put into the manufacturer’s “expiration date” or even the “best used by date”?
Expiration Date Cheat Sheet
Stockpiling food, tools, and other resources is a futile act if you don’t pay close attention to the potential longevity – or otherwise – of your goods.
When times are good, we don’t tend to think too hard about the products we buy.
Stores stamp their produce with sell-by dates that might have less to do with how long an item will be good to eat, than the store’s own stock rotation policies. So long as we know we can quickly replace something that’s no good anymore, there isn’t too much need to worry about it.
The Best Time to Replace Just About Everything
But when that SHTF situation strikes, you will soon wish you knew the true value of the perishable goods in your home and garage. You’ll want to make sure you’re eating through short lifespan goods such as fruit and vegetables in the first few weeks. However, it’s good to know that essentials such as sugar and rice can last indefinitely.
It is well worth stocking up on these mainstays. They could be your long-term lifeline.
In the meantime, you should think twice before giving up on items such as oatmeal or canned fish. These may outlast their given use-by date. Judged with your nose rather than the date stamp!
It’s not just food: you need to know the tools and gadgets around you that can be relied on, too.
Safety equipment should be approached item by item. Check the projected longevity with the manufacturer while you still can. The important thing is not to assume that apparently inanimate items will last forever.
Car airbags and smoke alarms should be changed at least every ten years. Make sure you have back-up stored for when you need it. Think ahead to what your family will need not just one week, but one, five, fifteen years into an SHTF scenario.
For some tips on where to start, check out this infographic. The graphic indicates some surprising expiry dates of everyday household goods.
Prepping is not about hoarding mindlessly: smart stockpiling can ensure you make the most sustainable use of your essential resources.