Weather Center

Storm Season Shelf Life

By Callie Leahy 1.20.15

From Texas’ rip-roaring storm season to the brazen winters that strike the Lone Star State, Texans are born and bred with a “be prepared for anything” attitude when it comes to the weather — and your pantry should be no different. But before you head to the grocery store for a quick pre-storm stock up of the essentials, check out our list of the top 20 items to have in your pantry.

  • Soup — (Tip: Don’t buy or store cans with dents or dings, as they might compromise the seal, which aids in a long shelf life.)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Pasta
  • Jello
  • Potatoes
  • Canned chili
  • Dry beans
  • Quick bread/cake mix — just-add-water cake, muffin, and bread mixes are ideal for stocking your pantry in case of an emergency.
  • Gravy
  • White rice (Tip: White rice lasts longer than other types of rice, so keep a good stock of white rice on hand.)
  • Oatmeal
  • Cocoa powder
  • Honey (Tip: Honey has an indefinite shelf life and is a great natural sweetener if you don’t happen to have sugar or syrup on hand.)
  • Sugar
  • Peanut butter (Tip: Packed with oils and proteins, peanut butter is the perfect sustaining ingredient for a long-term shelf life.)
  • Canned meats like chicken and tuna
  • Canned fruits and veggies
  • Powdered eggs (Tip: Powdered eggs can last for months, even years, and are a great substitute for the real thing in pressing times.)
  • Popcorn
  • Raisins (Tip: Since raisins are already dehydrated, they make an ideal snack for emergency situations, and if they dry out, you can rehydrate them simply by cooking with them.)

Did the storm hit before you got the chance to safely go to the store? Check out “reverse recipe” websites like Ingredient Chef, Recipe Matcher, and SuperCook where you simply tell the site which ingredients you already have on hand, and it will suggest a delicious recipe based on those specific ingredients. You can also use substitution websites like EatByDate and The Cook’s Thesaurus to easily look up substitutions for ingredients you’re missing.

For Texas-style recipes, check out Texas Heritage for Living® on Pinterest!