How Long Will My Wheat Store?

How long will my wheat store?

Some of my wheat I vacuum sealed in bags and some I vacuumed into preserving jars using a Food Saver. I placed the bags and jars into food grade buckets (not vacuum sealed) to protect them and stored them in the basement of our home which keeps an average temperature of 10-12 deg. C year round. I live in NZ.


If kept free of outside moister and vermin wheat in whole grain form will store for 30 years or more. Wheat seed was found in the pyramids that was dated to around 2500 BC or 4,500 years old – scientists planted some of the seed and it sprouted and grew.

A good food storage shelf-life chart that I think you will find useful can be found here.  

-M.D. Creekmore

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Thanks for the link to the chart. I guess if properly stored most things will last quite a while. Knowing how to store things is the key. Excellent post.

  2. Does anybody have an idea of how long flour will store airtight?

  3. Mountain Rifleman says:

    M.D., I packed 500 pounds of hard red winter Montana wheat in food grade buckets with a walnut size piece of dry ice. That was 35 years ago. The buckets have been stored in a shed outdoors with no heat. That was in two different mountain states with 4 seasons with temps between 100 F and -30 F. I still have 350 pounds of the wheat. The wheat remains in perfect condition. I bake hamburger and hot dog buns using 2/3 cup of twice ground whole wheat and 1 1/2 cup white flour, and of course, the other stuff that goes with making bread.

    The buckets have remained in good shape. Looks like the wheat is going to last a long time.

    Mountain Rifleman

    • Mountain Rifleman,

      2 Questions:

      1. Was the dry ice used as the oxygen remover?

      2. Did you only use the bucket by itself or did you use a mylar bag then put it into the bucket?

      • Mountain Rifleman says:

        Steve, I used the bucket by itself. The buckets have an ‘O’ ring. I used the dry ice (CO2) to kill any insects.

        I also store enriched white flour in similar buckets, but without the dry ice. I recently used the last of the white flour dated 1977. It made good bread and biscuits. I’m now using my 1988 white flour stores. I just dump the flour from the grocery store into the clean buckets. I’ve never had a bad batch.

        It makes sense to rotate your stuff, but I’ve got a lot of flour.

        Grinding is a lot of work, but I still keep hard red winter wheat in buckets. Cold storage lockers is where I get my dry ice.

        Mountain Rifleman

        • Holy crap rotate your product?! You can’t possibly live that long! 🙂

          As far as the flour, do you just dump it in the buckets, seal the lid and that’s it?

          • Mountain Rifleman says:

            That’s it, Steve, dump it.

            Then I make biscuits and gravy, good food made from white flour. Simple, clean, plastic buckets nothing added. Two cups a day for one loaf of bread, or a batch of biscuits. Eighty cups per bucket. Each bucket of flour lasts forty days. That’s nine buckets per year.

            I like to take an old cold tater and a biscuit when I’m out shooting.

            Mountain Rifleman

  4. My wife once had similar questions about dried apple slices destined for cereal boxes that were salvaged from a truck accident in Montana. She simply called the LDS cannery in Salt Lake and they put her in touch with their quality control people. Now whenever she has questions regarding longevity or the like she gives them a call.

  5. Opinions differ, even among experts, on food storage time lengths. It’s a good idea to check several sources, and take a mid-point.

    There are people who insist ground flour or meal will last only 6mo. and those who insist they regularly use 5 yr. old that is perfectly good. You try methods out, and judge, taking into consideration just how optimal your storage conditions are.

  6. OhioPrepper says:

    While at the LDS Storehouse a few weeks ago I discussed this with the cannery manager. Hard wheat in cans is 30 years. Flour in cans is 10 years. He said that food in Mylar bags were only 15-20 years. If you download the cannery order form it lists the expected shelf life for most of the bulk foods they have available. All of this of course means dark, cool, and dry. The Foodsaver bags are not meant for really long term storage, and I’ve heard so many different estimates that I consider them only rumors that I won’t repeat. The vacuum sealed glass jars I suspect would keep like a can, as long as the seal is intact and it’s kept in the dark. Sue’s temperature range of 10-12C (50-54 F) seems, at least to me, to be the ideal range for long term storage. These are the best practices for food storage and while some food may keep for a lot longer in less than ideal conditions, you exceed those times and conditions at your own risk. We’ve all heard about the old guy who’s 97 years old and smoked all of his life without getting cancer or emphysema, but I think we all know that he is the exception and not the rule. The stuff is inexpensive enough that it’s not worth the risk if you’re really counting on it.

    • Ohio,

      Maybe you can answer my question above – does dry ice work as an oxygen remover? It would make sense but wasn’t sure & it would sure seem like the safest way to remove the oxygen.

      Thank you in advance ~

      • Dry ice replaces the oxygen in the container with carbon dioxide – the carbon dioxide released from the evaporating dry ice will also kill all insect life in the food and container. I don’t use it preferring oxygen absorbers which are easier to find and use.

  7. I don’t know how other folks can manage to keep white flour. I leave it in its original packaging, and seal it in airtight containers and store it in a cool place, but it still won’t keep past the use-by date, which is about 6 months. I’m using some currently that has just passed the use-by date, and it’s very musty and unpleasant smelling, it seems ok to use, still rises and tastes ok, but I don’t know how healthy it is. The musty smell must be caused by micro-organisms, fungi or mould types, surely.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      By original packaging I assume you mean either paper or plastic bag. By air tight I assume you don’t mean an oxygen free environment. This combination will allow molds and other critters to grow and cause problems. The LDS recommendation is in #10 cans with an O2 absorber, and list a 10 year shelf life. If you’re storing in paper, I would move the contents into Mylar or plastic and evacuate the O2 with a vacuum sealer, dry ice, or an O2 absorber. A #10 can or Mylar bag with an O2 absorber would be best.

      • Yes I agree that these measures are what is needed to make it last, but at this stage I don’t have access to mylar bags or oxygen absorbers. I may be able to access liquid nitrogen, but I need to work out how to use it to drive out the oxygen before sealing as best as I can.

  8. SrvivlSally says:

    We stored up at least 25 lbs. of corn starch into heat-sealed bags inside buckets with well sealing lids. The list does not show that it can be stored but, if the stuff keeps and we are pretty sure that it will, we will be able to have gravies, sauces, puddings and other things that we would sorely miss wtshtf. Thank you for the article and the list of which I am going to pass on to a few of my friends because I know they will love having it. Our stuffs have instant mashed potatoes, dried onions, canned butter and also bacon and lots of spices which are in their original containers and are still good after five years now. We are pretty set but we always keep our minds focused upon obtaining more as often as possible. A little here and a bit there and it really does add up after a while. Have to go and check the cache buckets outdoors to see how things are, if anything needs replaced or not, especially the water. Having those tucked away outside gives me a little relief because if thieves were able to get their hands upon what we have then there we, at least, have a supply that will get us by until I can wrangle up some deer, coon or other wild meat.

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