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There has to be scientific proof somewhere that in the grocery store there is some mind-blowing space-time continuum vortex that sucks us in. Before heading to the store, we comb our cabinets in search of what is missing, make a reasonable list, and head out with a mission. But suddenly when we arrive, we see things on the shelf and it's as if the world glazes over.

"I totally need that extra bag of potatoes, I will totally use that before they spoil," we say to ourselves.

Or, we reason, "They have eight boxes of elbow macaroni for $7?! Clearly this makes more sense than paying the $1.99 for the one box I actually need."

And then we think, "Oh my, ice cream pints are buy-one, get-one? Better get 12."

Then, hours and hundreds of dollars later, you have a shopping cart half full of the things you need and half full of things you won’t be able to use in the time it takes for the expiration date to arrive. Since we are convinced that supermarkets are controlled by some sort of evil mind-controlling genius that forces you to buy things, we thought it would be nice if we offered you some solace. While there are of course ways to make your more fragile extra purchases last, there are some things you can buy guilt-free and pack away for the apocalypse without worry of spoilage at all.

Keep sugar sealed and dry? You can open your pantry years later and will still be able to use it. Did you go on a honey shopping spree? Don’t fret, three years from now you can use that same bottle to drizzle into your tea. 

To find out which foods will live happily in your pantry for a long time, click through our slideshow.

  • 1. Rice

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    Keep it dry, sealed, and bug-free and you can put those boxes of rice to use whenever the mood strikes way down the road. The only exception? Brown rice, as it is naturally oilier and will not keep as long.

  • 2. Hard Liquor

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    If you receive a fine bottle of hard liquor for a holiday and want to save it for a special occasion, go right ahead. If it's left unopened and stored, it will completely safe to consume whenever you are ready to, though the aroma of the liquor may fade slightly. If you couldn’t resist and had to open it? An industry standard is that the bottle will be good for about six to eight months.  

  • 3. Sugar

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    Because sugar (brown, confectioners', or granulated white) does not have the capacity to create an environment for bacterial growth, sugar can last indefinitely. The key is to keep it sealed and dry so it does not clump or harden.

  • 4. Pure Vanilla Extract

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    Because of its alcohol content, pure vanilla extract abides by the same rules as hard liquor: sealed and stocked away, it is completely fine. So if you purchase far too much of it for the holiday season, consider yourself prepped for next year.

  • 5. Honey

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    When honey is pure and kept tightly sealed, it can last forever. Honey may change color or crystallize over time, but you can still use it, according to the National Honey Board.

    Check out more foods that won't spoil

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