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How Long Does Peanut Butter Last?

While peanut butter is an excellent source of Vitamins, healthy fats, proteins, and carbs, it’s important to ask: how long does peanut butter last? When you’re in survival mode, you should adjust your diet to fuel your body with enough nutrients to keep you at the top of your game. Peanut butter is a nutritious spread packed with a variety of healthy fats, making it a favorite in many prepper pantries and for those stockpiling food

When bought at your local grocery store,spread only has an expected shelf life of about five years if you leave it unopened in a cool, dry place. If you opt for peanut butter powder, you can expect a shelf life closer to 15 years. How long your chosen peanut butter will last is highly dependent on the brand and added preservatives. Although peanut butter is considered a shelf-stable product, it’s best to bargain on a five-year freshness expectancy and look for tell-tale signs that it has gone rancid before using it.

How it is stored also plays a significant role in the shelf life. In this article, we go through some basic storage guidelines to help you make your peanut butter last longer and explain why this superfood is a must-have in your prepper stockpile.

How Long Does Peanut Butter Last?

When stored in optimal conditions, your peanut butter spread will last five years. The storage container and location where your peanut butter is stored greatly influence how long it will last. It’s best to leave it in the container you buy it and to keep it in a cool, dry, and dark location. This type of location paired with an airtight container will ensure that it stays fresh for the longest time possible. 

Once you open the jar, it will stay good in your pantry for about three months. If you want to keep it fresh for another three to four months, you should transfer this to your refrigerator after the initial three months it’s opened in your pantry. 

If you want to stockpile for long-term survival, it’s best to opt for powdered peanut butter. When you store it in a tinplate container, it can easily last between 10 to 15 years in a cool, dry, and dark location. You can also vacuum-seal the powder in pouches before transferring it to a tinplate can for doubled protection. If you’re ready to reconstitute for use, you can follow a ratio of 2 tablespoons powdered PB to one tablespoon clean water. 

Just keep in mind that you should only make enough for immediate use. Once the powdered peanut butter is reconstituted, it will only last about 48 hours when kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

While you can experiment with freezing it, this may not necessarily extend the shelf life. It might also leave you with a peanut butter spread that lacks flavor, which doesn’t make this idea worth trying.

The Pros and Cons

If you’re on the fence about which peanut butter would be best to purchase as part of your prep, here are some things to consider about each.

Traditional Peanut Butter (Creamy or Crunchy)


  • Widely available in supermarkets
  • Affordable
  • Readily available for use in recipes, on sandwiches, or eaten just as is


  • Estimated shelf-life of five years

Powdered Peanut Butter


  • Lightweight
  • Estimated shelf life of 10 – 15 years
  • Provides the same nutrition as traditional peanut butter


  • Local supermarkets may not stock it
  • It tends to be expensive
  • It needs to be reconstituted before use

How to Make this at Home 

If you always want to have PB and possibly jelly in your pantry, it will be worth learning how to make your own. Making your own  will also eliminate any worries about how long in your stockpile will last. With just a few ingredients, you can whip up a batch of this goodness in minutes. If you’re able to grow your own peanuts, you’ll be even more prepper-ready!

To make a batch of fresh, healthy all-natural peanut butter, follow the recipe below:


  • 300g Dry Roasted Peanuts 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  •  1- 2 Teaspoons Honey
  • Vegetable Oil As Needed


  • Start by placing your roasted PB in a food processor. 
  • Let the food processor run until the peanuts are ground into a creamy paste-like texture.
  • Add the salt and honey and continue to blend until well combined.
  • If the paste is too thick, add in some vegetable oil. If it seems too runny, add in more peanuts. 

Tell-Tale Signs That its Has Gone Bad

The shelf life of peanut butter shouldn’t be the only indicator directing you about when the best time would be to toss it. Although you can store it safely for long periods, it might go rancid before its expiration date or last far beyond it. To see if your peanut butter has gone off, look for the following signs:

Mold: Visible mold is a clear sign that your goodness has gone rancid. If any mold is present in the container, it’s better to through it out.

Bad Odor: Besides mold, a foul odor can develop. If you open it, always take a whiff at it to ensure that it doesn’t have an unusual smell.

Texture: Hard, dry, tacky PB is usually not safe to consume. If the texture isn’t smooth anymore, it’s probably gone bad and should be tossed. 

Color: While this is an uncommon sign, the color of your peanut butter may change as it goes off. The development of mold can also contribute to a color change. Whenever you notice that the color of your peanut butter has changed, it’s better to through it out or use it for other, non-edible purposes. 

Reasons to Prep

While the shelf life  is reason enough to know why it needs a spot in your prepper pantry, there are many other benefits to having peanut butter on hand, which extends past its long-lasting abilities.

Survival: When you’re stocking your pantry with survival foods, you should choose fat, protein, and calorie-dense items. this ticks all these boxes and can fuel your body to keep it going for a long time. Although you won’t be able to survive on peanut butter alone, it will keep your body and mind fueled during tough times. Additionally it is also a good substitute for butter in recipes.

Bait: Great lure for mice and bugs who can’t resist its rich nutty flavors. You can use a spoonful of peanut butter to set up traps or smear it near door and window entrances or cracks to catch tiny insects. 

Lubricant: Considered a miracle worker when it comes to old, rusty mechanical parts. When you smear it on as you would any other lubricant, it breathes new life into it. 

Nutritional Benefits

PB is packed with nutrients and will offer you many health-boosting benefits during tough times when food is scarce. If you know how to store peanut butter to make it last until or beyond its shelf life, you’ll be able to reap the nutritional benefits that it holds. 

Heart Health: Oleic acid, which is the main fat, helps maintain a good cholesterol balance and healthy blood sugar levels. When these are in harmony, your risk of heart disease decreases.

Diabetes: Oleic acid also reduces insulin resistance, decreasing your chances of diabetes.

Anticancer Properties: Manganese, vitamin E, and vitamin B are all great sources of antioxidants found in peanut butter. These nutrients repair cell damage and can reduce any risks you might have of developing cancer. 

Staying in good health when SHTF is vital for survival. You might not be able to access medical care in these times, and staying in optimal health by keeping your body fuelled with the proper nutrients will help you steer away from illness. 

To Wrap it Up

Whether a natural disaster throws you off the grid or SHTF in another way, having peanut butter on hand during these times can help you through. Fuelling your mind and body with the nutrients in peanut butter will help you cope in challenging survival situations. Given its widespread availability, this is a great survival food to stock, and there’s not much that can compete with it. 

If you’re not a fan of its flavor, there are many ways to incorporate peanut butter into meals that can take the edge off. During survival situations, it’s vital to have food in your pantry with a long shelf life that’s packed with nutrients, whether it’s your favorite ingredients or not. After getting the low-down on peanut butter from this article, you should have enough info to know that it’s a great addition to your survival food prepping list.

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