Dry beans stored in food-grade bags of polyethylene have a shelf life of about a year. The shelf life might be shorter if the beans are kept in the original bag. Dry beans stored in bags without oxygen can last up to 10 years.
Dry beans come in many varieties, such as garbanzo, small red, soy, lima and kidney. Beans can be stored in bags or air-tight tins and canning jars. They should be kept in a cool, dry place, such as a cabinet or pantry in the kitchen. During a taste test, pinto beans have some loss of quality and taste with long-term storage, though they are still acceptable as an emergency food source.