Food Hacks

Don’t toss these foods out! 20 foods that last past their expiration date

October 22nd, 2020

We can spend a lot of money at the grocery store, so we want to make sure we’re getting our money’s worth.

You might be able to do that by getting the most out of your groceries before you toss them out.

You see, not everything has an expiration date. And if it does, it might still be usable for a while longer than the date stamped on its packaging.

Here are 20 foods that last past their expiration date:

Waste less, spend less. Pay attention to expiration dates! Sad but true, manufacturers say consumers WANT expiration…

Posted by UF/IFAS Leon County Extension onMonday, April 6, 2020

1) Bags of Salad

Salad bags usually have an expiration date on them but it’s pretty obvious when your salad goes bad. It’s dark, slimy, and maybe even moldy. Salad bags are supposed to stay fresh for about 10 days when they are in your fridge unopened and about five days once opened.

Cabbage greens can last much longer. But these rules aren’t steadfast. We’ve all had salad bags go bad in a blink of an eye. You can maximize the shelf life of your salad bags after you’ve opened them by placing a paper towel inside the bag to soak up moisture. Change it out every few days.

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Amazon Source: Amazon

2) Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Frozen fruits and vegetables will always have expiration dates on their bags. However, you’re frozen fruits and veggies are likely to last longer than whatever date is stamped on the bag. Closed bags of fruit should be good for up to 10 months while open packages will be good for no more than eight months.

Vegetables have a similar frozen shelf life, though things like carrots, broccoli, and celery can stay frozen for about a year. Tomatoes and bell peppers, however, will only be good after five months. If your fruits or veggies start to look or smell weird, toss them out ASAP.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

3) Milk

Milk often has a “best by” date, but you can still use milk for up to a week after that date. Unopened skim milk or lactose-free milk will be good for about 10 days past their “best by” date. It’s best to store your milk in the back of the refrigerator. Keeping it in the fridge door exposes it to fluctuating temperatures rather than keeping it steadily cold.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

4) Canned Food

Canned foods are typically good for about two years after they were canned, according to the Canned Food Alliance. But it varies drastically depending on the food.

Acidic items like tomatoes can hold up for about 18 months, while beans are good for up to five years. It’s best to keep your canned food stored in a cool, dark place.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

5) Pickled Vegetables

Pickled vegetables are known for their storage capabilities. They can stay for about two years after their “best by” date. They just have to be properly sealed in the refrigerator. Some things like Kimchi undergo a different pickling process and are only good for six months in the fridge. Pickled items will smell foul or become fizzy when they go bad.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

6) Breakfast Cereal

Most breakfast cereals are filled with preservatives that give them a long shelf life. A closed box of cereal can last up to six to eight months after its expiration date. Opened boxes are good for about six months.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

7) Eggs

Eggs have a “best by” date but they’re usually still good for about three to five weeks after you buy them. There is a test to see if your egg has spoiled or not. Float it in some water. If it sinks it’s fresh, if it floats that means it’s no longer good. If your egg floats to the middle, they are still OK but on their way out.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

8) Cheese

Cheese’s shelf life depends on the cheese. Hard cheeses are good for about four months in the refrigerator. If moldy spots form, you can just cut them off. It’s better to go by the packaging’s expiration date when it comes to softer cheeses. They are good for about two weeks after opening. Shredded cheese can sometimes hold out for two months after opening.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

9) Peanut Butter

An opened jar of peanut butter will last about three months in the pantry, while an unopened one will be edible for about nine months. If kept in the refrigerator, an opened jar should be good for about six months. Expired peanut butter probably won’t get you sick but it will probably taste gross.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

10) Lunch Meat

Lunchmeat should stay fresh between three and five days after it’s opened. It might last up to 10 days after its “sell by” date. But if it smells funky or has a film or slime, chuck it out.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

11) Cake Mix

Cake mix tastes best when it is used within four to five months of its “best by” date. Anything older than that probably won’t taste as good. Make sure you keep your mix in a sealed container and in a dry place like the pantry or cupboard.

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Amazon Source: Amazon

12) Bread

Bread is good as long as it isn’t stale or moldy. You should get about a week to a couple of weeks out of it before it goes stale or moldy depending on the kind of bread. Just keep in in a pantry free from moisture. Frozen bread will last for about six months.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

13) Applesauce

Applesauce is another food that has a pretty good shelf life. It can stay fresh for about 12 to 18 months after its expiration date. Keep it stored in a dark cool and dry place. An opened container will last up to two months in the refrigerator.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

15) Honey

Honey can pretty much stay good indefinitely as long as it’s properly stored. Keep your honey dry and free from moisture or water. It should last until you finish it if you keep it sealed in the pantry.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

16) Chocolate

Chocolate bars stay good for about two to four months when kept in the pantry. It will last four to six months in the refrigerator. Chocolate chips can go a little longer at six to eight months. Dots or cracks on the surface indicate that the chocolate has gone bad. Truffles have a shorter shelf life of about a few weeks.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

17) Butter and Margarine

Butter stays fresh between six to nine months in the refrigerator. Or about one month after its “best by” date. Unopened margarine stays longer for up to five months after its expiration. Opened margarine lasts for two months in the fridge.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

18) Crackers and Chips

An unopened bag of chips can be good for up to three months past its “sell by” date. Crackers should be good for nine months after that date. You can tell if they’ve gone bad if they are moldy, discolored, or if they smell funky.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

19) Sugar

Granulated, raw, and cubed sugar can last indefinitely if stored properly away from moisture, light, and heat. Keep it in an airtight container so it doesn’t absorb any weird smells. Brown and powdered sugars are best consumed within two years.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

20) Dry Pasta

Dry pasta can be eaten way past it’s ‘best by date. In fact, according to Eat by Date it can last up to two years in the pantry. Just keep in mind that cooked pasta is different. Once you’ve cooked pasta it’ll stay fresh for about a week in the fridge.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

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