If you are like me…. you don’t often look in the back of your cabinets and pantries.  How long will those open items stay good for?  It is a guessing game that can be very dangerous.  You never want to eat something unless you are sure it is still good.  How do we know?   The other day I found a can in the back I forgot I had.  It was way past the expiration date and it was money thrown in the garbage.  Don’t waste your money on un-used food items or items that go bad.  Make sure when things are getting close to their expiration date you use them before they have to be thrown away.  I challenge you to use some of the items in the back of your pantry… this will save you money.  Below is a guideline of the life expectancy of various foods after they have been opened.  I was surprised by some of these dates……I guess I will be cleaning out my frig and pantry this week.  Items may vary, but this can help you keep your pantry up to date.

1 Week – 2 Weeks

  • Bread – Potato Chips
  • Refrigerate after opening:  Canned Frosting – Olives – Ground Coffee

1 Month

  • Pasta – Egg Noodles
  • Refrigerate after opening:  Gravey Mix – Salsa

3 Months – 4 Months

  • frosting mixes – Peanut Butter – Dry Cereal – Pudding Mix – Dried Mushrooms
  • Refrigerate after opening:  Mayonnaise – Pickles – Salad Dressing – Instant Coffee -Barbeque Sauce – Horseradish

6 Months – 8 Months

  • White Flour – Baking Powder – Baking Soda – Molasses – Brown Rice – Bread Crumbs – Oil – Ground Spices
  • Refrigerate after opening:  Whole Wheat Flour – Ketchup – Cocktail Sauce – Chili Sauce – Jam – Jelly – Marmalade – Maple Syrup – Relish

1 Year

  • Cocoa Mixes – Dry Pasta w/out eggs – Dry Herbs – Honey – White Rice – Vanilla – Whole Spices
  • Refrigerate after opening:  Cornmeal – Mustard – Worcestershire Sauce

18 Months – 2 Years

  • Cornstarch – Sugar Substitutes

3 Years

  • Vinegar


  • Brown Sugar – Granulated White Sugar – Salt

Make sure you go through your cabinets and check the Best If Used Before dates on your boxed and canned foods.  Try to used foods that are getting close to their expiration dates.

6 responses to “TO USE OR NOT TO USE?

  1. Great post! Very educational for me since I’m the one in the kitchen (wife can’t boil water). Those dry spices and herbs are annoying. As small as they are I never use the whole container within a year; probably better just to buy fresh.

    • I agree! I am sad to say I have some that have been in there since the beginning of time. Time to re-organize that shelf and see what I really need to replace.

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