Have you gone through your pantry lately? You know how sometimes food containers get pushed back so far to the back, you forget what you have? When you find them, you have no idea if it’s still good or if you need to toss it. This list will help make your decision a whole lot easier.
Before you start throwing anything away, keep in mind that expiration dates are different from best by, sell by, and use by dates. All these dates refer to the quality and flavor of food rather than the safety or expiration of food.
10. Dried Legumes
These beans are the kind in bags, not in cans. Store them in bottles or sealed bags, and they can last many years. The quality of the beans may decrease some, but they are still very edible.
9. Bouillon Cubes
Bouillon cubes help make soups and stew tasty and will keep indefinitely due to their high salt content. It’s best to store them in sealed bags.
8. Vinegars Are Forever
What’s nice about bottles of vinegar is that they contain acetic acid, which can last forever. This includes all kinds of vinegar: white, apple cider, balsamic, or rice. Not to mention that vinegar can flavor so many foods and preserve your pickled veggies from the garden.
7. Honey Is Always Good
Honey never goes bad; there is no expiration date. It may harden, but it can be softened with heat, thanks to the magical chemistry of the bees.
6. Pasta of Many Shapes
Generally, most white or durum flour pastas can last indefinitely. Just keep them sealed to avoid any critters.
5. Salt, If Kept Dry
Salt can keep forever; it is a mineral from the earth itself. If you live in a very humid climate where salt gets very moist and wet, you might be able to keep it drier with silica drying packets. Keep out of direct sunlight as well.
4. Ghee Makes a Great Butter Substitute
Butter itself may not keep for long, but ghee, which is a butter oil prepared by removing the milk solids, has no expiration. This is also good for those who are sensitive to dairy.
3. Yummy Maple Syrup
Maple syrup has an indefinite shelf life, especially if unopened. This is due to the sugar’s resistance to microbial growth and mold, says the Massachusetts Maple Syrup Producers Association.
2. Famous Ramen Noodles
The quick, cheap, and easy food for anyone in a hurry or in college. Ramen noodle packages can last forever due to the high salt content in the mix.
1. Instant Coffee
Of course, dried powdered coffee is not anything like the fresh roasted kind, but when you don’t have a choice and you need caffeine, instant coffee will do. Powdered coffee will last forever as long as it does not get wet.