June 30, 2011

The Fresh List

Alright, so how many times have you been starving to death and finally hauled your ass out to the kitchen to look for something to eat in the fridge, only to realize it's been rotting for the past week (k, maybe that's stretching it a bit much, but still!). Yes, I'm talking to you, poor college students, and everybody else - I know this has happened to you at least a few times! Well, I got sick of this happening over and over again and decided to arm myself with knowledge and find out how long food items will last. Here it is:

Meat and Poultry - Uncooked

Raw poultry will start to go off after being in the fridge for about two days. Same goes for raw fish, raw shellfish and raw ground meats. These items last much, much longer when stored in the freezer but the trick is to keep things organized so you know what’s actually in there.
  • Chicken and turkey - Nine months
  • Steaks, beef - Six to 12 months
  • Chops, pork - Four to six months
  • Chops, lamb - Six to nine months
  • Roasts, beef - Six to 12 months
  • Roasts, lamb - Six to nine months
  • Roasts, pork and veal - Four to six months
  • Stew Meats - Three to four months
  • Ground meats - Three to four months

Dairy Products
  • Butter/margarine - Six to nine months
  • Cheese, soft and spreads, dips - One month
  • Cheese, hard or semi-hard - Six months
  • Eggs in shell- Do not freeze. Eggs can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to five weeks.
  • Ice cream - One month
  • Milk / Cream - Three weeks 

Dried Food Items - Shelf Life

Canned foods will remain safe for an indefinite period of time, but at some point, the quality will be so bad, you won’t want to use it. As long as the can is in good shape without any dents or rusting, and you follow the rules for storage, the food in the can will be fine.
  • Baking powder/soda - 18 months
  • Bread Crumbs - Six months
  • Cereals - Six months
  • Coffee creamer, dry - Six months
  • Flour/cake mixes - One year
  • Gelatin/pudding mixes - One year
  • Herbs/spices - Six to 12 months
  • Milk, nonfat dry - Six months
  • Pancake/pie crust mixes - Six months
  • Pasta/noodles - Two years
  • Potatoes, instant - 18 months
  • Rice, white - Two years
  • Sugar, granulated - Two years
  • Sugar, brown, confectioners'- Four months
Fruits & Vegetables
Commercially frozen fruits will last up to a year in your freezer. Commercially frozen vegetables have a life-span of only eight months. Where cooked food is concerned, leftovers stored in the fridge are only good for about 3 -4 days and this includes cooked vegetables.

Most juices that you buy, such as apple juice, can last 3-5 years un-opened. If you are unsure of how long your juice will last, contact the manufacturer's consumer phone number.

Optional Items
  • Chocolate - unsweetened 18 months
  • Coffee, vacuum pack - One year
  • Milk, canned - One year
  • Molasses - Two years
  • Nuts - Eight months
  • Oils/salad dressings - Three months
  • Peanut butter (unopened) - Six months
  • Sauces, condiments, relishes (unopened) - One year
  • Shortening - Eight months
  • Syrups - One year
  • Tea - 18 months

 Now that you are armed with this information, go forth, save money and fill your tummies :)

{The list information in this post was taken from About.com: http://couponing.about.com/cs/grocerysavings/a/buyinginbulk.htm}

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