Ads 468x60px

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - Shelf life

Every box, can or bag of food you bring into your house has a shelf life.  That time might be long (as in whole wheat berries and honey) or short (bagged lettuce).  The problem arises when you are unaware of how long a product is considered useable, or you don't eat it up fast enough before it goes bad, or forget that you even have it.

In our quest to save money, we often buy food in large quantities when it's on sale.  That's truly a bargain only IF we use it before it expires or goes bad.  This is especially true of perishable items.  Saving 10 cents a pound by buying the 10 pound bag of apples rather than individually isn't a bargain if half of the apples rot before they get eaten.  Even cans of fruits and veggies are only good for a certain length of time.  After that time, the quality of the product decreases and the chance for food-borne illness increases.

My sisters, assorted family members and I cleaned out our mother's house a while ago and we were shocked at what we found in the kitchen.  Cans that were rusted and well over 10 years old.  Boxes of cereal and cakes mixes that were 5 years old and worse.  Our mother insisted that everything was still good...that cans last "forever".  Needless to say, everything got tossed in the trash.

This is an extreme example but I'll bet in most of our kitchen cupboards, there are products that are expired.  You might be surprised when you look for that little date somewhere on the product and find you had it much longer than you thought!  It's easy to overlook how long we've had something, especially staples like spices and condiments.  If we buy something, we need to be aware how long its shelf life is and make sure we use it before that time or we're just wasting the food and our money.  Or worse yet, we might make someone sick.

Here's a suggestion - take a half hour and go through some of your food cupboards.  Look for the expiration date on everything.  What did you find?


Post a Comment