Not only is food getting more expensive, but the portions and boxes are getting smaller. It is more important than ever to spend wisely and not waste any food you purchase. Here are some tips for safe storage and use.
• Rotate items in your pantry and fridge as you put them away. Look at expiration dates, pulling the oldest items forward. If you keep putting new cans in front, eventually the ones in back will get too old to use.
• Keep a running list of items you need to buy posted somewhere in your kitchen. Take the list with you when you go grocery shopping. Don't rely on memory, as it often fails you. You won't buy what you don't need, thus using up what you have before it spoils.
• If you buy in bulk, package it into smaller portions immediately upon returning home. If you happen to need more than one portion, you can grab two packages. This is easier than defrosting the entire bulk package and trying to use it all at once.
• Some foods can be consumed past the expiration date. This is usually not applicable to dairy products or fresh foods. But canned and dried foods can often be safely consumed after the expiration date. The taste might not be as good as if it were fresh, however. Use your judgment--a product only 3 weeks past the expiraion date is much different than one three years after the date. And NEVER eat from any cans that are bent or damaged, or packages that are ripped. For more information on this, check out the Gourmet Sleuth web site.