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How Long Will Your Packaged Foods Last?

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Yesterday, I wrote about the expiration dates on packaged foods. We learned that food is often still good after the date printed on it has passed. Today, we’ll discuss how long some packaged foods will be fresh and yummy while it sits unopened. The list isn’t comprehensive and the times are only approximate. Use some common sense in deciding whether to throw food out.

Good For Up To 5 Years

  • Tomato paste
  • Refried Beans
  • Canned Tuna
  • Canned Chili

Good For Up to 2 Years

  • Canned beef, chicken, and ham
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Canned Soup
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Pasta
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Peanut Butter (mmm…. peanut butter…)
  • Popcorn
  • Powdered Drinks

Good for 12 to 18 Months

  • Baby Food
  • BBQ sauce
  • Cake Mix
  • Canned and bottled juices
  • Cooking oils
  • Gelatin
  • Instant Tea
  • Jams and jellies
  • Oatmeal
  • Quick cook rice
  • Salad dressing
  • Salsa
  • Sugar

Good For 6 months

  • Crackers
  • Flour
  • Mayonnaise
  • Rice mixes like Rice-a-roni

Eat Within A Month

  • Bread (if you freeze it, it will last longer)
  • Ice cream
  • Chips

Source: Jerry Baker’s It Pays to Be Cheap! (Jerry Baker’s Good Home series)

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[tags]frugal, food[/tags]