Last week I gave you a few tips on freezing food; this week, we’re just going to talk about general food storage tips. Here’s a few that I’ve found helpful:
- Eggs can be used well past their expiration date. According to EggSafety.org, “raw eggs maintain their freshness for 4-5 weeks after purchase if kept refrigerated continuously.” At some point somewhere, I’ve read that eggs can be used as much as 2-3 months after the sell-by date. I cannot be held liable if you eat a 2 month old egg and get sick. But I do it all the time, and it’s great when you can get eggs marked down for a good price.
- Fresh meat can be kept two days past its date. This generally applies to ground meat, you can keep cuts like roast and steak for about 3-4 days because they haven’t had as much potential to contract “germs” since the meat is not touched by machinery nearly as much as ground meat. At least that’s what I’ve heard theorized anyway.
- Wondering why your meat turns colors? The USDA has the answer, and more fact sheets on meat.
- Think like a grocery stocker – new products to the back, old ones to the front. Always check the dates, too – some stores with lower turnover, like Walgreens or Target, are selling products that are closer to the expiration date than WalMart or King Soopers.
- Get creative with places to store food. Don’t have a pantry or lots of cabinets? What about under the bed? In the garage? The basement? Of course you should take care to ensure that bugs or pets aren’t going to get into the food if you put it outside the kitchen. And of course you need to remember what you put where.
- Most foods are just fine a few months after their expiration date. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be places selling just-expired food like Extreme Bargains. Of course this really only applies to non-perishable foods; I’m not telling you your deli meat is still good a few months after its expiration date. I think of the “best by” date as just that – it’s the date the manufacturer’s have figured out is the time you should have consumed the food for maximum freshness. They don’t want you to eat a product that’s gone stale and then have a bad opinion of their product. I’ve found it takes things like crackers and chips about a month after the date to go stale if they’re unopened.
What strategies do you implement to make sure the food you stockpile stays fresh and actually gets eaten?
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Welcome to Springs Bargains, a service of our real estate business, Circa Real Estate Group! I’m Carrie, and since 2008 I’ve been sharing free and discounted ways to eat, play, and enjoy life in Colorado Springs.