Expired products in your closet

Cleaned out our pantry today and found a jar of relish that expired in 2011 and pancake mix that expired in 2014. What goodies have you found?

I probably have some soup/seasoning packets from the Carter administration. I don’t pay much attention to to expiration dates. But now you’re making me go look…

I’m not the most organized person, but I do admit that at least once a year I go thru my pantry to purge old things and organize it a little better. Same with the medicine closet, although I have held on got Epipens for long after expiration, figuring that an expired pen is better than NO pen if one is needed.

There was barely anything in my pantry (or freezer) in February, since I shopped a couple of times a week and didn’t stock up for our empty nesting household, since there was lots of eating out and travel. Certainly nothing expired.

Now my pantry is full and organized around expiration dates.

What a difference six months has made in my lifestyle.

Sometimes when I open my freezer I remember when it only held limoncello and gin.

My pantry is in good shape but only because we moved two years ago ; ). I’m much worse about perishables in the fridge, especially dressings and sauces. My herb drawer probably needs to be started from scratch too. Pretty sure I have some things that are 30 years old.

Just chucked an opened bottle of salad dressing that was in the fridge (expired December 2015)!

Earlier this year I found a box of pasta in my pantry with a 2013 expiration date, my family is not letting me live that one down!

We rarely toss expired things* and often find they are still good when we open them. We use our senses (smell, sight) to determine if they get tossed - even if still in date.

I know we still have some things from the late 80’s - though that’s because we don’t really use them. (Spices) I know they’re that old because they’re a store brand from a store we only shopped at when we lived in RI.

*(Does not apply to some meds.)

I am pretty good at throwing things away after their expiration - probably more often that I need to. I do have some brownie mix that expired in July, but I think it’s still fair game, and will use it soon.
I remember going to may mom and aunt’s house at some point and going through their fridge and cupboards and throwing MANY things away. I think they were appalled that I’d throw “perfectly good food” away. IIRC, things were way expired.

I cleaned out my herbs and spices in January. I had some old McCormick things in tins. When did they stop making those?

We have a counter depth fridge and that really helps because things don’t get shoved to the way back where I can’t see them or reach.

After D graduated from college 7 years ago, she came home while she was job searching and decided to clean out my pantry one day. She found several expired items, especially among the spices. She found one item with an expiration date before she was born! She has long since moved out but whenever she is coming to visit (last time was for Christmas) I make sure I go through the pantry and refrigerator and purge any expired items.

Wait, they stopped making McCormick tins??? :slight_smile:

Ok, you made me look. Here’s what I have in my soup/seasonings Tupperware box, in decreasing expiration order:

Kroger Taco Seasoning (5/1/13)
Kroger Salad Magic Ranch Dressing Mix (2 pks, 1/6/10)
Kroger Salad Magic Zesty Italian Mix (4 pks, 1/3/08)
Kroger Sloppy Joe Mix (2 pks, 12/7/02)

…and 1 packet each of Hot&Sour Soup Mix and a Thai Peanut Dressing Mix both from DeMoulas Market Basket (no expiration dates) from when we lived in MA. Given that we moved to AZ in ‘99, these two have survived multiple moves. Guess I should use them first.

I’m like @Creekland. I pay no attention to expiration dates and just use my senses to determine if an item still passes muster. Because we are heavily vegetarian/pescatarian, the contents of the fridge/freezer rotate quickly, but some pantry items can be carbon dated, and I’m OK with that.

Many packaged things (brownie mix) are safe and fine a year or so after the “best by” date. We have run into some things that were in the pantry overlong and the taste was seriously compromised. Smoked salmon bought on an Alaska Cruise two years after date tasted like metal. Same with some Costco lentils just months after the date.

The reason to toss old spices is that the volatile oils that give them their flavor are long gone. I remember my grandmother sliding open those MCCormick tins and not registering any herbal scent at all.

The unfinished area of my basement is a wreck but my spice drawers and pantry get overhauled about 3x a year and the fridge every month or so.

I cleaned out the cabinet in the laundry room recently. I found a can of spray starch (did I ever really use that??). It had a price sticker (remember those?) from the local grocery store. We left that town in January 1986.

McCormick stopped using tins in '85, except for Old Bay.

I know this because we cleaned out MIL’s kitchen in 2006 and had a good laugh about the McCormick spices. (Pretty sure most of them were from the '70s).

Most dates for packaged items are suggested for peak flavor, rather than imperative toss dates. If a brownie mix has 5% less flavor after a year, I can live with it, as I’d probably only make them every year or two regardless, and know to add extra vanilla.

The number of expired dates in the cupboard can become embarrassing as one grows older and cooks less. For myself, I really don’t care. A year ago I had a house sitter who emailed me that there were expired items in my fridge and could she toss them? I explained that as a single person, I may not finish a certain mustard or Asian sauce very fast and I was fine with a vague reduction in flavor. Heck, even ketchup as a single person lasts forever if you are mostly vegetarian.

Most of my clothing has passed its expiration date!

@mamaedefamilia Thanks for the laugh, I just blew my morning coffee over the table???