Most people store non-food stuff - kitchen towels, paper cups and plates, etc - in their pantries apart from canned goods and other food items. Because of this, the latter are left unnoticed and unused until their expiration dates. Do you always find yourself in a similar situation? Read the rest of this post to know the common food items which you might overlook in your pantry.
Spices - Contrary to popular belief, spices do expire. Change out your spices if they’re getting close to a year old. You won't get poisoned upon using old spices. However, spices lose their tang when stored and unused for a long time.
Medicines - Check out the counter pain relievers and anti-allergy pills you store in your pantry. Do the same with the vitamins you have in stock. Medicines which are stored for a long often undergo a change in their chemical composition - making them less effective, if not poisonous to take.
Canned goods - While canned goods can be stored for a long time, it's still not safe to keep and eat them many months or years after their purchase. Whenever possible, check regularly on the canned goods you have in store. Try to use them months earlier than their expiration dates. High-acid canned goods (tomatoes, citrus fruits) can be good for up to a year-and-a-half, while low-acid foods (vegetables, beans) can last a couple of years.
Baking Supplies - Baking powder, flour and cooking oil do have a long shelf-life. However, they're best used before their expiration dates. You can expect your flour and baking powder to last long if your pantry is free from moisture. Even though your flour is stored in a dry place, it is best to use it within three months after purchase. As for baking powder, it is best replaced within six to 12 months upon purchase. Lastly, cooking oils remain good for two years if unopened. Once they're opened, cooking oils must be used in three months or less to avoid being rancid.