10 Pantry Items You Should Replace More Often Than You Realize


How often do you replace your pantry items?

Many of the products you keep in your cupboard probably have unexpected expiration dates that are months or even years away. I get it, I tend to forget to check these dates too, but let’s stop this bad habit together! Just because a product hasn’t gone bad yet doesn’t mean it’s safe to consume it.

Even while you are already aware of which foods, such as milk and cheese, should be thrown away after their expiration date, it wouldn’t be shocking if you didn’t give the contents of your cupboard any more thought. Double-checking the things you’ve kept in your pantry for ages can be worthwhile and save you health issues in the long run.

So, if you’re like me and you put lots of things in your pantry, knowing that the day to eat them will come, this article is for you.

pantry item
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1. Spices

Spices are pantry items that the majority of people forget to throw away, but here’s the thing: nutmeg, turmeric, and paprika, for instance, lose their flavors and potency after roughly two to three years. While your health won’t be affected after consuming old spices, they won’t add any flavor to your meals, so what’s the point of using them anyway?

Do a little sniff to check if your spices are still fresh, and if you can’t notice any aroma, you should toss them. To make things easier the next time, label your spice and condiment packets and write down the date you opened the bag, as well as the expiration date.

2. Graham crackers

Nobody likes to eat s’more with musty Graham crackers. If you open a bag and want to preserve the crackers, put them in an airtight container to keep them fresh and crunchy.

However, even if moisture doesn’t make your crackers stale and the bag isn’t open, you shouldn’t keep them in your pantry for longer than nine months. According to foodsafety.gov, your delicious Graham crackers can get stale even if the bag is sealed, so try to consume this pantry item within an eight-nine-month window.

3. Canned veggies

While you might think that canned veggies will last you a lifetime, that’s not the case. The more these foods sit on your shelf, the more the can’s texture will break down over time and give the veggies a tinny, metallic taste.

For instance, canned goods that contain plenty of acid, like pickles, can last in your pantry for 12 to 18 months, but canned veggies that don’t have high acid content, such as corn, can last up to five years.

Speaking of pantry items, food experts say that you can consume canned goods even past the best-by or used-by date, but only if there’s no bulging, dents, or rust on the can.

4. Potatoes

Are potatoes one of your pantry items? Experts say that they can last up to two weeks in your fridge and no less than two months in your pantry. If you notice any black spots on the skin and growing sprouts, it’s time to eat them ASAP; otherwise, they’ll get squishy.

pantry item
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5. Garlic

Garlic is one of the most popular pantry items you could have. You can make them last for three to five months if you put them in a mesh bag and keep them at 60 degrees Fahrenheit in a cold, dark pantry.

Don’t forget that garlic cloves might shrivel or begin to sprout when stored for too long. While it’s not dangerous to consume garlic when it’s not fresh, it won’t have the strong flavor you love either.

The next pantry item you don’t replace as often as you should is one of the healthiest grains…

6. Quinoa

Did you know that the amount of fat in whole grains, such as quinoa and farro, determines how long they can be stored? The three things that harm whole grains the most are heat, air, and moisture, and if you want to keep this pantry item lasting longer, keep reading. These factors can damage the healthful oils in the grains, which can lead to them being rancid, even if the package isn’t open.

According to experts, grains should always look and smell faintly sweet or have no aroma at all. If you notice any musty or greasy smells, it’s time to get rid of this pantry ASAP.

7. Nuts and seeds

If you have nuts and seeds in your pantry, consume them within a couple of months because you risk wasting them. Since these pantry items are rich in oils, this ingredient will become rancid after a few months in your cupboard, especially if you leave the bag open.

If your nuts and seeds have a paint-like or grassy odor or an oily or dark appearance, they’re probably rancid. While they might not affect your health, they won’t taste good either. Besides that, they might also lack their wonderful properties, so try to consume them while they’re fresh and don’t purchase more than you need.

However, if you want to make these pantry items last longer, you can put them in a clear freezer bag and pop them in your fridge. They will be fresh and tasty for up to a year. You can also label them with the date when you put them in the fridge, so you won’t consume rancid nuts or seeds.

8. Tea

Tea is one of the most popular pantry items, and while many people forget about it and only consume it when they’re sick, it can go bad without even noticing. Experts say that you should consume your tea bags within a year because the oils in them will go bad and give a funky taste to your drink.

The same goes for coffee. While many people think that having more is better because it’ll last them a longer time, it’s best to consume your coffee beans and grounds within two to four weeks. Instant coffee, on the other hand, has a little more time: around two months.

pantry item
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9. Cereal

Did you know that an opened box of cereal will go bad due to air exposure? If cereal is a beloved pantry item in your home, a sealed box will last you up to a year, but that’s not a general rule. If your cereal contains nuts, they might go rancid. They won’t put your health in danger, but you won’t like the taste either.

10. Olive oil

Olive oil is one of the most loved pantry items thanks to its miraculous health benefits, but the taste won’t be as great after six months. Experts say that heat and light aren’t oil’s friends, and an opened bottle of olive oil will taste funky after a few months, so make sure you buy a small bottle if you don’t use it as often.

If you’re looking for a high-quality olive oil that will make your meals better and fuel your body with all the right nutrients, here’s one of my favorites!

How often do you replace your pantry items? Let us know in the comments below! Did you like reading this article? If you find this article helpful and want to check out something else from The Home Team, here’s a good post for you: 15 Things That Make You an Awful Host