Going grocery shopping can be tedious especially when you're thinking buying foods that have a short life. You tend to debate on whether or not the food will spoil before the expiration date.
Here are some foods that do have expiration dates that are still good to use and won't leave you with a stomach ache the next day.
Bread: Often times the expiration date is just too short to actually finish the entire loaf of bread. As long as you don't spot any mold, this breakfast option is good to use. However, if you do spot mold, you can always cut around it instead of getting rid of the whole thing.
Pasta: Well-favored foods such as pasta can last a very long time. In some cases, it may be that these foods will be eaten way before the expiration date even approaches. Most kinds of pasta are dry, with the exception of french pasta-which contains water-so the usability can go up to a year or two. As for french pasta, this is the only pasta that can be spared for 2-3 weeks after the printed expiration date.
Dry snacks (chips, nuts, chocolate): Snacks are always a good idea to have around the house. They can fill you up when you are looking for something light to munch on or even substitute full meals. If stored properly, some snacks could last 1-3 months like chips and pretzels. Although it is safe to eat, the taste of chips and pretzels may be stale. Chocolate is also safe to eat as long as it's been stored in at least 70 degrees.
Frozen foods: What's great about frozen foods is the simplistic advantage to cooking up a great meal without really cooking it for a very long time. Another great pro for frozen foods is never having to throw it away because it's spoiled. Freezing food increases its shelf life much longer that if it would have being exposed in the fridge. Plus, in all truths, there isn't really a set expiration date when it comes to frozen foods with the exception of meat. Meats only have a 50 percent chance of a longer shelf life.
Yogurt: Forget about throwing away unused yogurt just because the expiration date has passed. Unopened yogurt has a longer lifespan than opened yogurt by two weeks from the sell-by date. If you're still uncertain if the yogurt is good or not, you can always smell it to see if it's time to throw it in the trash.
Fresh fruits and vegetables: Like bread, as long as you don't spot any moles or sense any weird smells, fruits and vegetables can last very long. For instance, packaged carrots can last 2-3 weeks after the expiration date.
Cheese: The perfect food to go with wine, cheese ages just as well. As long as there aren't any mold-which can easily be cut off-cheese doesn't expire.
Cereal: Cereal is always a good option for breakfast so long as the milk hasn't spoiled yet. The expiration date on cereal isn't realistic and truthful. Cereal can last many months after the printed expiration date. Be sure to keep cereal in a dry cool to keep the cereal fresh.
Condiments: Believe it or not, food items such as mayonnaise, butter, peanut butter, and jelly are definitely good to use even after the sell-by date. These items can last even longer in a dry area in the kitchen if it hasn't ever been opened before. If you still have some doubt, you can always sniff and decided if you think it's worthy of keeping or throwing away.
Sugar, rice, honey, salt: These foods never spoil which can last for a very long time as long they are kept in sealed jars.This is another food item that should be kept in dry cool areas sealed off so that it doesn't harden from the being exposed to air. Keeping them well sealed off or never exposed to air will keep them from hardening. If you're unsure about any food just smell it. If you don't feel comfortable keeping foods in your kitchen you can always throw it away.
The writer is a contributor at www.india.com