So, in an attempt to help my friend save money, I am going through her pantry and creating menus and shopping lists using what she already has.
She has many things that are from six months - two years past the expiration date. I would hate to throw things out if they are still usable, so I was hoping to find out 1) what the general rules about expiration dates are depending on the type of packaging and 2) if some specific things she has are still usable.
Tetra paks - is there a general guideline for these? Specifically, she has organic soups that range from a year and a half to seven months past the expiration date.
Bottled - general guidelines? Is a bottle of Thai peanut sauce that’s more than one and a half years’ old still usable?
Canned - general guidelines? In this case, she has two cans of lite coconut milk that are between two years and almost two years old.
Bagged frozen - general guidelines? Here I’m looking at bags of frozen Ore-Ida tater tots from 2010.
Boxed items - croutons, jello, vacuum packed gnocchi and the like. Some don’t have expiration dates at all, but I suspect they are at least a year old.
I hope this isn’t too stupid of a question. I read recently that expiration dates are sometimes a best guess by the manufacturer and not a hard “past this date, you eat this and you DIE!!!”, but more like “past this date, you eat this and you will find it STALE!!!”