|Check those expiration dates!|
I figured out what I was going to cook and raced to my local grocery store in the hopes that I could be in and out in a hurry. Those of you who live in, shall we say, less rustic locales, would be amazed by our little country store. It has a fairly decent selection of food, although I have on more than one occasion found that the only chicken for sale was frozen and in nugget form. The elderly gentlemen who wheel your groceries to your car (You have NO choice in the matter, by the way. They are going to take your groceries for you regardless of any protests.) are charming. What our store is most notable for, though, is high prices. So when I whipped through the store last week and found 16 oz. containers of sour cream on sale for $1 each, I was elated. I bought three.
When I got home, I noticed the expiration dates. Two of the sour cream containers had expiration dates in November. The third one had expired on August 16th.
All of this is to say that you need to check your expiration dates before you buy your food! This is especially important when it comes to food you intend to store. Check your cans, bottles, and jars and make sure the food you bring home is as fresh as possible. Generally speaking, most canned food has at least two to three years of shelf life before it starts to degrade in quality. It could very well be edible past that point. Check out this handy website for more information on the shelf lives of various foods.
Remember, sometimes a sale is merely a method for a store to get rid of a bunch of food that is nearing its expiration date. Et tu, Mom-and-Pop grocery store?
The best thing you can do is to buy your storage foods from a store that has high turnover. As we all know, dry beans have an amazing shelf life. My little grocery store in Podunkville, USA doesn't turn items over very fast and even the dry beans are worse for the wear. I'm going to have to go somewhere else to buy my 15 bean soup in the future.
Learn from my mistakes and get the most for your food storage dollar.