In tough times, it’s difficult to justify throwing away food that might still be worth eating—despite the “best before” date on the package. Raw chicken that’s expired is one thing, but that jar of mayonnaise that’s a week past due, would you chance it? The good news is that many products can be consumed safely even after their expiry date. Plus, packaged goods such as cereal, potato chips, soft drinks and granola bars are durable and quite edible past their shelf-life dates…

1. Mayonnaise

That jar of store-bought mayonnaise often gets lost for months in the back of your fridge. One day you pull it out and need it for your sandwich and the big question is if it is still edible or not.

As long as it’s been stored according to the temperature instructions, it should be good 3 to 4 months after the expiry date.

2. Hard Cheeses

While it can be difficult for cheese to go bad because you eat it so quickly, there are certain scenarios where you can actually have more cheese than you can eat!

Take cheddar cheese for instance. You might buy it for a party only to realize you won’t finish it all before the best before date, and even if it’s been opened, it should be safe to consume for up to 4 weeks.

3. Potato Chips

Other than losing their crispiness, potato chips are highly processed so you can safely consume them months following the expiry date.

This makes it safe for you to clear out the chip shelves if your local grocery store is having an insane sale on your favorite munchie food.

4. Beef

Mmmm, getting a good cut of beef is definitely worth the money, but sometimes you need to wait for a special occasion to roast it perfectly.

As long as you cook that beef thoroughly when you use it, you can stretch the best before date for up to 5 days before you have to say goodbye to that cut of meat.


5. Pork

The same goes for pork roasts that are cooked completely. If you want to use some leftover pork in your sandwich this week, make sure you don’t stretch it out too long.

While pork roasts are absolutely scrumptious, they’re only good for about three days past their expiry date.

6.  Butter

Dairy products, like butter, are also difficult to consume entirely before the due date. The exception to this is when you’re baking because we all know how much butter is actually in those amazing, melt-in-your-mouth cookies.

However, you can store butter in the freezer and thaw it when you need to use it for a few additional months.

7. Cereal

Most boxed cereals will just get stale if you leave them open to air and consume past the due date. In this case, you honestly shouldn’t want to the cereal after that point because it’s just a disgusting mess.

However, if you store them properly, even if opened, you can safely consume for months after they expire, making that pricey box of healthy cereal actually worth it!

8. Chicken

Chicken is a staple in most homes, but the question is if all that leftover or raw chicken is okay a week after cooking or thawing it.

Although we wouldn’t recommend eating chicken more than a few days past the best before date, you can safely freeze a package of chicken breasts, thaw and cook thoroughly, up to a year.


9. Soft Drinks

While you shouldn’t be drinking this liquid sugar, sometimes you just have to have your fix! But don’t feel the need to down these drinks too quickly.

Diet soda lasts up to 4 months past its due date before the artificial sweeteners break down—while regular soda can safely last up to 9 months.

10. Mustard

Mustard is one of those condiments that really does last longer than even the branding the company uses on the bottle!

Bottled mustard has an extremely long shelf life. Even when opened and stored in the refrigerator, it can last up to 1 year.

11. Pasta

Dried pasta is a great food to have in your cupboard for nights when you’re low on groceries but you are definitely too tired to go to the grocery store.

As long as you store it in a sealed container, you can still use it past it’s expiration date. Make sure that there are no weird smells though before you toss them into the boiling water.

12.  Pickled Foods

Pickled foods were invented for the specific reason of keeping food as long as humanly possible – especially over harsh winters in years past when refrigerators and imported foods were not the norm.

Pickled foods can last for about a year or two past their expiration date, but be sure to check and make sure they smell okay before eating.


13. Hard Liquor

As we all know, wine isn’t the only alcohol that gets better with age! Hard liquor is in the exact same boat and can last quite a long time.

Next time you’re cleaning out your liquor cabinet, know that there is no certain length of time that hard liquor lasts before it goes bad. It just keeps getting better!

14. Jam

If you have some unopened jam in your cupboard or fridge, it’s usually safe to eat about 9 months past its expiration date.

If you have jam that has been already opened in your fridge, it is usually good to eat up to 6 months past the expiration date.

15. Canned Food

Canned food, like picked food, was created to last a very long time so that people could eat foods from the summer when it was winter.

If you store your canned goods in a cool place and keep the cans sealed, you can actually double the expiration date!

Lindsay Duncan

Lindsay loves cooking fun and creative meals for friends and family. At home, you can find her trying out a new recipe found on Pinterest while trying to balance her husband's sweet tooth with her healthy eating habits. If she's not in the kitchen, you'll find Lindsay photographing people she loves and going out with friends to try the newest restaurant in her small town.

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