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Items That Don't Expire

10 Grocery Items With Long Shelf Lives

Buying groceries is a regular chore that most people do every week, but there are some items that you don't have to restock every seven days.

  • Canned food: The canning process helps to lengthen the shelf life of its contents. The USDA recommends using high-acid canned food, which includes fruits and tomatoes, in less than two years, and low-acid canned food, which includes meat and vegetables, in two to five years.
  • White rice: Keep your white rice in an airtight container in a cool and dry area. There's not much moisture in the white rice for it to spoil. However, keep in mind that brown rice spoils much quicker because of its higher fat content.
  • Sugar: Food spoils mostly due to bacteria growth, but sugar is a natural preservative, so bacteria can't grow and thrive with excess amounts.
  • Honey: Honey is similar to sugar in that it doesn't spoil because of the high sugar content. Honey can crystallize over time, but you can always heat it up for use.
  • Salt: Keep salt in a cool, dry place and it won't expire.
  • Soda: Canned soda can usually last for about a year, although diet soda spoils much faster because of the artificial sweetener.
  • Dried pasta: Dried pasta has very little moisture, which means that it can last for a very long time. It can last up to two years if unopened.
  • Hard liquor: Hard liquor like vodka and whiskey doesn't really spoil, even after opening, since they are already aged and distilled. It's best to store it in a cool, dark area in your kitchen.
  • Vinegar: This sour liquid can last indefinitely because of its acidity. Screw the cap closed after every use, and store it in a cool, dark area.
  • Cereal: There's a reason why extreme couponers like to stock up on their favorite breakfast cereal; it has a long shelf life. It can last up to a year, although the quality of taste may start to degrade as time goes by.
Image Source: Thinkstock
christinajcutting christinajcutting 3 years

Just an FYI, diet soda doesn't "spoil". The aspartame degrades over the shelf life. It is still safe to drink, it just won't be as sweet. The shelf life on any soft drink is for quality not safety. Soft drinks do not spoil thanks to the carbonation and acidity.

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