I’ll admit that one of the reasons I have resisted cooking consistently in our house is that I worry that I am wasting food. Let me explain…I have an irrational fear of food going bad, and often end up purging our fridge of “spoiled” food rather than taking a risk and eating food that has been sitting around in the kitchen for more than a week.
In the past this has resulted in throwing out a lot of perfectly edible food. I realize this. I feel bad every time I do it.
But I am slowly learning the lingo of expiration dates and am beginning to understand that, in most situations, I am being ridiculous. Case in point…

  • Eggs are good 3-5 weeks AFTER the sell date
  • Milk is usually good up to a week after the sell date
  • If you aren’t going to cook poultry or beef right away, you can freeze it and it keeps for weeks.

Many of you might already know these things, but if you don’t, check out this healthy cooking guide through WebMD.

Having working knowledge of these tips has helped me to deal with my strange fear, and guess what? We are cooking much more and the refrigerator is stocked these days.



  1. Reply


    March 26, 2010

    Thats so funny. I am the same way. I think its our generation. My boyfriends moms refrigerator scares me. Shes all about reusing containers so I'll go to use some cream cheese but it will be left overs from god knows when with no date. Or she will have left overs with just a napkin covering the bowl. Grosses me out.

  2. Reply


    March 26, 2010

    That's one of the reasons I switched to SoyMilk or Almondmilk (Vanilla flavored). They take FOREVER to go bad, but I just can't even finish a little but of milk before a week after it expires.

  3. Reply


    March 26, 2010

    Oh! Brain Storm!

    How about dubbing one night a week "Left-overs night"? You'd probably save some cash (if you alternate it with a "take out night" you may already be doing). Make it fun! Rent a movie (like The Incredibles – which inspired this idea) and decide what left overs you want to eat – and what you don't eat, toss.

    I have relatives that learned you can put italian left overs and chinese left overs and scramble them in eggs in the morning. Believe it or not, it's actually AWESOME!

  4. Reply


    March 28, 2010

    My hubby is notorious for cooking a ton and leaving lots of food/leftovers in the fridge for weeks. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Reply


    March 29, 2010

    @Christina: OMG, that was my grandma's fridge that you just described! It was a scary, scary place!
    @J. Darling: You always have such great ideas! We have been trying to be better about eating leftovers, and it has helped our budget tremendously!! Thanks for the tips!

  6. Reply

    Chicken Wing

    April 1, 2010

    Mr. CW is the expiration police in our relationship. He drives me bananas! I've been trying for almost 6 years to convince him that the milk won't kill him on the DAY AFTER it's sell by date. LOL!