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Old 04-18-2016, 06:31 AM   #1
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Expired stuff in your fridge

We are getting a new refrigerator today so we were cleaning it out this morning. It's not the first time we've purged it. I couldn't believe how many jars or containers in there that were either expired or we didn't want any more. I love to food shop so I am always trying new things. We got a whole green garbage bag of jars and containers.(lots of emptying and rinsing before they hit the blue box).

I'll bet many people have a large percentage of stuff in there fridge that has been there too long but they figure they'll use it "some day", or they only tried it once and weren't crazy about it but don't want to toss it because they paid good money for it...

Our fridge looks empty now. I guess we'll have to fill the new one up with a bunch of stuff we aren't going to eat. Sounds like fun!


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Old 04-18-2016, 07:16 AM   #2
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Maybe because I lost my sense of smell (and am ageing, i.e. not having a brill memory now), I am organised about this issue.

When I open, say, a jar of pesto. I read how long it's good for and enter it on a food 'calendar' e.g. in 6 weeks time I enter 'pesto' so I know to use it up by then. It's just a piece of paper, divided into the next 6 months, that I keep on the inside of a food cupboard. I have found it to be invaluable/very useful so I am sharing this as a possible solution.

I admit to being 'caught out' though when it comes to dried herbs and spice jars! (A longer time frame bypass my 6 month calendar).

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Old 04-18-2016, 07:37 AM   #3
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Same thing happened to use about a year ago. We thought the fridge was crapping out, so we had to empty it, and store what we were keeping in our ' over flow' fridge in the garage.

When all said and done, so much was either expired or crap we won't use. Another large percentage was condiments that I tried once for a specific recipe and no longer have much use for ( I guess the recipe wasn't that good )

Like yours, our fridge looked so empty, now only containing the necessities.
It took a good 3 + Months just to fill it again. It really amaze me how little I really need to go on with my day to day/ week to week culinary needs.

btw, thanks for reminding me, I have a pot of soup in the over flow fridge that needs to be tossed. ( the bad thing about having a fridge that you don't necessarily used every day, is things get lost or forgotten about out there.
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:41 AM   #4
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At my house the only problem item is salad dressing, purchased on a deal with a double coupon!

I try to resist buying them and tell myself I can do a better job but they sneak into the refrigerator and hide behind the giant jar of Claussen dill pickles until I find them and use or toss them. When I do use them they rarely end up on a salad, they get used in everything from a marinade to a meatloaf.
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:44 AM   #5
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A jar of capers. Only five years past the expiration date. For me it is the bottom shelf on the door and the crisper drawers. And right now I have two jars of mayo that are both open. Plus the new one in the cabinet. I only use it mainly for sandwiches. And that may be every six months. But summer will be here soon along with macaroni and potato salad.

I should look in the crisper drawers at least once a week. But I don't.
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:21 AM   #6
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We do a fridge and freezer flush every now and then. The freezer in particular, it usually involves asking each other "Do you know what this is?"
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:04 AM   #7
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I just did a small purge a couple of months ago. Living alone, I try to be careful with buying condiments unless it's something vinegar based that has a longer life. And of course the must haves such as mayo, mustards, relishes. My weakness is Marie's Ranch Dressing, so when I buy it I just figure I'll be having a lot of salads for the next few weeks and as AB said, it sometimes makes its way into other dishes.

Same with fresh herbs, too - when I buy cilantro for example, it's rarely for one meal in mind - I'll usually use it up that week for pico de gallo, tacos, burritos, guacamole, quesadillas, etc. Fresh herbs aren't all that spendy unless I use a few leaves of it and end up throwing the rest away.

Fresh fruits and veggies go pretty quick around here, but sometimes something in the crisper will get forgotten and need to be tossed.

Congrats on your new fridge, Rock!
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:10 AM   #8
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We last did a purge when we got our new fridge. We probably should do it again.

What I really have to do is clean out and defrost the freezer in the basement.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
We last did a purge when we got our new fridge. We probably should do it again.

What I really have to do is clean out and defrost the freezer in the basement.
We did that right before we moved (so we wouldn't have to move the ice/frost build-up). Yet, we still managed to have a "do you know what this is?" moment yesterday when Craig was looking through the deep freeze. We've been trying NOT to stick things in the freezer without them being labeled but sometimes do.

When I emptied the fridge at the old place I threw out tons of stuff, mostly Asian condiments, pretty much anything I couldn't remember buying recently, but we still ended up with a bunch.

I bought another door bin for the fridge last week. Those things are expensive! I shopped around on-line and got the lowest price I could and it was still around $40, almost $50 by time tax and shipping were added. At least it gives us a little more shelf space. No more space on the door for another one though.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:50 AM   #10
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The problem I've found is that you sometimes have to look long and hard to see those expiration dates. Things in my fridge have had a tendency to overstay their welcome simply because the date is out of sight and out of mind.

I've gotten into a new habit. When I buy a jar or bottle of something, I now look for the date and record it with a sharpie in big numbers right on the top of the lid. Makes it easy to see at a glance what's old, and do a weekly purge.

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