If you don’t need this reminder you are a better person than I am.

Just a reminder that all the food you panic-bought at the beginning of the pandemic has expired.

PS. If this is relatable content go move the stuff from the wash into the dryer (or rewash them if you can’t remember when you washed them), call to get your meds refilled, drink some water and plug in your mouse/headphones/phone so it can charge. I had more I was going to say but I can’t because my mouse is at 2% and is about to die and I think that’s a sign I need to take a break.

77 thoughts on “If you don’t need this reminder you are a better person than I am.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Thanks for the reminder about the wash! (glad I’m not the only one)

  2. Don’t worry, Jenny. It turns out expiry dates are extremely arbitrary. You can still eat most of that stuff, if you actually bought stuff you want to eat rather than having randomly bought whatever was available.

  3. If there is ever a need for vast quantities of canned and jarred foods, we are SOL. I have a small kitchen and don’t have room to store all that stuff – I buy groceries once a week. During the pandemic I did start buying slighty more toilet paper at the time though. Could go 3-4 weeks on that front. LOL.

  4. Hilarious! I reminded my husband about the wash (he leaves his clothes wet in the washing machine for DAYS unless I catch it.)

  5. I had the exact opposite issue – I had pretty well-stocked cabinets, but hadn’t weeded out the expired stuff in a while. Expired Bisquick makes hokey-puck biscuits, and crisco can go rancid!

  6. yep. also the trash has to go out, the cats want their litter cleaned and well, let us forget there is a yard.

  7. I feel so seen! Just this morning, I found that ALL the milk and milk-like products had expired (and not just by a minute)… I don’t know where June went, but I wish she would have taken the half and half with her before I put it in my coffee…

  8. An addition from the Live and Learn file: If you stocked up on plastic jugs of water, check to make sure none of them have started leaking. The plastic degrades over time and even a microscopic crack can lead to a big mess!

  9. Thanks for the reminders! Just got down the big box of TP, yup had to re-wash the clothes, and in my way to the pharmacy now. 😂

  10. The secret is to rotate the food. Use one can or jar and make a note to buy another when you go to the store. Make sure the one that expires first is the one most easily accessible. And as noted by others, the expiration date is more of a suggestion than a firm “it’s poison now” statement. Yesterday I finally threw away a stick of butter than had an expiration date of February 2022. It was probably still good but I don’t often use unsalted butter so it would probably have stayed in the refrigerator another year without being touched. My son bought it a couple of Christmases ago when he cooked a meal while he was visiting.

  11. Thank you for the reminder, but I will never remember the laundry. Mine gets rescued when my husband does his laundry. And he mentions that it will need rewashed. I once was a decent housekeeper, but that was almost a lifetime ago.

  12. I’m just hear to say HONEY NEVER EXPIRES! That date on the bottle is only for distributors/grocers track their inventory but it is NOT BAD!

  13. Yeah… about that half empty bottle of barbecue sauce in the back of the fridge… it may be sentient now.

  14. This is the most relatable and essential message I have gotten all week.

  15. Fortunately, the giant bags of rice and beans that I panic bought during the pandemic have already been thrown out, since we had to declutter everything prior to the move last year.

  16. It’s okay, honey doesn’t expire. And most of my laundry goes through two or three times because we wash, forget, and have to repeat. Sigh.

  17. Welp that reminded me to move my stuff from the washer to the dryer. Now the dry clean clothes will sit on my couch for the next week, will need another reminder then!

  18. I need this reminder to remember to check the stuff that seems to get shoved to the back of the fridge. I only seem to think of it when I’m like hey I need this item, I’m pretty sure I have it and start looking. I usually do find it and it’s usually extremely expired and headed for the garbage. If I would remember to go through stuff on a regular basis this could surely be avoided but who has the brain space for that?

  19. The truly canned stuff (except milk, soft drinks, and canned pumpkin) in sealed metal or glass should last forever. So does pasta as long as you keep it dry and weevil free.

    Thanks for the reminder on the wash, time to restart the washing machine for the 3rd time

  20. I guess I didn’t panic buy. I don’t have food that needs discarded – thank goodness.

  21. I felt smug until I realized I hadn’t drunk my water at ALL today…! 😆 Thank you

  22. Thank you for the reminder. I currently have a load of laundry in the washer that has been there an indeterminate amount of days and a load in the dryer that has been half on the floor in front of it for days because I needed to search through it to at least find clean underwear for work.

  23. Your local food bank will take food up to five years past the expiration date. Don’t throw it away!

  24. i’ve started using the timer on my phone for laundry. i set the timer for an hour and when it goes off, i remember oh yeah, i’m doing laundry, and trudge down to the basement. i’m very much an “out of sight is out of mind” type gal and the timer helps me a lot. also, when the timer goes off, reset it immediately for the next load. don’t trust yourself to go switch the loads around and come back with a full basket of freshly dried clothes and expect to remember to reset it then.

  25. If canned and boxed food is unopened, and they don’t smell strange, or look funny, or if the sides or top or bottom of the can isn’t bulging outwards, or the stuff inside not squirmy from bugs, then you can eat it. Although if it contains baking powder or baking soda, it will not rise and cause heavy, dense pancakes or biscuits.
    I probably will not have to buy toilet paper for a decade because I bought it every time I saw it on the store shelves due to the 2020-2021 toilet paper and paper towels pandemic panic.
    And now I have to rewash my laundry because it sat too long….

  26. The food bank in my area keeps giving me things that stay good for a very long time (try goods) faster than I can eat them without needing to sit on the toilet 24/7. Does anyone need about 20 lbs of green lentils? I also have about 25 cans of tomato soup, 30 cans of corn, and 15 packages of pasta in different shapes.

  27. honey doesn’t expire. Just boil it to clarify and its good as new.

  28. Add dirty dishes to the dishwasher because it’s just too much effort to put the clean ones away, put sheets from dryer back on bed because it’s exhausting to fold sheets, feed the critters human tuna because grocery shopping is horrifying, take a picture of your closed garage so you don’t break your brain trying to recall after you get on the plane (stove too)….

  29. The food is, probably, fine.
    My towels can live in the dryer, they are happy there.
    I am, utterly, spoonless this week.

  30. Please note food pantries will take food expired up to two years (24 months) after expiration. Each food pantry is different and no open food but please consider that before wasting.

  31. This post made my squirrel Scrat brain light up with deep knowingness on many levels.

    I would like to add to the reminder list…to finish the clean up part of cleaning projects that one may have done two weeks ago …not sure if anyone else does this.

    For example, 9/10 (during a rare health window when I’m not in pain) I will mop my floors, and after my exhaustive efforts I will put my microfiber dirty mop heads in a place to let those dry out and then intend to wash. Usually those end up in my garage in a sad Trader Joe’s bag, or I leave those to burn to a crisp in the blazing sun on my balcony.

    A few weeks later my cotton candy brain will remember, and those grungy microfiber heads have become well established circus tents for wayward spiders. I sigh, and then try to make up for my engrained domestic shame by washing those in the washer on a sanitizing setting… and then I set a deafeningly loud timer. 😆

  32. Hey, just a little piece of info. The honey is still good! Heat a pot of water, turn it off, and stick the jar of honey in it to let it de-crystallize. It will look like new again!

  33. I just did this before the garbage pickup last week! And yes,I know honey isn’t supposed to expire, but what if your husband put his buttery knife with bread crumbs into the honey to spread it on his toast….a year later that honey is a science project!

  34. During the bushfires – you might remember Australia’s bushfires? We LITERALLY had firenadoes, firestorms, fires causing their own weather (like thunderstorms), mega fires, and so on. Remember them? Yeah. I was living in Canberra. For a while the city was surrounded by fire. If we had to evacuate I could not figure out a safe route to get away.

    Also, mail and other deliveries had problems because roads leading in to the city were closed and DANGEROUS.

    So I bought basics. Nothing like what you bought, but a tonne of brown rice because you can live on that alone for a bit AND it’s filling. And I stocked up on canned food and stuff.

    During all of that, a group of authors donated items and auctioned them off to raise money for firefighting, for the firefighters (many of whom weren’t paid) and for other related causes. I hosted authors on my podcast and in guest blogs then sent handmade thank you cards. You can find a lot of that stuff here if you’re interested https://www.darkmatterzine.com/series/thank-you-to-authorsforfireys-contributors/.

    THEN the pandemic hit. The fires were 2019-20, then we had an epic hailstorm in February 2020 that trashed a swathe of buildings, killed animals, wrote off cars etc. THEN the pandemic became a known problem, about March. So I was stocked with food. AND we had plenty of toilet paper, lol, because – like my mother – I bought toilet roll when it was on sale and stocked up for when it wasn’t. So our biggest problem was finding actual tissues, hand sanitiser (which I had only every really bothered with once before, when I went overseas in 2018), soap, etc.

    I was sad when I realised we had to throw out all that food. But that was actually a while ago. Not sure if the “use by” dates on rice are legit but hubby is a stickler for chucking if something gets *close* to the use by date!

    It’s a good warning though. We don’t want people eating toxic food!

  35. I just found a 10 year old jar of yeast in my fridge last week so I FEEL this.

  36. Thanks for the reminder. I also need a reminder to actually put away the clean clothes not just wear them and put the dirty ones in a hamper my oldest son used when he was still living at home.

  37. I am pretty good about the laundry going with a front loader washer that easily gets smelly, but I do admit to still having dry goods pantry stuff I bought in Japan (14 years?) New Mexico (11?) and Virginia (8?) so yeah expiry dates don’t really register with me. I mean, its not like I can easily buy some of that stuff where I live now. I really need to clean out the pantry. Sigh…….

  38. Also just go ahead and schedule your next mammogram regardless of when. Just do it. I believe in you.

  39. I had a pound of dried black beans from March 2020. I made some black bean soup and farted for an entire week.

  40. I am not a better person than anyone here. And it is a TOTAL COINCIDENCE that I just happened to decide to go move yesterday’s laundry right now. 😗😇

  41. Did you know coffee and chocolate are the same?
    If you don’t use them … or throw them out … they both turn white and don’t taste too good.

  42. Funny story… The only thing I could think to hoard at the beginning of the pandemic was bags of frozen onions. I don’t know why I thought there was going to be a shortage of onions but I got locked onto that and bought them. Mind you, I never usually buy frozen onions but there you go. I never did use them. Gave them to the food pantry last year.

  43. Perfect!

    Looks like you have some honey. Honey is the only food that never expires. I’ve heard they’ve found honey at the bottom of the ocean from ancient shipwrecks that is still edible!

    Also, call, text, or email the person that you’ve been meaning to call, text, or email. Check what’s in the back of your fridge. Don’t use the water dispensor from your fridge unless you’ve changed the filter in the last three months. My civil engineer friend says it’s a brothel for germs.

  44. I just gave away all the stuff I bought after the 2016 election when I was afraid we go to war. I am no longer Mormon but that time made me return to my roots and buy hundreds of pounds of rice, wheat, beans, fry milk, pasta, dried fruit and vegetable, etc. and store them in a way that would last at least a decade.

  45. Hah! I knew being slow and lazy has its advantages.
    I couldn’t panic-buy anything at the beginning of the pandemic, as everyone and their neighbour were faster and emptied out the shops before I even thought of buying essential provisions.
    So now I don’t have a big hoard of expired things.

  46. I am so excited to hear about all my fellow laundry brain farters. 😂 My husband is a little bit fartier, but that’s just because he does laundry every three months and do it every one to two weeks.

  47. Oh, I hope you aren’t going to toss all that food! It’s still good even if it’s past the “expiration date. “ Not sure about where you are, but where I live the food pantries will take expired food, so maybe donate it if you won’t be able to eat it.

  48. Also check any leftover/saved medications, while they are usually effective well past the ‘expiration’ date it’s still a good idea to weed out anything from, say, 2020 or earlier. Oh, and have you taken out the trash lately? Did you move the slightly-smelly trash into a closet somewhere and forget about it? And when was the last time you cleaned under the bed? There may be things under there you’ve been missing for years. (speaking from experience on all of these….)

  49. Oh my gosh that was so crazy! I work at a supermarket and people were so sure they’d be quarantined for weeks and then they weren’t so they came back and panic bought more tp and pain killers. We had to hold back pallets of toilet paper to give everyone a chance to buy some. We also got to work overnights to lessen contact with people.

  50. During the pandemic my husband bought beans, beans and more beans. I HATE BEANS!!!

  51. No worries. The food I have in my pantry from before Covid expired a long, long time ago.

  52. Every so often, my sister and I will go through my mother’s fridge. Boy, the science experiments we’ve found. I threw away an entire actual Tupperware lettuce keeper thing because whatever had been in there was now growing out from under the lid and down the side of the bowl. Bleurgh.

    Doing this over the last 25 years or so has made me keep my cupboards and fridge slightly more up-to-date, although I know I’ve got stuff in the back of my fridge that may be verging on penicillin.

  53. Absolutely relatable. Im sitting here in a cafe feeling nude because my AirPods AND the case died after I thought I’d been charging all night. It’s going to be one of those days apparently. Ugh.

  54. Pandemic? Please! I have expired canned goods, bottled goods, spices, and dry mixes from 2007 when I made the mistake of getting married and bought things I thought he liked. 16 years later I look at it and think “it’s probably still good”, because I don’t want to have to deal with throwing it all away.

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  56. I *would* need this reminder, except WNY had two “once in a generation” storms last winter, and being snowed in with a travel ban for a week each time took care of most of that.

  57. Nope. I’m going to firmly disagree. Even if someone didn’t need the reminder it doesn’t make them a better person then you Jenny or any of us for that matter.
    Did the big go through on the kitchen cabinets a couple of months ago. Mostly managed to use the stuff up, but some things past dated I wasn’t willing to risk it.
    Laundry. I have a dirty laundry basket and a clean laundry basket. Whenever the dirty one goes downstairs the clean one goes into the middle of the living room. Since I have to walk around it all day, I mostly remember to put the laundry through… unless I run out of gumption for the day, and don’t get it back for several days.

  58. Here’s how to clean out the fridge. Buy a new one. Sort out bad stuff and throw it out. Put the good stuff back in the new fridge. For one brief shining hour you will have a spotless fridge full of only good things to eat.
    By the way, does anyone know how long yeast stays good at the back of the fridge?

  59. Considering they found honey thousands of years old still in perfectly fine condition I’m pretty sure none of that is spoiled. Is interesting this is today’s post and I came here after studying from my self-compassion workbook section all about comparison and being kind to the self. I was also looking into totems, which is what actually brought me here…was looking at squirrel totem (generous, persistent, resourceful.) and I was reminded of squirrely temple splooping or whatever that is and how I’ve been doing that too lately, only less so in your backyard and more on my bed; cool sheet crew.

  60. Expiration dates are just a suggestion!

    Your mouse tells you when the battery is low? Mine just randomly disappears from the screen and I have to figure out what just happened!

  61. I can relate to most of this and reading everyone’s comments, I feel like I’m not alone. I am, however, a stickler for expiration dates. With all of my health problems, and in spite of what the “experts” say, I don’t want to be poisoned by food and I’m obsessive about dumping it. Milk and other dairy products, and bread mold, are easy. My brain says it’s OK to cut off the mold on hard cheese and eat the rest, but my gag reflex tells me NO, that’s NOT OK.

  62. Here’s how to empty your refrigerator. Get a fresh one. Sort the undesirable items and discard them. Restock the new fridge with the nice things. You will have a pristine fridge filled exclusively with delectable foods for one fleeting brilliant hour.

  63. I purged old food from the refrigerator a few weeks ago and came to the conclusion that I am a food hoarder. Although my counter space looked like yours (but not as organized as yours, the interior of the fridge looks like it did before the purging. I also have several science experiments.

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