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While stockpiling certainly has its ups, it has its downsides too. One of those downsides is when things expire before you can use them. It’s a HUGE waste when that happens and if you’ve worked really hard to build your stock up?
It can make you want to just sit down and cry. So how do you keep it from happening? Check out these tips for how to keep your stockpile from expiring.
How to Keep Your Stockpile from Expiring
Decide how long you want to stock for
The first thing you should do is decide how long you want your stockpile to last. We’re all stocking up for different reasons, but most of us expect to be able to fall back on those goodies if we need them. Putting time on it will help you decide how much you’ll need to buy to make it stretch for however long.
If you’re unsure, start with one month and take a second look after you’ve built one for that month. Most people stock for 6 months or 1 year.
It helps to keep sites like Still Tasty bookmarked to make sure what you are stocking is fresh enough to keep your needs met. Just because they found pasta and rice in the Egyptian pyramids that we could still eat safely today doesn’t mean we need to stock that much in our own homes.
Everything in Moderation
Yes, I know you’re stocking up, but keep limits in mind. If you buy too much of one item, more than your family can reasonably use, it will most likely go to waste. Purchase each item with a set number in mind and stick to it.
To be sure that you’ve got the right numbers, watch what your family uses on a daily basis. Then, as you start to have to buy things at the grocery store, write that item down. Eventually, you’ll start to see a pattern as to what is being used and how often you’re using it. This list will help you determine how much you should stockpile.
Here is a great video on food storage for beginners:
Rotation is key
One of the most important things that you can do to keep your stockpile from expiring is to rotate. Essentially, newer purchases go in the back, older in the front. This keeps your stock constantly rotated as you use it meaning that very little will expire before you can use it (as long as you don’t have too much).
To make rotation easier on yourself, mark each item with a sharpie and the date you bought it and consider getting can rotation racks for your canned items.
Or, you could do what I do – and pick up a few of these FIFO (First in – First Out) can rotation racks. That helps make good use of your shelves while you always eat the oldest items up first.
The FIFO first in first out Can Tracker system guarantees you’ll never have to deal with can expiration dates again by rotating your food from oldest to newest. Its easy-fit design also lets you store a variety of can sizes, from small tomato sauce cans to larger vegetable cans.
The Can Tracker can hold up to 54 soup-size cans or 45 regular-size cans. The Can Tracker has two can rotation levels. When the top row has finished rotating, the middle track will begin to rotate through. This is great if you are looking to add an organizer to your pantry or cabinet for organizing soup or vegetable cans.
Eat what you store, store what you eat
If your family doesn’t like beans? Don’t stock them. Why? Because they’ll expire before they get used. If your husband refuses to use a certain brand of shampoo, don’t buy it. While soap doesn’t expire, it’s still going to be a waste of money if you don’t use it.
Buying something that won’t get used, whether it’s food, baby items, pet care, or personal care is just plain silly. Unless you’re buying specifically to donate, buy only what you’ll use and you won’t have a bunch of things that you don’t like going bad in the pantry.
I know there is a learning curve for this – you will start to figure out how much of each item is really a fit for your family.
Keeping your stockpile from expiring isn’t a hard thing to tackle, but you do have to stay on top of it. If you only stash things in the closet and walk away, you’re likely to come back to expired foods and more.
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