Don’t fall into the “more is more” trap this festive season. There are a number of items that have a shorter shelf life span than you’d think, meaning it doesn’t pay to buy in bulk.
Flour is a thickening agent that is commonly used for sauces and soups because it attracts water. But that also means it will attract moisture from the air, making it turn musty.
While all-purpose flour can last up to a year, whole-wheat and nut flours could go bad in just a couple months because they contain oils. When these oils degrade, the flour will start to smell funky.
A dozen eggs at the grocery store will probably cost less per egg than a larger pack from a warehouse. And unless you’re cooking for a crowd, you probably won’t use up a 30-pack crate before the eggs’ three- to five-week expiration hits, so you’ll end up tossing the extras.
The container might claim the herbs and spices inside don’t expire for one to four years, but that’s under the assumption that you store them correctly. Moisture and heat from your gas cooker could get to spices stored above the stove, and paprika and chili powder ate best stored in the refrigerator.
While old spices won’t make you fall sick, they could start losing flavour after a year. Buy smaller containers and replace them once the quality declines.
While it might shock you, liquid bleach actually has an expiration date. Once open, it only takes about six months for it to become less effective.
Powdered products, though, are a different story. If you keep them in a cool, dry spot, they can stay good indefinitely. Opt for one of those, or get a small bottle of liquid bleach for the best value.
Even though they tend to have a lot of preservatives and are stored in the fridge, condiments won’t last forever. Once you open a jar or bottle, it’s a matter of months until it goes bad.
Mayonnaise, for instance, should only be left in the fridge two months after opening, though ketchup can last closer to six months. Leave the value-sized bottles at the store and pick up a smaller size for your family.
Every time you stick your fingers in a tub of skin cream, you let in germs and increase the risk of contamination. More so, a lot of skincare products will start losing effectiveness within three to six months.
Stock up on the items you go through fast, but go for small pots over big tubs for the products you might not use up immediately.