Ever chucked something from your pantry because the “best by” date was yesterday? Well, it turns out, a lot of those dates are more guidelines than hard rules. From that pasta you’ve had forever to the yogurt hiding in your fridge, so many staples are still totally fine to eat way past their so-called expiration. It’s a bit of a game-changer, right? Here’s the lowdown on what’s still good to go, saving you from unnecessary toss-outs and maybe even a few bucks.

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Canned Foods

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These sturdy staples can last way beyond their “best by” dates, thanks to the airtight sealing process that keeps the contents safe from bacteria. Just make sure the can isn’t bulging or damaged, and you’re good to go for a pantry dive anytime.

Cereal

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Cereal might lose some of its crunch over time, but it’s still perfectly safe to eat. Keep it sealed tight to fend off staleness, and enjoy your morning bowl without the crunch factor. Just avoid any funky smells or tastes.

Pasta

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Dry pasta’s shelf life is basically a marathon runner — it goes the distance. Even past its expiration date, as long as it’s stored properly and doesn’t show signs of pests or moisture, pasta remains a reliable dinner base.

Packaged Cookies

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Those cookies in the back of your cupboard? They might not be as fresh, but they’re still a treat. The preservatives keep them safe to nibble on, even if they’ve lost a bit of their signature snap. Just watch out for any off flavors.

Dried Beans

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Dried beans are the ultimate survivors. They might take a bit longer to cook the older they get, but with enough soaking and simmering, they’ll still make a hearty addition to any meal.

Bread

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Bread might get a bit dry or stale past its prime, but as long as there’s no mold, it’s toast-ready. Revive it in the oven or toaster, and it’s like you’ve just baked a fresh loaf.

Butter

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Unsalted butter, especially when kept in the fridge (or even frozen), can last beyond its expiration date. Its high fat content keeps it from going bad quickly, making it perfectly fine for cooking or spreading.

Condiments

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Most condiments are high in vinegar, salt, or sugar, which are natural preservatives. That ketchup or mustard can often last months beyond the date on the bottle, just give it a good shake and a taste test before using.

Honey

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Honey is basically immortal. It might crystallize over time, but a quick warm-up will bring it back to its liquid gold state. So, don’t fret about the date — your honey’s still sweet.

Milk

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Smell is the key with milk. If it’s a bit past the date but still smells fine, it’s usually safe for a cereal companion. Just trust your nose and taste buds on this one — they won’t steer you wrong.

Rice

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Like pasta, dry rice (especially white rice) can last well past its label date when stored in a cool, dry place. Brown rice has a shorter life due to its oils, but keeping it cool can help extend its usability.

Yogurt

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Yogurt can often be enjoyed a bit after its expiration, thanks to the good bacteria it contains. If there’s no mold or strange smell, it’s likely still good to go for your breakfast or snack.

Nuts

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Nuts might go rancid over time due to their oils, but if they’re stored properly (cool and sealed), they can last past their expiration date. Give them a taste test; if they don’t taste bitter, they’re still good for snacking or cooking.

10 Foods You Should Never Eat Raw

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Diving into a bag of crunchy raw carrots or whipping up a smoothie with butternut squash and spinach? Go for it! But beware, the culinary world has its rogues. Some foods play hardball with your stomach or sneak in toxins that could turn your mealtime into a risky affair. It’s all about knowing who’s who in the raw food lineup.

See Them here: 10 Food You Should Never Eat Raw

10 Foods That Have Priced Themselves Out Of Our Shopping Carts Lately

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Ever noticed how some grocery items have gone from ‘yeah, let’s grab it’ to ‘wait, how much?!’ lately? We’re looking at a bunch of foods that have gotten so expensive, we’re just shaking our heads and putting them back on the shelf. From breakfast staples to quick dinner fixes, let’s talk about the stuff that’s not making the cut anymore and how whipping up alternatives at home might just be the wallet-friendly (and fun) way to go.

See them here: 10 Foods That Have Priced Themselves Out Of Our Shopping Carts Lately

Avoid these 11 Foods If You’re Sensitive to Lectins

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Navigating the world of food sensitivities can feel like walking through a minefield, especially when lectins are the culprits. You might have heard that these protein-packed particles can wreak havoc on sensitive stomachs, but figuring out where they’re hiding is another story. We’re breaking down some of the foods that are lectin landmines for those with sensitivities. Grab a notepad, because you’re going to want to remember these tips next time you’re grocery shopping or planning a meal.

See Them Here: Avoid these 11 Foods If You’re Sensitive to Lectins

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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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