Day 108 Food Clutter

Sometimes when going through the home uncluttering we forget the pantry and the refrigerator which is one place that we should visit on a regular basis to make sure there aren’t foodstuffs that are past their used by date.

Now I do tend to do this fairly often because I have one of those not so well designed pantries that are so deep you can lose things in the back reaches that won’t be seen until it’s too late if I am not vigilant. But because I thought this was a good topic to write about I had a look anyway and found the items in my photo below that were in some cases waaaay out of date.

The puff pastry was overdue for eating in 2008 which is pretty outrageous but I kept thinking that I would eventually use it for something and since it was frozen it should keep. Now on reflection I am sure that the used by date on something that is meant to be stored in the freezer was probably designed to meet those conditions so 2008 meant 2008.

The desiccated coconut was more of an open and sniff test as I had put it in the Tupperware container without transferring the used by date so that I would know when it expired. I knew it had been there for some time though so I had a reasonable idea that it was time to go as coconut contains oils that can go rancid over time.

The apricots were a no-brainer as I only had to look at the colour of them through the bag to know they were well and truly past it.

As for the canneloni shells, pasta tends to last for just about ever without spoiling and there wasn’t a used by date on the box but I just knew I hadn’t used them in a long time so I decided they could go too.

There are two lessons I have learned while doing this little food purge…..

  1. When putting ingredients into Tupperware containers make sure you transfer the used by date by either tearing it off the box/bag and putting it in or taping it to the outside of the container or make your own label and stick it on the container.
  2. Don’t be temped to buy in bulk if you aren’t absolutely sure you will use enough of the ingredient to make it economical. The coconut was one of those items that was lets say $2.50 for 150g or $3.00 for 300g so it makes economical sense to buy the 300g unless you only end up using 100g before it is past it’s used by date in which case you have wasted 50c and 200g of coconut.


Food Clutter

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Hi Colleen,
    Loving your blog… started from the start ‘I think’ !
    Things like pasta that ‘might’ be a little out of date can still be cooked up to add to pet food or make great kids crafts 🙂