Shelf life of common foods
Eggs: Store in the original carton on a shelf, not in the fridge door. Use within 3-5 weeks or by the suggested expiry date. Leftover uncooked egg whites can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days or for up to a year in the freezer. Egg yolks can be stored in the fridge for 2-4 days. Freezing egg yolks is not recommended.
Fresh vegetables: Store in the fridge and use within 5-7 days. Frozen vegetables will keep for up to a year.
Cooked meat: Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Sandwich meat: Keep in the fridge up to 5 days once opened or 1-2 months in the freezer.
Ketchup and mustard: Keep in the pantry for 1 year if unopened and 6 months once opened in the fridge.
Marshmallows: Surprisingly marshmallows should only be stored for 2-4 months unopened or used within 1 month once the package is opened.
Butter: Keep in the fridge for 1-3 months or 6-9 months in the freezer. Do not store unrefrigerated.
Margarine: Keep in the fridge for 4-5 months or up to 1 year in the freezer. Do not store unrefrigerated.
Peanut butter: Keeps for 6-9 months in the pantry unopened and 2-3 months once opened.
Bottled water: Will keep for 1-2 years if unopened and 3 months in the fridge once opened.
White flour: Can be kept unopened in the pantry for up to 1 year and 6-8 months once opened.
Whole wheat flour: Should only be kept unopened for 1 month and then for 6-8 months in the fridge.
Baking powder: Can be kept for 6 months unopened in the pantry and 3 months once opened.
Baking soda: Can be kept for 18 months unopened in the pantry and 6 months once opened.
Cornstarch: Can be kept for 18 months unopened in the pantry and for 18 months once opened.
Canned goods (low acid): Canned meat, fish, stew, soup, beans, corn, peas, spinach or pasta can be kept for 2-5 years unopened in the pantry, but must be kept in the fridge and used within 3-4 days once opened.
Canned goods (high acid): Juices, fruit, pickles, sauerkraut, tomato soup and foods in vinegar can be kept for 12-18 months in the panty and 5-7 days once opened in the fridge.
Cereal: Store in the pantry for 6-12 months unopened and use within 6 months once opened.
Honey: Keeps for 1 year unopened and another year in the pantry once opened.
Jams and jellies: Keep for 1 year unopened and should be kept up to 6 months in the fridge once opened.
Vegetable oils: Keep for 6 months if unopened and 4-6 months once opened.
Pasta and rice (dry): Can be kept in the pantry for 2 years and should be used within 1 year once opened. Egg noodles are an exception and should be used within 1 month after opening.
Spices: Most will keep for up to 4 years, although the potency of spices decreases with age.
Sugar: Never spoils.
Tea: Store bags unopened for 18 months and use opened package within 12 months.
Coffee (ground in cans): Can be stored unopened for 2 years and used within 2-4 weeks once opened. Storage in the freezer will enhance the shelf life.
Vinegar: Store in the pantry unopened for 2 years and use within 1 year once open.