Recent reports have shown that confusion over expiration dates leads more than 90 percent of Americans to throw out food prematurely, meaning a staggering 40 percent of the U.S. food supply ends up in the garbage -- unused -- every year.
With Nov. 15 marking National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day, find out which foods you are probably throwing out too early, according to Yahoo! and Time magazine.
If your lettuce is wilted but not visibly decayed, you can revive it by soaking in ice water for about 10 minutes.
Stores typically follow what their competitors are doing when it comes to determining the use-by date on fresh meat, so going by labels only can be misleading. If frozen, deli meat can last for up to two months, and beef stew meat can be used after nine months in the freezer. Keeping your fridge at between 32 degrees and 34 degrees also gives meat a 50 percent longer shelf life.
Pasteurized milk also lasts 50 percent longer when stored at a lower temperature.
An apple will stay crisp and fresh for three weeks if refrigerated. If they are cooked and then frozen, they will stay just as tasty for eight months.
Keeping bread and other wheat-flour based foods in the freezer dramatically extends their shelf life.
According to the Food Marketing Institute and Cornell University's Foodkeeper storage guide, canned food is still fresh for a year after sitting in your pantry. Some argue that canned food will be fine even after that date.
Ready-to-eat breakfast cereal can last in your pantry without going stale for six to 12 months.
Chips and crackers
If they have a stale texture, crisp them up in a toaster oven. However, if they smell rancid, the oils have spoiled and it's best to discard.
If you keep eggs refrigerated, they are still fresh three to five weeks after you buy them.