Decluttering pantry – the spice of life

decluttering pantry
Pantry, Photo by slc

This weekend I went to my pantry to fetch cooking spray.  I was baking scones.  For some reason this time when I opened the pantry door, I picked up the Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin and it had sat neatly on the pantry shelf for over 25 years!

decluttering pantry
Expired Fruit Pectin and Gelatin, Photo by slc

I never considered my pantry and other cupboards needed decluttering until that day and time.  I have not made jelly or jam for many years but I the fruit pectin expiration dates were May 8, 1993 and March 5, 1994!

According to some people on the internet, the pectin may actually still work if I ever make jam again, but what about spices?  Some of the spices I have in the spice draw I acquired in the 80’s judging from their prices.  How long do they last?  According to Home Storage Solutions 101:

“Typically, with some exceptions (such as mold or mildew on items, or something similar), spices don’t go bad. However, they do lose their strength and flavor with time.

decluttering pantry
65 Cent Mustard Seed, Photo by slc

That’s why many (but not all) spice bottles have expiration dates, or ‘best by’ dates on them, so you can know whether the spice you want to add to your food will actually taste good, or not.”

They also suggested, “Take a small pinch of the spice and crush it between your fingers and smell it. If it has no scent, or only a very faint scent, it needs to be tossed. It will not have much taste, so it is pretty worthless at this point.”

So, if you are baking this holiday season, check out your pantry.  How old are the expiration dates on the items in your cupboard?  Can you beat 1993 fruit pectin or 65 cent mustard seed?  If so, I’d love to hear your decluttering pantry story and whether you are throwing anything out?

3 thoughts on “Decluttering pantry – the spice of life

  1. Last summer we cleaned out my mother-in-law’s kitchen, and my husband decided to keep a bunch of hers. Unfortunately, I now have a lot of duplicates and no space because of my collection of spices, some of which are also ancient. Thanks for the prompt!

I'd love to know your thoughts...please leave comment

%d bloggers like this: