Is your motto "Waste not, want not"?  Mine always was until this week when I kept plugging away at old leftovers from a recent party.  That coleslaw and German potatoe salad were just so delicious, I couldn't imagine throwing them out. What a mistake!  Let's just say, my iron stomach of my youth is no longer.  It made me finally realize that I had to give up my habit of eating food way beyond expiration dates for the sake of not wasting food. So how long should you hang onto some of the most common contents in your fridge and freezer?  You just might be surprised.  I was.

Below is a list of guidelines on how long to keep different foods from TODAY Health And Wellness:

  • Leftovers: For most things, about one week.  Notice that with each passing day, the flavor declines.
  • Raw Chicken: Basically 1 to 2 days in the fridge
  • Frozen Chicken:  It's best used within a month or two.
  • Deli Meat: It's best to eat within 3 days but you can keep it for up to a week.   (SLIMY MEANS IT’S GOT BACTERIA!)
  • Frozen Bread/Bagels:  Bread dries out so eat within about 2 to 3 weeks otherwise you sacrifice taste more and more as time passes.
  • Chicken or Beef Broth:  Use within a few days and store in a container, not the original can.
  • Eggs: Once you've reached the sell-by date, you've got about 2 to 3 weeks to eat them.  Don't eat after five weeks.
  • Coffee: Because coffee grounds absorb moisture easily, it means they also absorb odors and flavors from other foods, even if you store them in your freezer.  Because of that,  buy only a week or two's supply of coffee. Whole beans last 1 to 3 weeks, stored in a cool, dry place.