When do you toss your old spices?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by TwinMa, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    I'm going to be ambitious and go through my spice cabinet. I have WAY too many in there. You know how you buy a spice just for one recipe and then never use it again?! Well, that's my whole cabinet! I'll give a count and post how many I have. I'm sure it's an embarrassingly big number.

    I've gotten smart (well, that might be a reach, but at least a tad smartER!) and have started dating my spices. As soon as I open the bottle, I use a Sharpie and write the date on the label.

    My question is: How old is TOO old? I'm quite sure I'll toss anything that I bought before I had kids (they are 12, lol). And that stuff I bought on my honeymoon is definitely getting tossed! But what about something that is 1 year old? 2 yrs old? What's your cutoff?

    And how many spices do YOU have?
  2. alaska3355

    alaska3355 New Member

    that one year is the recommended storage time- after that they taste like dust. But I've kept and used mine 2 years, or is that 3?? Hopefully, mine are more recent than my twins (11)!
  3. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    94 bottles of spice, take one down, pass it around, 93 bottles of spice on the wall!

    Yes, I had 94 bottles of spices and such. I'm afraid to count how many I'm keeping, but I did toss a whole bunch. What the heck did I use Mace for anyway? I don't even know what it is!

    I had some tea that said "Best if used by Oct 99" Oops!

    I told DH that I was tossing the bottle of spice I got on our honeymoon and he dug it out of the trash! He said "Don't you want to keep it for the memory?" OK, step AWAY from the trash can! And put the spice BACK in the trash! Granted, it was in a cute little wooden container, but Heck, it's 16 years old!! Sheesh! (It was a Caribbean fish spice).

    Ouch - I did have several spices in cans, like white pepper and even black pepper. So I think they are still selling some of them that way.

    dncnfngrs - I'll have to check out the bulk section at Whole Foods. I get my flax seed and a few other things in that section, but I've never seen the spices. I'll have to take a better look.

    We're still buried in snow. It snowed a couple of inches again yesterday. This makes 6 weeks in a row of getting snow on a Fri or Sat, and they are forecasting more for next weekend. We still have massive icy ruts on many side streets. I'm ready for Spring!

    I have been feeling much better generally. This week I caught some bug, but it seemed to hit hard, then pass quickly. I added garlic to my juicing concoction, and that may have helped knock it out. Tasted pretty gross, though! The thing is, I love garlic--but apparently NOT in my juice! LOL! I really feel like the juicing is having a good effect. I wish I could do it more than just on the weekends.

    alaska 3355 - One year sounds reasonable to me. My twins were completely shocked to see the kitchen table so full of spices. They had no idea we had so many. And especially that some were older than they were!

    Well, time to put the keepers back in the cupboard!
  4. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    Off topic, but the keep better spices away from light and heat. So, good to store in a dark cupboard instead of out on the counter or near the stove. Also keep better if stored in airtight containers, instead of plastic bags. Probably could extend life by freezing, don't know how long.
  5. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    Last year I had to clean out my moms spice cabinet for her while I was there at Thanksgiving. She had an entire cabinet full! She had several of the same ones and ones she only used once probably. Most were VERY old. By the time I was done I had cut 3 shelves of spices down to one.

    Oh and you thought 12 year old spices were bad...my mom had ones that were over 30 years old! She just kept buying new ones and never getting rid of the old. I hope she still wasn't using any of the really old ones...yikes :)

    It was crazy and my dad was so glad that I did it. He is proud of her that it has been over a year and she still only has one shelf of them.

    Anyways, here is an article about how long to keep spices.

    Take Care,
    Pam :)
  6. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    The rule is one year, but I find that it depends upon the particular spice. If you don't get much fragrance when you open the lid, it is probably time for the good old garbage can. Things like cardamon are expensive, and I tend to only use it around Christmas. I keep that for about 3 years. Most of my other spices get used up within a year because I tend to use them. I don't use pepper or hardly any salt at all. So I season with other little amounts of spices so the food doesn't taste bland.

    Definitely keep away from light and heat. Also, don't shake the container of spice over a steaming pan of food. The steam/water vapor gets into the bottle of spice when you do that , and the spice won't last as long when there is higher moisture levels in the container.
  7. sisland

    sisland New Member

    When my Mom Passed away My Dad gave Me Her collection of spices, They were on an old time Lazy Susan. I just Keep it for Memories, and then on the next cupbord shelf i have the ones i use all the time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,The food coloring never goes bad i don't think anyway! But yes i'm guilty of keeping them too long! Need to check my Exp Dates,,,,,,,S
  8. mary124

    mary124 New Member

    You know, looking at this post, I think maybe this weekend, I might have to look at all my spices and see if they are any good still!! I think they only ones that I know are good are of course, are salt, pepper, and 1 or 2 others that I use all the time. I don't have that many, but I think I'll go thru them. thanks.