Alas, I did not win the $13million Toto, nor did I strike any 4D.  My monthly paycheck is almost gone the moment it reaches my bank account after deducting the utility bill, handphone bill, mortgage instalment, car instalment, insurance, credit card bill….  And unless you are drawing quite a big paycheck, or born with a silver spoon since birth, or have a rich partner to take care of all the basic necessity, you would have noticed the grocery bill is getting bigger. 

In fact, both eating in and eating out can be equally costly.  The Teochew fish porridge that I love costs $4 previously, but now it costs $5 and the loaf of bread I buy at the supermarket used to cost $1.80 but has since increased to $2.30.  The difference may seem insignificant but multiply that by the number of mouth one has to feed in the household and multiply that again by the number of days in a month, it does make a huge difference.

As the expenses increase, it can be heart-wrenching whenever there is expired food that has to be thrown away.  As taught or nagged by the elderly or possibly your mum, they will always remind you that it is a sin to throw away food and you would not be able to have food in your next life.  I have to admit that the sins or guilt of throwing away food does not hit you directly until you are the one who has to pay for it.

You would have noticed that on most food that we buy, especially those that are purchased at supermarket would carry a date label and it can be categorized as :

  • Best if Used By/Before. This guarantees when a product is of the best quality or flavor. For instance, a jar of peanut butter may not taste as fresh or biscuits may lose its crispiness after this date. It’s not about safety.
  • Sell By. This is the date set by manufacturers to tell retailers when to remove the product from shelves. The goal is to ensure that the consumer has the product at its best quality, which can be several days to several weeks, depending on the item.
  • Use By. This is the last date that guarantees the best quality of a product. This is also not a safety date except when used on infant formula.

Whichever is the label on the food that we buy, you can rest assured that it is never about food safety.  In fact, there are many foods that can still be eaten safely after it’s supposedly expiration. 

The following are some examples that you can eat with a peace of mind even when it is pass expiry and you can stock up, you know… just in case of WAR or APOCALYPSE for those who love watching the zombie and horror flicks.


Uncooked Pasta/Macaroni
1 to 2 years


Uncooked Rice

A jaw-dropping 30 years. 

Maybe you may see some termites in the packet of rice but it is still safe to eat after washing them.


Milk & Dairy Product

5 days if properly refrigerated.  This may not be suitable if you are preparing for war though.


Canned Food

An average of 2 to 5 years provided it is unopened and stored in a cool and dry place.  That could probably explain why we always see canned food being eaten in those zombie apocalypse movies.


Raw Meat/Fish

3 to 4 months on conditioned that it is frozen properly.  Basically, the act of freezing food will not allow any bacteria to have a chance of growing.


Instant Coffee

Quite impressive I would say. 
Instant coffee can last for an astonishing 2 to 20 years.


Energy Bars

A winner here, as it last FOREVER!!!  Plus, they are handy and can be kept in the pocket while you run away from the zombies!



Another winner! Alcohol lasts FOREVER as well.  This applies especially to the basic liquor such as whiskey, brandy, rum, gin, vodka as they do contain sugar. 

Anyone going to rack their fridge or kitchen cupboard for a delicious meal of dinner tonight?