Box Mac-n-cheese Expiration Date?

tortoise

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DH found box mac-n-cheese on sale at the local grocery store. It expires next month. He bought a couple boxes for the kids. Turns out it has safe-for-me ingredients! No GI trouble after having a generous serving. What a treat!

I bought 2 cases. 48 boxes total for $16. :gig

I could use them before the best by date. But realistically, how much life do you think is in them?
 

JanetMarie

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DH found box mac-n-cheese on sale at the local grocery store. It expires next month. He bought a couple boxes for the kids. Turns out it has safe-for-me ingredients! No GI trouble after having a generous serving. What a treat!

I bought 2 cases. 48 boxes total for $16. :gig

I could use them before the best by date. But realistically, how much life do you think is in them?
I've heard of people canning box mixes like that, or put in the freezer.
 

flowerbug

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pasta in a box can last a year or more, but depends upon storage conditions - bugs and humidity might ruin things sooner.

the cheese sauce powder in the packets should be good for quite some time as those are sealed up even better than the pasta.

me, i'd eat it all eventually, opening the boxes later on i might wonder if there were bugs in there or not, but you can usually see bug damage, frass, dead bugs, etc... some people might freak out about eating something that's been a bit chewed on by bugs, but i just pick out the bugs and other stuff and eat the rest. can't say i've ever noticed a bug taste of any kind. note, only some bugs, anything that poops tarry black gunk, then nope, i'm not going to eat anything those had contact with. no recall at all ever seeing those though.
 

frustratedearthmother

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I'd probably open all the boxes and dump the mac into glass jars. I'd use gallon jars probably. Shove all the cheese mixes, still in their packets, into another big glass container. If you can keep any bugs and moisture out of the pasta it'll last a really long time.
 

Hinotori

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Best buy dates are a con to get you to toss perfectly good food and buy new. They aren't regulated except for baby formula.

I have airtight tubs that I put any boxed foods in to keep humidity out here. As long as I eat it in a year I'm good with it. I've eaten stuff several years old. In my experience it's the powder packets that go bad before the pasta. If they aren't all clumped beyond breaking up, or discolored they are usually fine.

Maybe I'm not the best judge because I grew up poor and Mom would get foods at the discount grocery in big quantities if they were cheap enough. Getting a years supply was normal.

Of course back in the 80s Dad would bring home C rations from the Army Depot he worked at if they came across a stash of them. So I can say Ive eaten food that's 40 years old.
 

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The one food I remember reading about where you should pay attention to the expiration date is Cake Mixes; the baking powder used definitely has a finite shelf life, and the cake won't rise well.
This happened to us when I bought clearance cake mix for my kids to make their cakes to decorate for 4-H. I had boxes marked "add baking powder" for a while until I used them up :gig
 
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