Is anyone collecting things for the SWAP I'm planning in the spring? I have been diligently cleaning out my house and have collected clothes, kitchen items, fabric, craft supplies, games, toys and books. I have them boxed up in my basement and can’t wait until the weather is nicer so that we can all exchange our items! I hope you have stuff to get rid of, too!
I've never worried too much about expiration dates on food. When I was growing up, my dad owned a grocery store and we always used all of the food that we couldn’t sell anymore because of the dates. We never had a problem with spoiled food. If it looks and smells good, I will use it. Of course if the product doesn't look quite right, smells a bit "off" or the can is swollen, I immediately throw it out. I recently read an interesting article about expiration dates. Here is the link: http://www.slate.com/id/2244249?yahoo=y
We are lucky to have an outlet store in Loveland, CO. It is just South of the Wal-mart on East Eisenhower Blvd. I buy all my bread here. We love the Oroweat 100% whole wheat bread, the wheat or multigrain sandwich thins, Thomas bagels, and for a treat something from the Entenmann's product line. Bring your own bags and you get a free item from the free table. You also get a free item for every $5.00 you spend.
You can buy fresh bread here or what is called day old (returned from store shelves). I almost always buy the day old. Prices are $1.00 and up for day old. These items freeze very well!
Buy your cooking vegetables (carrots, celery and onions) in large quantities from Sams or Costco, and then grate or dice them and freeze them in sandwich bags. The veggies are much cheaper when you buy them in bulk packages rather than in smaller amounts at the grocery store. Whenever you need them for a recipe, you always have them cut up and ready to use for soups or sauces. It takes a bit of time to get them cut and in the freezer, but in the long run, you end up saving time as well as money.