At my house, usually about once a year, I do a full inventory of the freezer, refrigerator and pantry. Yes, I really do this.
I will freely admit that a lot of the time when I’m putting away groceries (not my favorite task), I put the new stuff onto the front of the shelves and push back everything else. Of course, this action results in a number of items getting “lost” in the very back of the pantry or on the bottom of the chest freezer. My once a year inventory forces me to take everything out of the freezer (or pantry or refrigerator), discard what needs to go, make a list of what is left and organize it before putting it back.
These inventory lists then get posted on the refrigerator door for easy meal planning and as a constant reminder to eat up the older stuff!
If you’re not sure how long you can keep certain foods – especially the ones that don’t come with a use-by date – check out our fact sheets on Freezer Storage, Refrigerator Storage and Pantry Storage!
Pantry Food Storage: http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/HYG-5401
Freezer Storage: http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/HYG-5402
Refrigerator Storage: http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/HYG-5403