We have a simple question for readers of our blog – what is the oldest item of food in your kitchen cupboards?

Can you answer it without going through the deepest crevices in your kitchen and being terrified of what you might find?

The fact is that we all buy items and then, well, simply forget about them after a while. You always think that you are going to use that jam that you bought on a whim at the farmers market ages ago but will you really? Will it just sit in your cupboard for another year before you take the plunge to throw it out?

We are going to show you how you can de-clutter your kitchen cupboards and avoid the internal shame that you feel when you find a bottle of sauce that expired before wireless internet was even a thing…

Buy What You Need

It sounds pretty simple, right? I mean, only buying what you are going to use and not what you think you might use will create some much needed space in your kitchen cupboards.

The problem is actually putting this plan into action.

We have all seen a great recipe online, went out and bought all the different ingredients and then never used half of them again. The bottle of oyster sauce that you used to make that stir fry last year will probably still be sitting in your kitchen cupboards in 12 months time. The key is to buy ingredients that you can use for a variety of different meals and recipes. You can have occasional lapses if you are cooking something one off however focusing more on what you can use numerous times rather than just once will really help to de-clutter your kitchen cupboards.

Get Into A Clearing Routine

Remember we gave you some tips for cleaning and keeping your kitchen cupboards in order? Well you don’t have to deep clean your kitchen cupboards every week however getting into a routine will work wonders for getting rid of out of date food and sauces.

Every month go through your kitchen cupboards to see what is in there. You’ll be amazed at how quickly certain items can go off after they have been opened and a monthly routine of clearing out your cupboards will go a long way to ensuring that nothing is left in there for months or even years past its sell by date.

It only takes a few minutes every so often to do this and it is the easiest way to get rid of items that you either can’t use any more or simply won’t use in the future.

Organising Your Kitchen Cupboards

Aside from checking every so often to make sure that none of the items in your kitchen cupboards have went past their use by date you can also organise your cupboards in an effective way.

We are all guilty of putting new items that we have just bought in the front of the cupboard – more to quickly get the shopping away than anything else! – but all this does is move the items that we should be using up to the back. This is how you forget about them and you’ve left wondering how you managed to let a can of soup go out of date.

Putting items that are coming close to their use by date or that you have already opened and need to use within a specific time frame at the front of your kitchen cupboards will keep them within eyesight when you open the cupboard door. This means that you will be more likely to use those items and they won’t be left to fester at the back of your cupboard.

What Is The Oldest Item Of Food In Your Kitchen Cupboards?

So to go back to our original question – what is the oldest item of food in your kitchen cupboards?

If it is something that has only been out of date by a few weeks or a couple of months then you aren’t doing too bad. If you happen to find a bottle of stir fry sauce that you used when you were trying to impress your date with your cooking back in 2008 then you really need to follow the advice in this post and start clearing out your kitchen cupboards on a regular basis.

Around 7 million tonnes of food and drink are thrown away every year from our homes and 50% of that is food that we could have eaten or items that we could have used according to Love Food Hate Waste. You can really clamp down on this in your own home if you follow our simple tips to keep on top of the things that you buy and where you store them.


  • Try and only buy items that you are going to use
  • Clear your kitchen cupboards out on a regular basis
  • Put food, tins and sauces that are coming close to their use by date at the front of the cupboard
  • Make use of what you have first rather than buying new items to cook with

With these simple tips you will have no need to be embarrassed when someone asks you what is the oldest item of food in your kitchen cupboards?