Rotating your prepping supplies of food is an important part of food safety and can help you to prevent food waste. Here are some steps you can follow to rotate your supplies and check for expiry dates:
- Organize your prepper pantry: Start by organizing your pantry in a way that makes sense to you, whether it’s by food type, meal type, or alphabetically. Make sure that you have enough space to store your food so that it’s easily accessible and you can see what you have.
- Check expiry dates: Go through your pantry items and check the expiry dates on each package. Sort your items by their expiry dates, placing the ones that expire soonest in the front of your pantry, and the ones that expire later in the back.
- Use the FIFO method: FIFO stands for “first in, first out,” which means that you use the oldest items first. To use this method, make sure that you’re placing new items at the back of your pantry and using the items in the front first.
- Keep track of inventory: It’s helpful to keep a list of what you have in your pantry and when you bought it. This will help you to keep track of what you need to use up first, and what you need to buy more of.
- Always label the jars for food you have canned yourself with both the canning date and the expected expiry date.
- Depending on the item, set a time before the expiry date for when you will move an item from your prep supplies to your household supplies. For example, if you have cans of vegetables, and your household uses a few cans a week, you can wait until closer to the expiry date to move it into the house.
- For something you rarely or seldom use – or perhaps only purchased specifically for prepping supplies – you will want to put them into your household supply much sooner, or with enough time left before expiring that your local food bank will still accept it. Food banks will not accept expired foods and some may have restrictions on how “close” it can be to the expiry date before they will turn it down.
- Consider having a special shelf or area where you will put anything that expires within the next X months. You may find 3 months or 6 months guideline works best for you. This allows you to do a quick expiry check, even if you know you don’t have time to go through all your supplies at the time.
- Set a specific time you will go through your pantry, whether it is once a month or once every three or six months – choose whatever works best for you based on your supplies.