Somewhat related to this discussion is rotation of food storage. On shorter term things like store-bought canned goods with maybe a 2-year shelf life (give or take), we took a tax refund a few years ago and purchased several of the Cansolidator units available at Thrive Foods. They’re like the Campbells Soup displays in many grocery stores where you pull out a can sitting on its side at the bottom of a unit that loads from above, and the cans roll down one by one as the bottom ones are removed. The adjustable units such as the Cansolidator are a bit pricey, but over time (and found on sale from time to time), they allow you to keep the oldest canned food at the bottom of the unit, and the furthest out expiration dates at the top of the unit – FIFO style (first in, first out, rolling down from top to bottom as stock is removed and replaced). Home made units can be fashioned as well. They even have large units to hold #10 cans such as what’s found in freeze dried and dehydrated long term storage foods. No more expiration of cans back in the corner of a closet or cupboard, potentially.
We have large storage shelves, so we got the Pantry Plus size (they will NOT fit in a normal kitchen cupboard, however – too deep). Don’t pay full retail – check for sales, check Amazon, or find a dealer and see if you can get a dealer-sale price (sometimes they have access to good deals that aren’t necessarily advertised on line, or else they know ahead of time when a sale is coming). These can be stacked two-high, so four units can easily fit on one large storage shelf unit such as what’s found at Sam’s Club, Costco, etc., with room still left over for other shelves. Great use of space.
By the way – we volunteer at a food bank, and have been told on very reliable authority that almost any non-damaged can is safe for up to two years past the date shown on the top or bottom of a can. Some nutrition value is lost over time, but it’s still safe if the can is completely intact (no dents around the seams on the rim, large dents in the sides that create a sharp point or edge on the dent, where tiny cracks could happen, etc).