I love a bargain and love to search for them. To the extent that I’ve figured out how much gasoline it will take to drive to the cheaper grocery store farther from my house. I’m going to have to save at least $1.00 on the extra trip. So, you can imagine how happy I was the other day to see an entire “closeout” cart of microwave popcorn listed at .50 a box! Are you kidding? I was in. I’m surprised you couldn’t see my little feet sticking up out of the cart as I dove in to stock up. I brought it home and got ready to enjoy. I decided to see if I could figure out why the popcorn was 80% off the regular price. No dents or scratches on the box, it was a name brand, unopened. Then I saw it. The expiration date. Best if used by June 23, 2006. Right down to the day! I wonder why they didn’t add a time stamp?
What exactly does “best if used by” really mean? Will it smell the best, taste the best, pop the best? Does microwave popcorn spoil? Is there some chemical reaction that will happen at 12:00 a.m. June 24, 2006? Being microwave popcorn, is there a nuclear threat? I decided to go for it. It was fine. It popped every kernel. Did not burn, tasted fine, and as far as I know, I’m not glowing in the dark. So what’s the deal? And why did the store still have it 7 months past the expiration date? Its a Wisconsin-based store. Do they ship all grossly expired food to those dumb Illinois flatlanders and see what we’ll eat? I just might have to ask. Maybe I could sue. Maybe I can blame my sinus infection and mischievous children on the expired popcorn.
Only time will tell if there is any real problem with the popcorn. Until then, I am going to do the frugal mom victory dance for purchasing microwave popcorn for .50 a box. I’m a genius. Unless of course, I die.