Health And Wellness

How Long You Can Freeze Every Single Food Item In Your Pantry

Photo: getty
How Long You Can Freeze Every Single Food Item In Your Pantry

How long does food last in the freezer? It's a question most of us have been asking ourselves as coronavirus has prevented us from making our weekly trips to the grocery store.

Instead, we're being encouraged to use what we have in our homes, rather than buying in bulk out of fear of running out. And while there are, no doubt, certain foods that have a short shelf-life and cannot be put into the freezer or refridgerator, we can shop smarter.

And part of shopping smarter is knowing which foods last longer when you put them in the freezer.

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While many of us are aware that meat and other foods can last quite some time when frozen, why is doing so beneficial, aside from saving money and stress?

According to, "Freezing food stops bacterial growth," but over time, the quality of the food degenerates. To help us better understand the life of food when put in the freezer, they provided a handy chart as a guide to determine the recommended amount of time certain foods retain their quality when frozen.

For example, most breads and desserts can last from a month to six months. Muffins, in particular, are still good for a year after freezing! Fish and seafood can also last for two-to-six months, but lobster can last up to a year.

As for meat, lamb and veal last up to 9 months, beef roasts up to 12 months, and did you know that roast beef can last up to 6 months if you freeze it? Tired of not using up your milk that ends up spoiling? If you freeze your milk before it goes bad, it can last up to 6 months frozen — just don't put it in glass bottles, for obvious reasons.

That's right: a lot of food can actually last for a very long time, as long as you freeze it.

Along with a handy dandy infograph, the website also recommends following a few rules before freezing:

  • Freeze food at its peak ripeness/freshness.
  • Know that some foods don't freeze well, such as potatoes or raw eggs.
  • Leave room in containers when freezing liquids, as they expand in cold temperatures.

And if that wasn't great enough, they also provided a list of the items you should never freeze. Along with raw eggs and potatoes, the list includes deli products, salad dressings, carbonated drinks, uncooked rice and pasta, coffee, cream cheese, and other items.

So, before you panic that you need to clean out your fridge due to food items spoiling, wilting, or rotting, use this trusty chart to determine how long your favorite foods can last in the freezer.

Bread and Desserts

While we usually freeze our waffles or pancakes, and take them out of the box when we want them, you can also freeze bread. In fact, those yummy cookies you whipped up from scratch? They last for 6-8 months!

Now you have an excuse to do your Christmas baking in July.

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Certain cuts of meat last longer when frozen, including chicken and turkey parts, beef roasts, steaks, and pork roasts. Unfortunately, bacon only lasts about a month, so be sure to cook up the entire package sooner rather than later.

Seafood, Dairy and Eggs

Where lobster lasts for up to a year, the same can't be said for canned seafood. Luckily, cooked fish can last for 4-6 months, so don't panic if you don't finish your supply.

As for dairy and eggs, you might be sad that ice cream doesn't last longer than two months in the freezer, despite being frozen already. Fortunately for you, butter lasts 6-9 months, margarine for a year, and your favorite soft cheese up to six months.

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Fruits and Vegetables & Soups and Broths

Most vegetables tend to last for up to a year in the freezer, but citrus fruits have a shorter life. That's good news if you're veggie obsessed!

And if you're all about soups and stews, you'll be glad to know that most meals like this last from 2-4 months, depending on the ingredients.


While it should be obvious to never put carbonated drinks in the freezer (hello, messy frozen clean up!), you can freeze concentrated juices for up to 1 year. Milk freezes for 3-6 months, and homemade juice (fresh squeezed, if you will) is good for 6 months.

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What should you not freeze?

While spices and herbs to well in the freezer, as well as already frozen TV dinners, refrain from putting certain foods in your stash. Whether it's because of preservatives or the ingredients themselves, you're better off using what you have and then buying a new supply.

What temperature should your freezer be?

The recommended temperature is 0 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the freezing temperature. As the website says, be sure to label your frozen packages. That way, there will be no surprises when you go to take out your next meal.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.