expired drinks--how many to buy?

miscindyDecember 4, 2008

My local grocery store is selling 12 pack cans of Tropicana Light drinks for $0.99. I bought a single yesterday for $0.25 and it was very good. It's a flavored lemonade beverage, non-carbonated, sugar-free. Today when I went back for the 12 packs I noticed the expiration date is 12/1/08. How long after that date do you think the drink will still be good? They have numerous 12 packs of this stuff. It's quite a steal to get 12 cans for $.99! I bought 2, but wonder if I should buy more. My household might drink 1-2 cans/day, so we'd potentially go through 2 12 packs in a month. How many would you buy if you liked the drink? (Remember it's only 5 calories/can!)

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Generally the expiration date means "SELL by", not "USE by", so I'd probably buy quite a few, if it was something I normally bought.

But I'm not an expert on such things. What deteriorates that requires them to expire, I wonder?

At the office where I worked, we discovered a stash of carbonated soda that one of the bosses had so that he could offer guests something to drink, and then forgot he had them, I guess. The reason we found them was because the contents had eaten a hole in the aluminum and was seeping out of the cabinet onto the floor. Maybe it is the can that deteriorates, then. If so, that wouldn't be so good to be drinking aluminum-laced drinks. I'll be interested in seeing what everyone else says.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 4:58PM
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I have a simple rule that has served me well as a money saving tip. I don't use money for "fake" food or drinks. Foods that have little to offer in the way of nutrition - no matter how cheap. I stick with REAL whole foods, those that are high in nutrition and fiber are my choices for my $50/week food dollars.

I'd suggest purchasing some frozen concentrated orange and grape juice instead. Serve your family a 3/4-cup serving - that's equal to one fruit serving for the day. To quench thirst, water. Add some lemon juice if you need it flavored. At least lemons will include some vitamin C.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 5:07PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

From what I have found googling, the shelf life of diet soda is 3 months past the sell by date. So I would use that as a guideline. I love finding good deals like that!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 7:57AM
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The "shelf life" of carbonated soda differs with the packaging. Plastic bottled soda will lose it's carbonation over time faster. Canned soda lasts longer. The "sell by" dates are set to insure quality not nesessaily when the contents become inedible or dangerous. So stock up!

I would never by anything that was "a flavored lemonade beverage, non-carbonated, sugar-free" and chemical laden. That's just me. I don't consume things that are not food.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 3:25PM
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"It's a flavored lemonade beverage, non-carbonated, sugar-free. "
I would not spend a dime on that!

"(Remember it's only 5 calories/can!)"
Water is only zero calories!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 4:47PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Gee, everybody is different! I wouldn't dehydrate a piece of celery or eat tuna noodle casserole but I wouldn't criticize anyone for doing so! Just buy the tuna on sale :)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 5:55PM
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Well, yeah... everyone IS different.

But the OP stresses the cheapness and the low calories of an expired product, that probably had chemicals in it to boot.

I just think that water is cheaper, lower in calories... and fresh.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 6:14PM
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It should be ok for at least a few months. Diet products with aspartame in them like diet Pepsi and diet coke etc don't have near as long a shelf life but the regular sugary versions do. If it was something I enjoyed and it was at that price then I'd buy it.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 8:07PM
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C'mon, gals... It's a process. ;)

I'll admit to being hooked on diet carbonated beverages. Not good for me, I know! But every now and then I just crave something fizzy, and I'm not a beer or a champagne drinker.

The question was not "would you buy this if you were me?"

I remember, as a young mother, I would only buy Hi-C fruit drink for my kids because it said "10% Real Juice!" on the label. Now I wonder, "What was I thinking?"

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 8:16PM
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Well, I didn't know my post would cause such a stir! :) I bought 2-12 packs and am storing them in the cold garage.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 2:44PM
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I have had many cans of drinks left for six months or more and have not suffered any ill effects. Some of these were diet drinks and some were sugar type. I would go ahead and buy as many as you like at that super price, expecially if you drink 2 or more packs a month. Stock up!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 9:53PM
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ilene_in_neok, I also love fizzy drinks and for a treat, I mix natural fruit juice (I like unsweetened pomegranate) with seltzer. Much healthier than soda and takes care of the fizzy craving.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 4:26PM
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Thanks petra, I'll give that a try.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 5:40PM
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FYI never buy Diet Coke that's nearing or past its expiration date. It tastes terrible.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 1:42AM
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what is that in diet coke that it makes it taste so terrible when past expiration???? i tasted an old diet coke at my parents house (that was in the frig.... prob for a long time!!) and it tasted absolutely horrendous! i opened another and it was equally as bad...i don't remember how old they were, but were probably ~2 years past the sell by date........don't know if it's a carbonation issue in combination with the artificial sweetner, or what.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 5:00PM
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i wouldn't buy any of it, the date is on there for a reason. i think there is a time limit on the amount of time fluids can stay in alum cans and plastic bottles and still be safe..

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 11:08PM
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I've heard the artificial sweetener they use in diet drinks dies.

There was a piece on the History channel that showed how they made those aluminum cans and they spray a coating on the inside of the cans to keep the contents from being contaminated by the can. I'm pretty sure that the liquid eventually eats this coating off. DH had a boss once that wouldn't drink anything out of a can. He said they find aluminum residue in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. And plastic must deteriorate with time, also. Otherwise why would we be told not to re-use plastic water bottles (although I wonder if that's not just a marketing scare to keep people from refilling and make them buy more).

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 8:34AM
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