This Is The Longest Your Leftovers Should Be In The Freezer

What's the best part of preparing gigantic meals? Duh, all the leftovers. It really doesn't get much better than getting to reenjoy the mashed potatoes, the veggies, the chili, and all that good stuff. Unfortunately, you can only keep leftovers for so long before they start to change colors or consistencies or ... smells. (Or sometimes, they get pushed to the back of the fridge and you accidentally waste your leftovers.)

No one wants to deal with moldy food or illness from bad food, so it's important to know how long you can keep your leftovers. While you might expect food in the freezer to last much longer (and that is the case), your food still isn't good forever. Even frozen, food texture and taste begin to suffer over time, according to SELF. So if you've got too many leftovers to eat, you probably want to know how long it's safe to keep your food in the freezer.

Eat your frozen leftovers within 6 months

According to Delish, a good basic rule for refrigerated leftovers is to toss them after four days. If you can't possibly eat everything before it goes bad, package it up and store it in the freezer. Don't forget to label and date each item — this will help you identify foods and, more importantly, know how long things have been in the freezer. No one wants to eat freezer-burnt lasagna. 

Food recommends not storing frozen leftovers for more than six months (as long as they're stored at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below), but there are a few exceptions. For example, cooked meat or poultry should be good for two to six months. However, chicken patties or nuggets are only good for one to three months. Meanwhile, leftover pizzas will only last one to two months in the freezer. Other freezer leftovers that will last you only two to three months: Baked quiches, casseroles with eggs, and soups and stews. You will want to avoid putting a salad and hard-cooked eggs in the freezer entirely.

You should also be sure to rotate items so nothing is forgotten in the back. Try to have a regular clean-out, so foods that have been in the freezer too long get thrown out. At the end of the day, it's far better to be safe with your food than sorry.