We've all been there. Post-Sunday night study session and pulling out literally all the drawers in my desk looking for a late night snack—chips, ramen, bread—anything with carbs. Because who doesn't love the Freshman 15?

I don't know about you, but bread is always a staple in my food repertoire because it's easy to eat with no prep-time on my end; discounting the time that it takes to rip off a hunk and stuff it in my mouth. But one thing's for sure: because I love bread so much, I never know when to stop eating my latest loaf.  

The expiration date is often a suggestion for bread. You might be surprised to know that it is actually possible to keep eating it past the posted date on the packaging. Here's how you know when you've hit the true expiration date of the best form of carbs.  

See No Evil

Rule #1. If there is mold on the bread, do not eat it. Now that we've handled that first point of business...For those of you college students who are living on your own for the first time, mold can take many different shapes, sizes, and colors. 

The shape and size will depend on how long the mold has been there for, while the color will most likely reflect the surrounding environment and type of bread. Bread is so commonly moldy that there is literally a specific type of mold that is associated with it—the Rhizopus Stolonifer.  

Sounds like a root vegetable, but it's otherwise known as "black bread mold" in everyday terminology. Either way, it's nasty and you don't want to be eating anything that's touched it or even come close to it. If your bread has any splotchy, fuzzy, or discolored patches, I would suggest buying a new loaf. But then again, to each their own. 

Christin Urso

Feel No Evil

Christin Urso

The texture of your bread can also give a lot away about its state. French bread will be crusty on the outside and softer on the inside. Wonder Bread has the same pillowy feel throughout. Sourdough is dense and chewy and has a little more spring to it than most. So, this one will depend on the bread you happen to be munchin' on in the moment.

You will probably only be able to detect the degree of stale-ness from touch. But if you're not afraid of a stale bread and a few extra chews, go for it. If not, maybe try to salvage it with a hot pan and a good french toast recipe. 

Eat/Smell No Evil

Never eat your bread if it... 

1. Smells gross

2. Tastes gross

Don't eat it. Just don't do it. No amount of money is worth feeling terrible over. This one's pretty self-explanatory, but it never fails to amaze me how willing people are to push through the disgusting taste because they're too lazy or have no money left in their bread budget.

Being a broke college student is great, right?

Other Helpful Tips

1. Bread doesn't have a posted expiration date, just a best by date. This means you can continue eating it until mold, sourness or staleness occurs.  

2. To help your bread last longer, store it in the freezer—but only if you have a toaster. Defrosting bread is not a fun time without one. If you don't have access to a freezer/toaster, keep it in a cool and dry area enclosed in an airtight bag to keep in the goodness. Blocking out bacteria is key. 

Whether you like your bread toasted, buttered, or plain, you want to make sure it is safe to eat. Use these tips to avoid a bread induced stomach ache so you can keep enjoying this go-to snack.