We regularly discard spoiled food from the fridge, but many of us rarely check the expiration date on the tubes of antibiotic cream and bottles of cough syrup in the medicine chest—or on the boxes of tea crowding the cupboard.

Healthful properties in tea (especially the catechins, a type of antioxidant) may degrade over time, undermining any potential health benefits. And you do not want to take your chances on an out-of-date, no longer effective antibiotic cream for a sore that could become infected. Try this: On the first of every month when you change the calendar, check your medicine chest and pantry then toss whatever has expired