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Shelf life: Technically, indefinitely.

How to store: Tightly sealed in a cool dark place.

Spices will technically never go bad and always be safe to consume. However quality will deteriorate as more time passes. Whole spices will stay fresh for 3 to 4 years, ground ones for 2 to 3 years and dried herbs for up to 2 years. So feel free to use that ground nutmeg in your Pumpkin Rice Pudding, but you may want to replace it after a few years for maximum flavor potency.

(CREDIT: Stok-Yard Studio/FoodPix/Getty Images)
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