Several times a year I go through our pantry and read all of the dates on everything in the pantry. I pull out everything that has a date that will expire soon. If our family really likes the item, I make plans to serve it immediately in a healthy dish, otherwise we donate it to the local food bank.
I also get rid of anything that has been sitting opened for any length of time and recycle the packaging that it was in; making a mental note not to buy it again. I try not to throw good food away when there are people out there who are hungry. If it's unopened and not expired, we donate!