I know, there are many people out there who are scared of eating or drinking anything past the sell by date. Well let me tell you, you are going to live if you eat that yogurt the day after the sell by date. Yes, you will survive. lol
Prevention Magazine has a wonderful article out this month on this same subject. The average family of four throws out nearly 122 lbs of food per month. However, many common perishables, including these staples, remain perfectly safe as long as a week (or even month) past their sell-by date when stored properly. Which is 40 Degree's F or below.
Milk-1 week past sell by date
Hit the dairy aisle right before you check out to minimize the amount of time is left unrefrigerated, and store it on a shelf pushed far back, where the air is coldest (closer to the door tends to be warmer). If I find milk on sale in smaller cartons but don't need milk at that moment, I just freeze it. Yep, it can be froze. Takes 2 days to thaw out in the fridge.
Eggs-3-4 weeks past sell by date
Store in their original container on a refrigerator shelf rather than on the door, where eggs are vulnerable to temperature fluctuations.
Hard Cheese (once opened)-2-4 months past sell by date
Wrap in moisture-proof plastic or foil. If the outside of the hard cheese has visible mold, trim off the mold and a 1/2 inch area of cheese below it. Still taste the same and you wont get sick.
Yogurt-10-14 days past sell by date
Yogurt is best stored at around 39 degree's F, an appropriate temp for your fridge. Don't be deterred by separation-simply stir and enjoy. Only way I will buy yogurt is if its marked down to sell quick. 1 4 pk feeds my kids 1 meal. So it is eaten super fast. Never need to worry about it. If I buy a bunch, I just freeze some for later. Yes, you can freeze it too.
Lunchmeat-3-5 days past sell by date
Store meat in teh meat compartment-it is specially designed to keep cool air in. I buy marked down lunch meat (usually within 2 days of sell by date is coming) and take it home to put in the freezer. We go though so much lunch meat and so fast that I never worry about the date.