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Monday, May 23, 2011

Shelf Life Clues

can dates
look hard for the date I wrote on the front of the bottom tuna can
I sometimes peruse prepper sites, reading their scary takes on the future of the world (they may just be right), gleaning good information even if I am not much into the extreme prepper mode. This site has two links for determining shelf life of food.  Read Del Monte's advise. This link is from a government source.

This time, I made certain I gave credit where credit is due, since I don't want to just glean from other bloggers and post to my site. Yay for me!

In my cabinets are foods that have complicated codes that I cannot decipher. Calling the company is a drag, but I do call so that I can date all cans.  Then, I write the code decipher in a book so I don't have to make the same call next month or whenever.

My dating is marked on top and front with a thick indelible marker. I absolutely hate having to pick up a can in a box to see the other end or the front where I marked it. Also, I hate have to remove a can from a shelf to see my date that I have put on the top. I am tall, but most of my shelves are taller.  Worst of all is just relying on the small, dim lettering used by companies on the bottoms of cans. That requires that I not only pick up each can to see the bottom, but that I always look for items with a flash light or move to a better light--not fun.

Storing dates farther out on the back is ideal, but it's not always happening with some things I have stored in boxes. Also, I date toothpaste so my children will be reminded of the almost-invisible embossed date on the end of the box. Besides, if I send toothpaste in the box with gifts, they may just have several stored and not grab the oldest tube first.

Of course, Best used by and use before and packed on are all dates with meanings all their own. Mostly, I am concerned by the use by date. Most foods without bulges or bugs are safe to eat. They have just lost some of their nutritional benefits or don't taste like the manufacturer wants them to taste.

I think I did not post my best photo after edits!

Your turn
Do you ever re-mark your stored food in order to determine at a glance what needs to be consumed first?


  1. Great tip. I don't date my canned goods but anything in tne freezer or that I preserved myself gets a date. I keep rotating my food stocks, keeping the bulk out of my pantry until I need it. New stuff to the back ( in the garage). It works for me.

  2. LindaM,that is a great system, tried and true. It's not working for me right now because I do not have the shelves I need. I just started dating mine lately because I am dividing things up in boxes because of the shelf shortage right now. Ex bf just took home two boxes of food. Some of it is not stuff I eat, but he does. Hey, a bargain for me helps him.

  3. Hi Linda, No I don't mark the dates on my food, I keep a check on it, but don't mind if I eat long out of date food if it's in a can or packet.

    What I do though is to mark the price I paid for it on the side, so the next time I buy some I can see how much it has gone up by, and if it is too much, I buy something else instead. A similar but cheaper alternative.

    I like your blog, and thanks for commenting on mine. Your down to earth attitude makes me smile, thanks. Ilona

  4. Thanks, If my storage were more organized, as in places where organization was possible, I would not mark on the can. I like the way each can was marked before bar codes. I could see how much I paid when I put things on the shelf and moved the old forward. With no price on the can, I seemed to work in a vacuum. Some people keep a price book for recording prices. I keep meaning to do that.Come by again.


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