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Photo by Adrianna Nikolova

If you’re like me, you often stumble upon a quarter-full jar of spaghetti sauce or a half-used bottle of salad dressing and can’t remember when you opened it. I usually do the “sniff test” and warily use it anyway, but some foods I’d rather not leave to chance. The alternative is to throw out the food, but who wants to waste something that might be perfectly edible?

My solution? Keep a permanent marker at hand and write the date you opened the product on the package. This goes for refrigerated and frozen foods, as well as cabinet items like crackers. I even go a step farther with certain foods and write the date I purchased the product on the package, as many frozen foods don’t display a label that indicates a packaged on or use-by date.

Now I never have to throw out food that might be perfectly fine, and I never risk getting sick from eating rotten food. Just by writing the date on a package I save both food and money.

Life couldn’t be simpler!