Expiry dates versus common sense

“I have never written anything in one draft, not even a grocery list, although I have heard from friends that this is actually possible.” ~ Connie Willis

Word-prompt Expiration Dates – Last week the Midweek Word-prompt over on our other site https://weeklyprompts.com was Expiration Dates and was chosen by GC. He asked if we adhere to the sell by/use by dates on the products we purchase.

At the time I was ill and unable to join in. Today, full of penicillin, steroids and chicken soup my health has improved and I am attempting a catch-up day. Two posts in one day, wow! Apologies for helping to overfill your inbox!

This is my personal response to his word-prompt.

I grew up in an age where the food was weighed, bagged and purchased from small privately owned businesses on the high street, the butcher, the baker, the greengrocer. There were no sell by/use by dates. Supermarkets were far away in America, not here in England, so we used our common sense, a sense that prevails today.

My father-in-law owned a butchery business, and he taught me never to cook very fresh red meat, “There is no flavour or tenderness, it needs to mature first.”

He also taught me to look at the colour and use my sense of smell, which when you think about it, is exactly what we would do before pouring milk. Who amongst us uses milk before first taking a sniff to make sure it hasn’t turned?

My pharmacist taught me that as far as dried tablets are concerned, they are unlikely to ‘go off’ until a very very long time after the use by date.

I don’t shop daily, instead I plan and use a list. I favour a routine of one weekly main shop with an occasional midweek small top up if required. When purchasing fresh food from the supermarket, I  search for the date that is the farthest ahead because I know it will last longer. From then on, meal planning is based around which foods are likely to go off first. Most times I cook extra and freeze a couple of portions.Expiration dates

Looking at the mixed vegetable tray my son purchased, I can see the label reads Display until 10th Oct. Apart from the babycorn, this veg is in better condition than the photo shows, even the beans. The label on the grapes reads Best before 15/10/18, they too, look and taste quite fresh.

It’s now 7:15 PM here in England and as the next picture shows I was able to salvage the greens for the evening meal – waste not, want not!


Do I adhere to sell by/use by dates? As a guide, yes, but mostly I use basic common sense.

© SueW-nansfarm.net 2018. In response to the word-prompt from Weekly Prompts http://weeklyprompts.com/2018/10/10/word-prompt-expiration-dates

12 thoughts on “Expiry dates versus common sense

    1. We need to do that don’t we? I try to be organised too. The only way around it is to shop daily but I know if I did that I would end up buying a few extras and spend more than I planned! Plus the extra fuel required for the journey.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do my groceries once a week, those everyday things that are lacking in the house but we also do twice a month marketing at the wet market in our town. I just buy veggies when I need to cook them at the neighborhood stores.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I didn’t do any cooking last week I left it up to my son and I didn’t check anything in the fridge which is why the tray veg he bought was out of date. I don’t buy tray veg either!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Maureen Helen

    Weekly shop for us, and we buy fruit and vegetables from the growers market as we need them. It’s an easy walk and the market opens early and sells the newspaper my husband likes. He often buys fresh fruit and green veggies before breakfast. Otherwise, commonsense prevails.


  2. gc

    A belated comment Susan. Grocery store departments are aware of the expiration dates for meats and offer consumers a hefty discount to get the product off their shelves and into their homes. Friday I bought some extra lean ground beef and did not check the expiration date assuming the date for the perishable product was at least a few days away.Not so. It was over by three days. Let the buyer beware and not be left holding the bag.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Easy mistake to make. My mistakes are usually forgetting what is in the back of the fridge! I don’t mind belated and I thank you for popping back to comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What gets me, is a use by date on water, that supposedly comes from millions of years old glaciers, the War Offices is completely blinded by all this stuff and nonsense. She’d die if she saw some of the use by dates that I’ve ignored.
    A sniff or a taste of cream tells me if it’s fit to consume or not., not some arbitrarily date decided by some clown without a clue who just does as he/she’s been told. Same goes for most things we eat, I’ve been cooking and feeding her these past 44 years and she’s never been taken sick from whatever I’ve put in front of her!
    And she wonders why I don’t like her hovering around me when I’m in the kitchen!
    I never bother her when she’s in the garden!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your reply is funny. I’m with you here Brian, I cannot understand why for so many people common sense is a thing of the past, it’s shocking!


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