When I come home from the supermarket with 'staples' for my pantry shelves (cans, boxes, pkgs., etc.), I use a black permanent marker and record the date I purchased the item: Ex. 10/1/04.
I do something similar (mark just the month, with a code for the year). I also mark the use-by date, which from what I understand recently became required in English, not code, on many canned goods, below that, so I can see what I need to use up by when. (10/17/2004)
By Susan B
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