Use Junk Mail to Mark Dates on Cans

I always date mark my cans when I bring them home so I know to use them on time. More and more, labels are too slippery to write on and I hate the smell of markers. So now I use the flap of envelopes from junk mail that are going to paper recycling. I write the date on the opposite side of where the glue is and simply stick it to the can. No wasted scotch tape, no marker smell or marker headache, and a good use of envelopes that had no use otherwise.


By OhioGal from OH

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By Mary (Guest Post)
September 25, 20080 found this helpful

I use the free address labels that seem to turn up in the mail from charities way too often to mark containers I"m putting in the freezer. (in this day of email, who could ever write enough letters to use all those labels?) There's always enough room for the date and the contents

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September 27, 20080 found this helpful

Good idea. Gosh we get so much junk mail and I try to use to my advantage. All the envelopes I save in my desk drawer. I do not use to mail anything but use to send lunch or field trip money to school. I use the blank side for my grocery list and put my coupons inside on shopping day. They come in handy for various purposes. I never thought of using the flap as labels....great idea!


I usually don't date my canned goods as most these days come with a best by date stamped on the bottom. Canned goods have a pretty good shelf life but don't last forever....well if the can is not damaged in any way, the contents will be safe to eat but would you want to....if it was really old. You won't get sick on it but it won't taste very good. This is what I was told my a canning company.

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September 29, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with Debbie...canned goods last for years. Too many people are throwing away perfectly good food, or in a rush to use it by the expiration date. The majority of expiration dates are far too short. Even eggs are good for from 3 to 5 weeks, and milk can be used usually for a week past the date on the container. Some canned foods may not be of the best quality after several years, but the majority of people will use them before a few years pass...and can canned goods really go bad?


In fact, I was not even aware that canned goods had expiration dates, and I've been around for 70 years!! I just checked some canned salmon I have and the expiration date is in 2012! And some Amy's soup has 2010 as its date.

I really think you're going to a lot of extra work for nothing....perhaps you can find another use for junk mail envelopes....they can always go into the recycling bin.

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September 25, 20120 found this helpful

Marivan is right. Manufacturers place a shelf date to induce the grocer to reduce the price of an item ( 2 for 1) so that more can come in the back door, and have them reorder. I see so much waste in the misunderstanding of these dates, It is a money thing, a ploy to sell their goods. Do not fall for it.

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September 25, 20120 found this helpful

Marivan is right. Manufacturers date their cans simply to tell the grocer to "mark down and have a sale so we can sell you more".


It is a money thing.

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September 25, 20120 found this helpful

Dates on canned foods have nothing to do with what is inside. It is a deceptive way of selling more product by reducing the price and creating a need for the grocer to reorder.

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