Please, answer a short questionnaire about a useful kitchen gadget.

Hello, my friends,

I need your help a little regarding one interesting gadget for the kitchen. Answer, please, my questionnaire below. Your answers will help me a lot to take the correct direction in my journey.

Let’s imagine a moment when you opened a fridge and see a lot of different already opened products.

  1. Do you have any difficulties to remember when a product was opened? (Yes / No)
  2. Do you write something on products to track their opening date? (Yes / No)
  3. Do you like the idea of having some small pretty device in the kitchen which will give you a sticker with a current date in a couple of seconds? (Yes / No)

Thank you very much!

Is there a reason I would need to know when I opened, say, a jar of mustard?

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It depends on how fast you can eat it :slight_smile:

I like to keep track of when I open my spices, so I use a sharpie to put the date on it. Other items in the fridge, I just try to use up quickly if I know it has a short shelf life. Other things like pickles, mustard, jellies and other condiments I don’t worry about.

I don’t know if I need a product like that. What does it look like, how much does it cost, how big is it? Those would all be questions I would have in my mind before I would think about making a purchase.

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But it doesn’t, really. Mustard doesn’t spoil. And most things that do - milk, for instance - announce their spoiled-ness pretty clearly.

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1 - No (it doesnt matter for most items and, for those it does, the container will usually have a “use/sell by” date

2 - No

3 - No

Have to say that I think you’re inventing a solution to a problem that doesnt really exist.

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  1. Yes, but I don’t try very hard. Similar to what others have stated, things that really spoil have a use by or expiration date. It’s up to us how comfortable we are testing products that exceed that date.

There are some things that say use within X days of opening (eg, a boxed stock). That might be helpful for these items, because the use by date isn’t as relevant, but this is a smaller subset of items. Writing a date would also solve this problem, but generally it’s a small loss if I had to throw it out, so I don’t bother with most items.

  1. No, see above. I only make an effort to put dates on stuff I store in the freezer.

  2. I don’t feel I need it, and most certainly being pretty wouldn’t even be a consideration for me. But I also don’t get pre-chopped fruit or veggies, and yet that’s only grown bigger over the years. Some people probably would like that convenience, but it’s not for me. It would have to be at such a low price point that it makes looking for a sharpie and writing a date on something not worth it.

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If I have a need to remember how old something is, I use a china marker, or a pen and one of the bazillion audiocassette labels I have. What I don’t need is another single-purpose, (probably) battery-operated gadget that either takes space on my counter or disappears into a drawer or cupboard.

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No.
No.
No.

As husband is wont to say, this is a “fill” in search of a “need”.

I have to answer no to all three questions.

Now and then when I do want to track a date, I just stick a bit of painter’s tape* on the container and a Sharpie pen to write the date.

*Painter’s tape is the blue tape that doesn’t leave adhesive residue behind when you remove it.

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I use that for labeling as well. So do restaurants and bars, so it must work, right?

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+1 I also use this hi-tech technique if I need to know when something has been opened.

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I had to Google to find out what a Sharpie is. I should have waited for Mr Happy’s photo. I’d know it as a marker pen - although, as with so much, UK retailers now seem to be adopting the American name.

I’d guessed, correctly, that the painters tape mentioned upthread is known to me as masking tape.

Ah, but we usually specify Sharpie because it’s the only brand that writes on everything.

And painters tape is significantly less residue than even masking tape.

But all that aside, I’m a No on all three questions. If I dont remember when I made it or opened it, it goes out. No unitaskers that do what something I already own will do, and pretty is never a consideration.

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Yes / No / No

We do use blue tape and a Sharpie to date products in our basement chest freezer. Things that are in our fridge get used. I may not remember when leftovers were generated, exactly, but I remember the order and eat oldest first. I’ve yet to see an ingredient such as milk, sauces, etc. that did not announce that it was approaching time limits.

I do NOT need a product I have to pay for that then requires more spending for consumables while taking up kitchen space on counter or cabinet. Just no. One more thing to plug in (bad enough) or replace batteries in (really bad). I find the concept so objectionable that if I ever see it in the places I shop (Amazon, Target, hardware and other DIY stores) I will go out of my way to leave reviews that it is a stunningly stupid gadget designed expressly to separate consumers from money without good value for money.

Hmm. I believe I have clearly established where I stand on this concept. grin

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1/ Yes
2/ At times yes, at times no
3/ Just the date NO and not on a kitchen counter. If the tool can generate a QR or barcode and have an app that can be used as stock management especially for the freezer, then it might be more interesting. N.B. certain brand of zip lock bags already propose this.

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yes
no
maybe, but probably not

That said - label makers are still popular to a lot of people, just not me so much.

Maybe if you could find a way to combine printing the date opened with an automatic way to indicate how long you’re supposed to “keep” a food item based on some guidelines . . . . someone would like that. There are always threads of people asking "how long can I keep . . . . . " . . . . .

Not really, Dave. Perhaps you should spell it out properly so no-one is in any doubt.

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@naf - I use Avery labels and online free tools to make QR codes to track stock for my business and for partners I take shipments for as the Annapolis Boat Show approaches twice a year. At the moment I have three flat screen TV sets under the basement stairs, each with a code so everyone gets their own screen year after year. When we get closer I’ll print extra labels with docks and booth numbers on them. I haven’t put the Avery labels on anything in the freezer so don’t know what cold does to the adhesive. I have a printer anyway, and Avery labels in all sorts of sizes (including for wide-mouth Ball home canning jars) are inexpensive.

Perhaps those people who are least likely to use Google to find the 6,472,378 other exact same questions answered won’t buy a doodad.

I do greatly enjoy your sense of humor. Truly.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold