Marking Leftovers

Write on Containers to Keep Track of ContentsExpo dry erase marker in black

  • What: Dry Erase Markers
  • When: Labeling leftovers
  • Why: Know how old leftovers are and whom they belong to
  • Where: Amazon

I keep a couple dry erase markers on top of my fridge. For once, it’s not forgetful, but purposeful. I use them to mark storage containers of food, both for grown up and kids alike.

Since I traded brain cells for my three kids, I can’t remember my phone number half the time (true story – I have had to ask my sister if I wrote down my phone number correctly) much less how long any given container has lived in the fridge. I write the date down on it and when I pull it out two weeks later, I don’t need to open it to investigate. This way I avoid turning my stomach over with rank contents. Instead I know to walk that stuff straight to the bin outside where it won’t defile my kitchen, or worse, the dishwasher itself.

Food storage containers stacked in fridge with date written in dry erase marker

A stack of marked storage containers in my fridge

As an added bonus, I can write down the kids’ initials to keep track of who opened a yogurt and only ate one spoonful before declaring themselves done. A letter and the date will let me know next time they go yogurt hunting if they can start a new container or if they should finish the opened one first. I can also mark which sippy cup belongs to whom for sitters and anyone else who can’t decode the color system we use.

Two Playtex sippy cups and an open container of yogurt labeled with dry erase marker on top shelf of fridge

Dry erase markers work on almost anything in the fridge.

When I made my own baby food, I used dry erase markers to label the outside of the big batches with contents and the date. My marking systems has grown from that to my current fridge-wide use.

One note: I wipe the marks off before putting them in the dishwasher. I find it much easier to remove them before washing than after. I’m not sure what makes them more permanent during the cleaning process, since I assumed the dishwasher would take care of removal for me. But that’s not the case, which is the only downside to this method.

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