Am I a jerk for taking the milk with the latest expiration date?

So I stop by the corner convenience store to buy a 12 oz. container of milk for drinking on the way home. I open the cooler door and spy the expiration dates on the column of milk containers. Not surprisingly, the milks in the back have later expiration dates. So I reach way in the back and grab one. I figure the fresher the milk is, the better.

Here are my questions:

  1. Was I a greedy, selfish jerk for grabbing the freshest milk?

  2. Is it wrong (in general) to do this?

Always do it myself, so I won’t cast the first stone…

Why would it be wrong? They’re all put out there for sale, so you have the right to select the one that gives you what you perceive as the best deal. Someone else will be less bothered by a closer expiration date and just grab the closest one.

I do that all the time. I don’t use a lot of milk so a later date gives me longer to use it and less gets wasted.

Nothing wrong with it that I can see…

Of course, now I have that scene from Clerks playing in my head. :rolleyes:

Right. But I drank it on the way home. The milks at the front of the cooler (with the earliest expiration dates) would have probably tasted fine, yet I wanted a milk with a later date. I can’t help but think that, from the store’s point of view, I was being a greedy jerk, since in a few days the store may be stuck with an expired milk.

I do it with all food that I buy.
Reach to the back and check that the expiry date of that one is later than the ones at the front.
Walk away a winner.

You’re the customer, it’s the same as picking what cut of meat you want from the butcher. You pick the one you think looks best.

Nothing wrong with that.

I grab one that has a decent expiration date but without actually having to shuffle a lot of items around or block someone else’s attempts to buy milk. My husband and I don’t use up milk that quickly, while I know some families with kids might go through a gallon of milk in a couple days. If I knew the milk was going to be gone in a couple days anyway, I would only care that the date hadn’t passed yet.

Even before the expiry date has been reached the milk isn’t at its freshest. Also drinking the milk (as opposed to cooking with it) is the time that freshness is most important and noticeable. So definately get the freshest milk you can for drinking.

At the grocery store, I go for the latest expiration date. If I don’t, the milk will spoil before I use it up. I don’t feel guilty, because the less-fresh milk can be purchased by people with big families who can use it all before it goes bad.

As for convenience stores, I always get the freshest because quite a few times I’ve bought milk there that was already bad (and by the time I discovered this, it was too late to go back). In fact, I try to remember to open the milk in the store after I’ve paid for it and sniff it before I leave.

Yeah, I’m picturing Crafter_Man sitting on the floor of the convenience store, pawing through every carton of milk to check the expiration date. In black and white, of course.

First come first serve. Unless you’re making a mess or actually creating new work for the nice store clerk, do whatever you have to do.

When I was growing up, our family guzzled milk like it was crack (only I’m not sure crack had been invented back then . . . ). Then one day when our grade level (5th, maybe) was doing a special unit on nutrition or some such, our teacher told us that families who drink a lot of milk should take the “older” milk in the store, leaving the “newer” milk for families who wouldn’t use it up as fast.

So the next time I went to the grocery store with my parents, I suggested this to them.

I was pretty much scoffed at by both of them, as my dad checked all of the cartons for the freshest milk.

I have not grown up scarred in any way by the experience. :wink:

Gallon of milk lasts about a week in my house. First one I see, I pick up. As long as the expiration date is at least a week down the road, that one is going in my shopping basket. I don’t have time to paw through all the milk looking for the freshest.

Anyway, Crafter_Man, if the grocery store is getting stuck with a significant amount of “too-old” milk, then they aren’t doing their ordering right. They should decrease their order slightly, or get more frequent but smaller deliveries if possible.

I don’t look at the dates, but I do grab a jug about halfway back in the open-front cooler, since I am worried about the stuff at the front getting warm.

The store doesn’t get stuck with the expired milk, the dairy does. When the dairy delivers fresh milk to the stores, they take back the expired ones and issue credit to the store.

Unless you cut in line or snatched the milk from a toddler, I think you’re okay.

I do this with cheese alot. I always grab the packs under the top one because it hasn’t been sitting in the light all day. I so horrible.

Milk snob checking in:
IMHO milk exoires 2 days before the date on the jug (I can taste it, it loses the “fresh” taste), I ALWAYS dig in and get one from the back, even if the dates are the same I think the ones in the back are better (they are colder and they get less exposure to light).

Unclviny (get away from me with that 2% colored water stuff, I require whole milk!)