Stop Opening Every Jar of Peanut Butter We Own!

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You may be a large family if every time you turn around someone has opened a new container of peanut butter…

or mayonnaise…

or [insert name of food that already has a full container sitting open in the refrigerator or pantry].

It’s maddening!

So, I got proactive and did this:

How to stop the kids (and dad) from opening brand new food containers when there is one already open |

X marks the spot!

This is the ONLY peanut butter jar that is allowed to be opened.  And if you can’t find the one with the X, you find mom and together the two of you will look for it before determining it is a good idea to open a new one (which will be promptly marked with an X by the way!).

This works for anything that tends to get opened without thinking.  Maple syrup, boxes of cereal, and yes, mayonnaise!

Sharpie marker saves the day!

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32 Comments on Stop Opening Every Jar of Peanut Butter We Own!

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32 thoughts on “Stop Opening Every Jar of Peanut Butter We Own!

  1. This made me laugh! Just yesterday I had to use a permanent marker to write the words “DO NOT DRINK!” on a bottle of juice. I use this juice for making water kefir and every time I go to make some the bottle of juice has obviously been broken in to. Hoping this solves the issue!

  2. Happens here ALL. THE. TIME! Really not good since our fridge isn’t that big and we buy bulk size stuff (like ketchup) since there are 10 of us. Drives me nuts to find two jams, 3 BBQ sauce, etc in there! Esp when they are right next to each other – really? how did they miss the first one?
    I’ll have to give this a try.

  3. Lol! Totally agree. However, I use a sharpie X to mark off things that aren’t open to being snacked on or eaten,,,like ingredients for recipes, special dietary foods etc…I say to the kids the X foods are “for a meal”. However, one of my kids asked if he could change his name …to get this…Emill (sounds like a meal) so that all the saved food would be for him.

    I have a small pantry and a closet pantry. The PB in the little pantry is supposed to be gone before opening one from the big pantry…not always the case, but it helps a little. Now if they could just keep the PB in the jar or in their tummies instead of all over the outside of the jar, them I’d smile even more!

  4. We have that problem here too. Usually it is the cream cheese-at one point I think we had FIVE open at the same time! Drives me nuts! We also now have TWO one gallon containers of sunbutter open in my tiny fridge…:( I am DEFINITELY going to try this! My sanity requires it! Thank you so much for the tip!

  5. We definitely have this problem! I found three bottles of ketchup open in the fridge the other day! An idea came to me when I was reading your great solution … when we finish off a jar of something, take the next one out and mark it with the X even before it’s been opened … that way you can always find the jar with an X, and you know that it’s time to open that new one that’s received the mark …

  6. OH MY! This just happened to me 2 hours ago. My 13 year old peels the seal off the new jar of PB. My mouth flies open, “What are you doing!” He didn’t know there were TWO jars in the cupboard already open. Each more than half full. Too, too funny! Your idea is brilliant!

  7. The title of your post made me laugh, because I totally understand too! In our house, it’s the toothpaste. My husband buys all the kids a separate tube of toothpaste to avoid germ sharing, and then he’ll buy back-up tubes . . . and they’ll get tubes from the dentist . . . and I have a drawer with over a dozen partially used tubes. Drives me crazy. I think I just need to hide the extra tubes, but I like your X idea for food.

  8. Yes! We are not a big family (3 kids, 5 people), but this rings true here as well. You are a genius. I now have a pantry chore that might last an entire morning and will be spent with my Sharpie.

  9. The bags of cereal drive me bonkers. I notice several opened bags, only to see that each one has about two inches of cereal left in it. I am constantly combining bags of cereal!!

  10. LOVE! this is a phenomena in large families, small families, and every family in between I think. Even empty nester families! I, too, use my trusted Sharpee marker to to lable, mark, disguise and distract — After my big shopping day I often label things so my college son doesn’t take off with that bag of tortilla chips I was going to use in taco salad. Now, to teach him to turn on the light when raiding the pantry so he can SEE my mark!

  11. We use a big piece of blue masking tape. I keep a role of tape on a string by the fridge. Every item that goes in the fridge gets a piece of tape with the date on it. We never have to ask how long something has been in the fridge and we always know which jar of peanut butter, mayo, etc is the current.
    And heaven help the person who puts anything in the fridge or the pantry without it. Lol
    Works like a charm!!

  12. Can I just tell you that this is encouraging to me in a completely different way than expected? At my house of 10, we have a major problem of things being put away in the wrong place. I found the 3 parts of the coffee maker in 3 different places, ditto the pressure cooker, and where is the salt, for heaven’s sake??!
    But we don’t have this problem. So yay for me. There’s one issue we don’t have. I needed to know that. LOL

    • BAHAHAHA! (and I have your issue too! Especially when I’m out of commission with morning sickness and the kids have had run of the kitchen w/o mom’s guidance!) Glad to be of service to you! :)

  13. Why didn’t I think of this!? Right now, I kid you not, there are THREE open jars of peanut butter in my pantry and two open jars of salsa in the fridge! When I get home I’m grabbing a Sharpie! Thanks Amy! This is a constant battle at my house.