What the Color of the Tag on Your Bread Bag Really Means

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images / Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Many shoppers check the price tag, nutrition label, and ingredients list on a grocery item before tossing it in their shopping cart. When you're browsing the bakery section of your supermarket, there's one more part of the package worth checking: The color of the tag cinching the bread bag. According to Reader's Digest, this piece of plastic can tell you whether a loaf is freshly baked or past its prime.

The tags or twist ties used by many bread brands are color-coded by day of the week. That way, grocery stores know exactly how long a product has been sitting on the shelf and when to cycle it out. The standard system used by most stores is as follows: a blue tag if the loaf was baked on Monday, green for Tuesday, red for Thursday, white for Friday, and yellow for Saturday. Bakers typically have Wednesdays and Sundays off, so avoid shopping on those days if you want your bread to be as fresh as possible.

The color-coding system may seem complicated at first, but there's an easy way to remember it. The first letter of the color names are in alphabet order, starting with B for blue on Monday and ending with Y for yellow on Saturday. The tags are meant to ensure a loaf of bread doesn't sit around for more than several days, so you likely won't find anything baked at the beginning of the week on the weekend. But if you want to stretch the lifetime of your groceries, the colors can help you find something that was stocked that same day.

Shopping for groceries isn't always straightforward, but learning the ins-and-outs of your local supermarket can make the process a lot easier. Marking prices just below a round number and placing items at eye level are a few ways stores trick their customers into buying more items. Here are more behind-the-scenes secrets of grocery stores.

[h/t Reader's Digest]