Many of us think we're just shopping cleverly when we take the milk or bread from the back of the shelf as the best before date is later and therefore the product will last longer in our pantries and fridges.
But one Australian supermarket worker has appealed to customers, begging them to stop buying bread with the later expiry date as it leads to masses of food waste, and makes her job so much harder.
Woolworths bakery worker Kate Murdock responded to a viral TikTok showing people how to pick the most freshly baked bread off the shelf.
"Please don't do this," Murdock pleaded in her recent TikTok.
"It makes my job so much harder."
Murdock said the reason the older bread was moved to the front of shelves was so that "we don't waste any".
"It usually has what we think is going to sell and we put it in the rotation that's oldest to newest," she said.
"The old isn't shoved to the back. When people do this, they search for the newest one, it ends up leaving the oldest ones last.
"And a lot of the time, we end up having to throw them out, so please don't."
Murdock said there was almost no way to tell the difference between bread that expired a day or two later than an older loaf.
"One-day-old bread won't make much of a difference to you, I promise," she said.
"You will not be able to taste the difference or tell the difference, I promise you.
"But it does make a hell of a lot of difference to our farmers and us."
Her video has racked up almost 80,000 views, but commenters didn't seem very sympathetic.
"Too bad. I need the longest shelf life possible so I don't have to throw it all away when it goes off,'" one person wrote.
"Don't tell me what to buy or not buy without adjusting prices," another wrote.
"Sorry we aren't here to protect the profit margin of Woolies," another added.
But others replied to those comments pointing out there was an easy way to preserve the shelf life of bread - popping it in the freezer.