Use-by dates are something we're all familiar with, and pushing the envelope is perhaps not what it's all about when it comes to food.
But as any astute supermarket shopper will tell you, between day and night there is "use-by dawn and dusk" - twilight zones where discounts lurk.
Catch a piece of fish, or survival chicken, or truss tomatoes on the cusp of being thrown out, and you might well get yourself a bargain. Or salmonella.
The choice is yours and you roll the dice, which is what came into stark focus last week with a piece of steak purchased at 30 per cent off the week before that - well within the food poison curve at that stage, we'd reasoned.
Funny how shoppers will go for anything with a "special" sticker on it, no matter how NOT on the shopping list it might be.
Indeed, I believe all the great shoppers instinctively perceive supermarkets this way.
Discount tags leap out at them while others see overwhelming product inventory; communicating to their mind via grams per dollar that enable them to sift out value for money while the rest pay full freight.
So there it was, the hunk of rump; juicy, tender and heavily marked down. A no brainer really.
But then for reasons T-Rex will never fully comprehend, the steak proceeded to gather dust in the fridge for a week, despite warnings that it should either be eaten or put in the freezer. We were clearly being very bad carnivores, and like the autumn leaves outside, the steak started to change colour,
Things came to a head on the weekend next when we were hankering for recovery burgers.
Thoughts turned to killing two birds with one stone - the looming hangover, and the guilt of not eating that steak sooner. But alas, the use-by date.
In olden days they used to hang meat off a tree for weeks to cure. If we ate this steak now, we worried we may need a cure too. From John Hunter.
But the true test of courage is the ability to put yourself in harm's way, and while not advocating food poisoning, there are degrees of use-by date that pass beyond time into the realms of sight and smell.
On those fronts, it semed like if you sashimi-ed the icky bits, you might well be able to salvage a patty, or eight from this steak. Which we did.
And then we ate those patties, which is when use-by dates really start to play on the mind, and potentially, the intestinal tract.
As good as they tasted going down, there were concerns they might come back up. Food for thought which was digested heavily.
I'm not going to deny there were murmurings, but by and large they were overcome by grim determination and the knowledge we'd done justice to our discount by consuming it in spite of government health warnings.
And in the end, we didn't expire, proving perhaps that when it comes to use by dates, you cross your fingers when you cross that bridge.