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This problem can be solved in a relatively low-tech manner: a leftovers calendar. If you already have a calendar lying around, you can use that, and if you need to print out a blank calendar, open up iCal, start a new calendar named “blank” (or whatever), uncheck all the other calendars you’re already using, select the Month view, and press Command-P to print that month. Hang this calendar on your fridge, and when you have dinner leftovers, jot them down on the date you made (or bought) them. That way you’ll be able to see at a glance which leftovers have been in your fridge the longest -- just cross ’em off as you eat them. You can even add raw, perishable items (eggs, milk, meat, fresh veggies) to the calendar, marking the day you bought them and the day they expire. Glance at the calendar as you plan your meals, and you’ll be more likely to use it up before it goes bad.
MealBoard’s meal planning can help you answer the perpetual quandary, “What’s for dinner?”
Speaking of planning meals, check out MealBoard ($1.99) for your iPhone, which lets you load up your recipes (it’s also got a few dozen built in), assign them to days of the week, and generate a shopping list. To figure out what you can make from leftovers, fire up Epicurious (free, universal), tap Find a Recipe, and type in your leftover ingredient as a keyword, or just run a quick search at epicurious.com. And if you need to know how long items will last in the fridge or freezer, a free iPhone app called Leftovers can give you smart guidelines to follow.
How long is cooked pasta good in the fridge? Leftovers knows.