use (something) by (some date)

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use (something) by (some date)

1. To consume or cook with some kind of food or drink before the expiration of its shelf life (which is often indicated by a specific date on the product's packaging). We need to use this chicken by Friday. The jar says to use the mustard by January of this year, but it will be fine if after that if you keep it in the fridge.
2. To make use of something before some specific later date. You've got to use these coupons by Friday or the store won't accept them. These credits will not roll over if you fail to use them by the end of the year.
See also: by, use
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

use something by something

to consume or complete the use of something by a specified time. Please use this jar of mayonnaise by the last day of the month. Use this one by next week.
See also: by, use
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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