Ever spent a Sunday drooling over your farmer’s market haul, only to open the fridge two days later and find half your goodies are bruised, floppy, and on the verge of rotting? Buying quality food isn’t cheap, yet a lot of the time, those once-fresh fruits and veggies go straight to the trash can.
Luckily, there are some simple changes you can make to the ways you store and prepare your food that’ll end that early spoilage. These 20 easy and no-cost tips will save you a few last minute store trips and make your groceries last through the work week without sacrificing taste.
1. Don’t Wash Vegetables: Resist the urge to clean the dirt off your veggies! The dampness makes them deteriorate faster in storage. Don’t forget to clean them just prior to preparing them for eatin’.
Farmer Has A Wife
2. Cake and White Bread: If you’re lucky enough to have cake to spare, keep it from drying out by covering the exposed areas with sliced bread held in place by a few toothpicks. The slices will get stale before the cake.
3. Store Broccoli and Celery in Aluminum Foil: What’s the point of eating celery without that satisfying crunch? Wrap celery and broccoli in aluminum foil and place it in the fridge to make that crunch stick around for weeks!
4. Cheese Storage: You bought more cheese than you can handle, but don’t worry. If you store cheese in a greaseproof paper it keeps it from sweating and molding.
5. Store Onions in Nylon Stockings: Put onions in a stocking and tie a knot between each one. Storing them separately rather than in a bunch keeps them fresher longer! Pantyhose, you miracle product, you…
6. Store Bread in a Paper Bag: Keep your freshly baked bread soft and not hard as a baseball bat. Wrap the bread in a kitchen towel and place it in a paper bag. This keeps it from drying out but still lets the loaf breathe.
7. Keep Apples in the Fridge: Once apple season hits, you have to be prepared. Apples have a longer shelf life than other fruits, but popping them in the fridge, and leaving a little space in between, can make them last up to six months!
8. Use Lemon Juice or Olive Oil on Avocados: Only use half an avocado in your guac? Keep the other half from turning brown by brushing the meat with olive oil or lemon juice.
9. Don’t Refrigerate Bread: Break out a bread box! It’s a common misconception that bread lasts longer in the fridge, but actually, storing it there causes the starches to recrystallize faster than they would at room temperature.
10. Freeze Milk: Nothing is worse than buying a gallon of milk and living in an expiration-date fueled frenzy. Freeze that milk, defrost it, and use it for up to three entire months!
11. Apples and Potatoes: A gnarled sprout coming off a potato could spoil any spud lover’s appetite, so toss a few apples in with your potatoes for storage. That keeps ’em growth free! An apple a day keeps the potato growths away.
12. Soak Berries in Vinegar. Using a 9:1 ratio of water and vinegar, soak and then drain your berries before letting them dry. Not only does it make berries last longer, but it kills off any nasty microorganisms lurking in them.
13. Pineapples: If you cut off the crown and place the pineapple on its head it will stay fresh longer. Your fingers will thank you: You never have to curse the sharp prickly end of a pineapple again!
14. Wrap Greens in Paper Towels: Wilted lettuce makes for a sad salad. Keep it crispier by storing it wrapped in a paper towel or two to absorb excess moisture.
15. Place Spring Onions in Water: No need to cry over stale onions ever again. Keep your onions in a glass of water. This will not only keep them crispier, but you’ll be able to employ your green thumb and grow new onions from the bulbs!
The Burlap Bag
16. Preserve Fresh Herbs: Wanna moonlight as a Chopped champion? Ration out your freshly picked herbs by placing them in an ice cube tray and adding a bit of olive oil. Now freeze the tray, and you’ll have pre-prepared seasoning cubes for your skillet!
17. Use Plastic Wrap on Bananas: Sometimes it feels like bananas turn brown the moment they enter your house. So wrap the stems of your bananas in cling wrap to make them brown slower.
18. Store Eggs in the Freezer: Using a dozen eggs before they expire can feel impossible. So get creative. Crack open those eggs and place them in an ice cube tray before sprinkling with sugar or salt to avoid graininess. Now just freeze ’em!
Quarter Acre Lifestyle
19. Portion Ground Beef in Sandwich Bags: Beef may be what’s for dinner, but you can have it tomorrow for lunch, too. Separate it into several sandwich bags, roll them flat, and freeze. The beef will last longer and thaw quicker.
Yellow Bliss Road
20. Freeze Brown Sugar: Have you ever tried to bake but discovered your brown sugar turned into a bulletproof lump? Next time toss it in the freezer to keep it permanently soft!