Like most people, I enjoy my food but I don’t enjoy watching it go to waste. So, the next time that you get back from the store, don’t unpack just yet until you have read our list of 18 tips to make your groceries last longer.
It doesn’t matter if you are barely getting by or whether you have plenty left over each month, every single family has some sort of budget.
These tips will not only help you save food and money but they will also save you a lot of time and hassle.
- 1 1. Freeze Your Bread
- 2 2. Watch the Cheese
- 3 3. Don’t Keep Fruit at Room Temperature
- 4 4. Check Your Groceries
- 5 5. Use Mason Jars Instead of Plastic
- 6 6. Put Holes in Your Storage Bags
- 7 7. Wrap Your Greens in Foil
- 8 8. Don’t Keep Mushrooms in Plastic
- 9 9. Store Tomatoes Upside Down
- 10 10. Store Your Onions in Stockings
- 11 11. Use Vinegar on Your Berries
- 12 12. Use Plastic Wrap on Bananas
- 13 13. Wrap Your Meat
- 14 14. Paper Towels and Lettuce
- 15 15. Give Stale Bread New Life
- 16 16. Keep Apples and Potatoes Together
- 17 17. Lemon Juice on Avocados
- 18 18. Don’t Keep Milk in the Fridge Door
1. Freeze Your Bread
One of the easiest things that you can start doing today is to start freezing your bread. When properly sealed you can keep bread in the freezer for up to six months. It may mean that you have to wait a little longer as the bread will need to be thawed but at least you won’t have to watch it go to waste.
2. Watch the Cheese
When it comes to cheese, we need to be very careful in how we handle and store it. Don’t leave cheese in the same packaging that it comes in. Make sure that you regularly change the wrapping and always avoid touching the cheese with your bare hands as it will make the cheese go moldy much faster.
Another quick tip is for those that are tired of their cheese drying out too quickly. You can avoid this happening by simply applying a thin layer of butter to the exposed side of the cheese, wrap the block of cheese in waxed paper and then place it in a plastic bag.
3. Don’t Keep Fruit at Room Temperature
Most people I know tend to keep their fruits at room temperature such as in a fruit bowl on the counter. If they sell fruit bowls then you would expect that that is where to store them. Actually, if you want to extend the life of your apples and oranges then they should be stored in the fridge instead.
4. Check Your Groceries
When you get back from the store, before storing everything away, take the time to check through your groceries carefully and remove anything that is bruised, overripe or about to spoil. Items in this condition release ethylene gas that could spoil good produce. You can also purchase an ethylene gas absorber to delay the ripening process of your produce.
5. Use Mason Jars Instead of Plastic
Food items such as oats, rice, etc should never be kept in the same packaging it is bought in if you wish to keep it for an extended period of time. If food is kept in plastic containers then it will be exposed to BPA which is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. Mason jars also do not stain, and your produce will last longer.
Related: A Guide to Long-term Food Storage
6. Put Holes in Your Storage Bags
If you tend to keep your produce in those plastic storage bags from the store, you are going to need to put some holes in the bag before you actually start using it. This will help to keep any moisture from being trapped which will ultimately ruin your food quicker.
7. Wrap Your Greens in Foil
Want to know how to keep your lettuce, celery, or even broccoli for more than a month in the fridge? It’s easy, just wrap them in foil.
8. Don’t Keep Mushrooms in Plastic
It is a much better idea to store your mushrooms in paper bags rather than plastic which is a haven for moisture which will spoil them much faster.
9. Store Tomatoes Upside Down
Many times we buy tomatoes, the stems are removed beforehand. If this is true for your purchase, keep the tomatoes upside down so that no air can seep into the opening.
10. Store Your Onions in Stockings
Use a pair of scissors to separate the legs of the stockings and place a large onion into one of the legs. Tie a knot, followed by another onion, a knot, and so on. If one onion spoils the knots will keep it from touching the rest. Now store them in a cool, dry, dark place.
11. Use Vinegar on Your Berries
Grab your berries and place them into a bowl. Pour over a mixture of one part vinegar to ten parts water. Swirl the berries around in the mixture, drain, rinse, and put them in the fridge.
12. Use Plastic Wrap on Bananas
If you cover the crown of your bananas in plastic wrap you can reduce the release of ethylene gas. This will prevent them from ripening too quickly if you’re not going to use the whole bunch right away.
13. Wrap Your Meat
The Styrofoam that your meat comes on is not meant for long-term storage so you shouldn’t just throw your meat straight into the freezer. Instead, take it out of the original packing and wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap or foil first.
14. Paper Towels and Lettuce
The key to boosting the shelf life of lettuce is to keep it free from moisture. Water makes the vegetable wilt, so place a paper towel in the container with your lettuce after it has been washed, to soak up any excess wetness.
15. Give Stale Bread New Life
Just because your loaf of bread has gone stale, it doesn’t mean that you have to toss it away just yet. Just rub the loaf of bread with an ice cube and then put it in the oven for around 12 minutes. It should be soft and tasty once again.
16. Keep Apples and Potatoes Together
You can make your potatoes last up to eight weeks longer by simply storing them next to your apples. The ethylene gas produced by the apples prevents the potatoes from going bad.
17. Lemon Juice on Avocados
The citric acid in the lemons helps to keep a half-cut avocado from browning. If you don’t have lemon juice you can use olive oil to the same effect.
18. Don’t Keep Milk in the Fridge Door
According to Families.com, keeping milk in the fridge door is bad news for its shelf life, because they’re too far away from the cooling element. Instead, keep it on an inside shelf.
Do you have any tips to make your groceries last longer for our readers? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.
Related: 10 Food Storage Mistakes to Avoid