I don’t know about y’all but all too often I go to the grocery store and buy fresh fruits and vegetables with the best of intentions just to turn around later finding them spoiled and have to throw them away.
I tend to shop at Sam’s Club or Costco a lot. I enjoy the savings I get with buying in bulk. The problems has become, I forget that I am only feeding El Conquistador and myself now LOL. Our 3 children have moved forward with their lives and I am no longer cooking for a family of 5 but for a family of 2. Those savings I got on purchasing in bulk goes right into the garbage when the food spoils from not being used fast enough.
I have found several ways that I wanted to share with you, to extend the life of your groceries …..and stop throwing away your hard earned money.
Store onions in old pantyhose to keep them fresh for up to eight months. (Tie a knot in between each one to keep them separate)
Chop dry green onions and store them in an empty plastic water bottle. Put the bottle in the freezer and sprinkle out what you need when you’re cooking.
Place fresh green onions in a small container filled with water on your window sill. When you need fresh green onion, cut the greens off and leave the white bulb part in the water. The green will grow back and you will have fresh onions for months and months.
When storing potatoes, keep them away from onions (storing the two together makes them spoil faster). Storing them with apples will help keep the potatoes from sprouting.
Asparagus should be stored in your fridge upright in a glass of water (like cut flowers, cut the asparagus bottoms off first), and covered with a plastic bag.
Store salad greens in a bowl covered with plastic wrap, and add a paper towel to help absorb moisture. A salad spinner will also help remove excess moisture, a key culprit in wilting leaves, from your greens.
Mushrooms should be stored in a paper bag in a cool dry place, or in the fridge. Avoid storing mushrooms in plastic, as any trapped moisture will cause them to spoil.
Swirl berries in a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider) to 10 parts water You won’t taste the vinegar but the solution will help keep your berries from getting moldy and soft.
When storing copped avocado or guacamole, leave the pit in, spritz it with some lemon juice or olive oil, cover with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge. This will help keep it from turning brown.
If you spot a rotten apple, remove it right away, one rotten apple really can spoil the whole bunch (Even if the Osmond brothers say it won’t LOL. Sorry, I couldn’t help the reference and I apologize now if you find yourself with that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day).
Put plastic wrap around the crown of a bunch of bananas to keep them fresh for days longer. Also be sure to store them away from other fruits as they emit a lot of ethylene gas which accelerates ripening. This is why putting green bananas in a brown paper bag works to ripen them quickly.
Store tomatoes at room temperature away from sunlight, in a single layer with the stem side up. Do not put them in plastic bags, which will cause them to spoil faster.
Store delicate herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro and chives upright in a glass of water (like cut flowers) in your fridge. Put a plastic bag over the top and secure it around the glass with a rubber band for optimal freshness
Bunch oily herbs like thyme loosely together, secure them with a string around the base and hang them in your kitchen for storage.
Chop herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano and basil) and place them into ice cube trays. Fill each try with olive oil, freeze. Now just pop one out when you’re cooking for an instant herb-infused oil.
Store fresh ginger root in the freezer. You can grate it frozen (peel and all) when cooking.
DAIRY AND NUTS
Rub the cut side of a block of cheese with butter to keep it from drying out.
Cheese should be wrapped in cheese paper or wax paper, not plastic wrap. After wrapped you can then put it in a plastic baggie or plastic container before putting it in the fridge.
Store cheese in the warmest part of your fridge, such as the vegetable or cheese drawer.
Nuts can be stored in the freezer to keep them fresh longer. Ideally put them in jars that have the air vacuumed out with a food saver attachment.
ORGANIZATION AND OTHER TIPS
Keep milk and other highly perishable items on the middle shelf of your fridge, NOT in the door where temperatures fluctuate.
Avoid mixing produce and meats in the same drawer, as cross contamination can lead to food waste
Avoid over stocking your fridge, as a crowded fridge will keep air from circulating properly leading to warm spots that can cause spoilage. Not to mention that things tend to get lost and forgotten about in a crowded fridge which can lead to scary science experiment type things.
Avoid chipping up your fruits, veggies and meats before storage as this will make them spoil faster.
Glass Mason jars make a great food storage option, and you can seal them with an automatic vacuum sealer like Food Saver for even more freshness
Remove spoiled food from your fridge promptly to keep mold from transferring to fresh food
Get an ethylene gas absorber for your fridge. They’re available online and can keep your produce fresh up to three times longer than normal. There are many types of bags that can do this as well, typically called “green bags”
I hope that at least some of these will help you to save a bit of money and keep your groceries fresher a bit longer.
Make it a great day!