By: Nikki Nies
There’s nothing worse than having to throw out produce from your fridge because you didn’t use it in time. Not only is it throwing money down the drain, but for me it’s gut wrenching. Saving money doesn’t have to stop at the register of the grocery store, you can save a lot of money with some easy adjustments to your routine, you can increase the longevity of many of you grocery items.
Not to mention, it’s more environmentally friendly to be conscious of what you use and it reduces your overall carbon footprint.
- Ethylene Gas Guardian (EGG): by purchasing a EGG for approximately $25, this product will absorb ethylene that is commonly produced by fruits and vegetables; can be placed directly in your produce drawer; may keep produce fresh 3x longer
- Familiarize yourself with produce and meat expiration dates. Here’s a quick list http://www.ziploc.com/ShelfLife/Pages/Default.aspx
- Don’t cut fruits and vegetables until intended use. Barry Swanson, a food scientist from Washington State University says “As soon as you start pulling fruits and vegetables apart, you’ve broken cells, and microorganisms start to grow”
- Put bread in the fridge or freezer–espeically if bread will not be used within the next few days. Best method: 1/2 in fridge; 1/2 in freezer
- Invest in herb savor: By purchasing a herb savor, it can increase shelf life up to 3 weeks
- By placing onions in panty hose, onions can last up to 8 months! Make sure to tie knots in between onions!
- Freeze completely dry green onions in a plastic water bottle.
- Make a vinegar solution to preserve berries; one part vinegar (white or apple cider) and ten parts water; raspberries will last a week or more; strawberries may last 2 weeks without getting moldy and soft
- By keeping the pit of guacamole and spraying leftovers with cooking spray can increase the longevity of guacamole
- Keep onions and potatoes in separate storage; place separately in a cool,dry place
- Wrap celery, broccoli and lettuce in aluminum foil before placing in fridge; may stay fresher up to 4 weeks
- Place ginger in the freezer; will make it easier to grate; lasts longer
- Keep mushrooms in paper, not plastic bag; can be placed in fridge or dry, cool place
- Freeze and preserve fresh herbs in olive oil and place in ice cube trays; best for rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano
- Place unripe tomatoes stem down in a paper bag or in a single layer cardboard box until ripened; once ripe, tomatoes should be kept at room temperature, away from sunlight; overly ripe tomatoes should be placed in fridge
I hope some of these tips can increase the shelf life of some of your food. I’m sure you’ve developed some creative ways to preserve your food for later use as well. What’re some tips that work for you?