Don’t throw your hard-earned money in the garbage. Save your fruits and vegetables from spoiling prematurely by learning special storage tricks that can make your food stay fresh for longer. Some of these tips can even extend your food’s shelf life by weeks! Read these tips before you head out to the grocery store.
1. Store rooted veggies in sand
Give your rooted vegetables and herbs longer durability by storing them in pots of sand instead of in the fridge. Place vegetables like carrots, ginger and turnips in a flower pot with clean sand. Take them out when you need them, making sure to store the pot in a cool, dark area.
2. Make berries last longer with vinegar
Before you store your berries in the fridge, soak them in vinegar to extend their freshness by two weeks. Add one part vinegar to 10 parts water and dip each berry in this solution for a few seconds. Rinse afterwards and then put them in the fridge.
3. Store herbs in plastic
The length of time your herbs keep fresh depends on how you store them. Fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro or chives are best stored in the fridge in plastic. Wrap the herbs in a plastic bag and secure them with a rubber band at the roots or stems.
4. Store onions and potatoes separately
You should never store onions and potatoes together. The potatoes will spoil faster this way. It’s best to store the onions in a cool, dry place and the potatoes on a separate shelf, at a far distance from the onions.
5. Store an apple with the potatoes
Adding a single apple to a bag of potatoes can help keep them from sprouting, extending their shelf life. It doesn’t matter what kind of apple. Replace the apple each time you buy new potatoes.
6. A bad apple really does spoil the bunch
Make it a point to check your apples daily. A rotten apple can rapidly spoil the other apples it is stored with, meaning you could end up throwing out a whole bag of them. Discard any bad-looking ones to protect the other apples.
7. Butter keeps cheese fresh
Prevent cut cheese blocks from forming crusty hard edges by adding a bit of butter to the cut edge. The oils in the butter protect the edges from drying out. Spread butter on the cut side and then store the cheese without plastic.
8. Place eggs on the shelf
Most people store their eggs in the fridge door, in the designated egg holders, but this can cause the eggs to go bad before their expiration date. Switching their storage from the fridge door to one of the main shelves can help keep your eggs up to 4 weeks longer.
9. Wrap bananas
Wrap the crown of the bananas in plastic wrap to keep them fresher for nearly a week longer than usual. It’s also important to store bananas separately from other fruits and vegetables – bananas produce lots of ethylene gas, which makes fruit and vegetables rot sooner.
10. Make milk last longer with a pinch of salt
Keep your milk fresh for a bit longer with this ancient trick. Add a pinch of salt to the carton to prolong its freshness by a week. The amount of salt should be small so you won’t taste the difference when you drink the milk. You can also apply this trick to heavy cream.
11. Store mushrooms and tomatoes in paper bags
Mushrooms and tomatoes should never be kept in plastic bags. For mushrooms, the plastic offers excess moisture, causing them to mildew. Preserve their freshness by placing them in a paper bag and storing it in the crisper drawer in the fridge or a cool, dry area outside the fridge.
Tomatoes kept in plastic bags release more ethylene, which ripens and spoils them faster. Store unripened tomatoes in a paper bag. Never keep ripe tomatoes in the fridge. Opt for a dry place at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
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12. Store lettuce with a paper towel
By adding a paper towel to your lettuce, you can prevent the leaves from spoiling prematurely, because it absorbs any moisture that usually causes wilting. Add a single piece of paper towel to the bowl or plastic bag you store your lettuce in to extend the lettuce’s freshness for an extra week.
Bonus: What to keep in and out of the fridge