45 Simple Hacks Everyone Can Do To Make Groceries Last Longer
There’s a special type of guilt that we feel when we have to throw food out because it’s gone bad. As you dump out your moldy tomatoes, wilted black salad, and rock-solid croissants, you can’t help but think of all the people starving in the world and how you’re hurting them, your wallet, and the environment.
If you’ve ever felt bad about throwing food away because it’s gone off, then this is the list for you. Bored Panda has cooked up a spread of tips, simple tricks, and slices of advice to keep your produce fresh for extra long. Don’t forget to upvote your fave bits of advice. Got any of your own tips for keeping groceries fresh for longer? Share ‘em in the comment section to help your fellow Pandas out in the kitchen!
How To Regrow Your Scallions
Freeze And Preserve Fresh Herbs In Olive Oil
The herbs will infuse the oil while freezing, and the ice cubes are very handy for cooking: just pop one out and use as the base of a dish. Works best with rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano. Dill, basil, and mint should always be used fresh
Onions Stored In Pantyhose Will Last As Long As 8 Months.
Put onions in pantyhose, and tie knots between onion. Plus it makes a freaky wall art installation!
"One of my favorite tricks is to serve fruits and veggies in cups with a layer of ice in the bottom. It keeps the snacks fresh and prevents them from getting dried out and floppy," Jessica told Bored Panda.
She added that its not only functional but looks great, too! Not to mention there's a hidden benefit that has to do with hygiene (and we all know how important that is during the pandemic).
"They make a pretty little bouquet in the cup, and the individual serving sizes mean no grubby little hands contaminating a communal veggie platter! Which I know is something at the back of all of our minds these days..."
Turning Containers For Sour Cream And Cottage Cheese Upside Down
This tip may seem unusual but it does work! Turning the tub of sour cream or cottage cheese upside down will create a vacuum effect inside the container. This will slow down the growth of bacteria which causes this foods to spoil.
Wrap The Crown Of A Bunch Of Bananas With Plastic Wrap
They'll keep for 3-5 days longer than usual, which is especially helpful if you eat organic bananas. Bananas also produce more ethelyne gas than any other fruit, so keep them isolated on the counter
Clean Your Fridge
Once something goes bad in your fridge or cupboards, it leaves behind a nice gang of mold ready to eat up your new food. Disinfect the fridge — it'll make everything last a little longer
Meanwhile, cake designer Darci told us that products like milk, whipping cream, and fresh fruit spoil the fastest for bakers like her, so they try and make use of each item as quickly as possible.
"If you have left over fruit you can make fillings! Milk you can freeze into cubes and use later on. Whipping cream is an easy caramel recipe," Darci gave us some awesome food tips.
Temperature, moisture, and light have an effect on how quickly our food products deteriorate and start rotting because of microbes growing all over them. There’s a reason why we store groceries in dark and cool places.
Don’t Store Milk In The Fridge Door
The temperature on the door will fluctuate too frequently and spoil your milk early
Keep Ginger In The Freezer
It grates much more easily, and the peel grates up so fine that you don't actually need to peel it. Plus it lasts way longer
Half An Avocado Left Over?
Sure, it often happens. But you know that your stored avo is going to turn black really fast. Can you prevent it from happening? Check out these tips:
Leave the pip in. It slows oxidization.
Brush the exposed flesh with lemon juice or olive oil.
Store it in a container with a cut onion.
As time goes by, fruits and veggies lose their flavor and vitamins, so while it’s great to have handy tricks to keep them fresh for longer, it’s still best to munch your food ASAP.
(On the other hand, if you enjoy waiting before using ingredients and stocking up, pickling might just be the thing that you want to look into. It’s fun. And useful, considering what 2020’s been throwing at us.)
Keep Mushrooms In A Paper Bag, Not A Plastic Bag
A plastic bag will trap moisture and cause them to mildew. Put them in a paper bag in the fridge or in a cool, dry place.
Put The Ice Cream Container In A Plastic Bag
This will keep your ice cream soft and prevent freezer burn
Melt Crystallized Honey To Get Its Texture Back
For the jars that form crystals, we put the (glass) jar in a pan with a little water and bring it to a simmer. Once the entire jar is a little warmed up, give it a stir and the crystals will melt back into gooey honey.
Honey can last forever because of bacteria-fighting enzymes from the honeybees’ stomachs.
If you want to maintain order in your kitchen, then you’ve got to be brutal. If a product is spoiled or near spoiling, toss it out! Yes, it hurts to throw out food, but that green wedge of cheese in your fridge has already seen three presidential elections come and go. It’s spreading microbes to every other piece of food in your fridge, so it’s got to go.
Meanwhile, your fridge, cupboards, and shelves could do with a good clean to make sure that any food that you store there stays fresh as long as possible. Sometimes, the best tricks are the simplest. In this case—cleanliness.
Never Store Bread In The Fridge
Putting your bread in the fridge makes it go stale faster, so the best way to keep bread fresh is to keep it at room temperature on your counter, or better yet, invest in a bread box for optimal bread texture.
How To Store Tomatoes
Don't store tomatoes in plastic bags! The trapped ethylene will make them ripen faster.
Unripe tomatoes should be kept stem side down, in a paper bag or single layer in a cardboard box in a cool area until they turn red in color. To ripen faster, store with fruit. The gases emitted will help ripen the tomatoes.
Perfectly ripe tomatoes should be kept at room temperature, on the counter away from sunlight, in a single layer, not touching one another, stem side up.
Overly ripe tomatoes should be put in the fridge, but let them come to room temperature before eating them
Freeze Green Onions In A Plastic Bottle
Make sure the green onions are completely dry before storing or they'll get freezer burn.
This Trick Using A Paper Towel Will Keep Your Salad Lettuce Fresh All Week Long
Keep Your Red Spices Fresh And Flavorful By Storing Them Cold Instead Of Just Leaving Them On The Spice Rack
Store Delicate Herbs Like Flowers, Then Cover With Plastic, Secure With A Rubberband, And Refrigerate
This is the best way to keep delicate herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and chives fresh the longest.
Use A Vinegar Solution To Make Your Berries Last Longer
Prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider) and ten parts water. Swirl the berries around in the mixture, drain, rinse, and put them in the fridge. The solution is diluted enough that you won't taste the vinegar. Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft.
Keep Cucumbers At Room Temperature
If placed in the refrigerator a cucumber can be prone to water-soaked areas.
Get An Ethylene Gas Absorber For The Fridge
A set of 3 costs $16. These little pods absorb the ethylene emitted by fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh up to 3x longer
Store Carrots For Months
The key to prevent soft carrots is to remove the greens and store them in water! Also includes tips on how to long term storage in cellar, and freezing them.
Freeze Maple Syrup For Forever
Good-quality, 100% pure maple syrup is so good, but usually pricey. I like to buy a couple of jugs at a time, but I never knew how to store it properly. Turns out you should absolutely refrigerate it to keep it fresh for up to one year. Even better: if you freeze it, it keeps indefinitely.
My suggestion: break medium to large jugs up into smaller containers. Put one in the fridge, and the rest in the freezer. Thaw smaller containers as you need them.
You can also keep sliced fruit, particularly lemons, fresh with a toothpick. Simply use the toothpick to reattach the cut-off end piece
The Key To Keeping Grapes Fresh For A Longer Period Of Time Is Its Container. Use Polyethylene Bags To Store Grapes So They Last Longer.
Revive Raisins With Hot Water
Resurrect dry currants or sultanas by soaking them in hot water for an hour or two. Store them in an airtight container and they’ll be as good as new.
Add A Dab Of Butter To The Cut Side Of Cheese To Keep It From Drying Out
Store Nut Butter Upside Down
Leave it right way up, and all the natural oils drain to the bottom, so try storing your nut butter products upside down – and keep them refrigerated to prevent them from going rancid.
Follow These Rules On Where To Place Items Within Your Fridge
Keep Potatoes In A Dark Place
Exposure to light makes them turn green and shrivel faster.
Strong Alcoholic Drinks Do Not Expire
Actually, it is said that the longer they stay in the bottle, the better they are going to taste. It is best to keep them in a cool dry place and avoid putting them in a place where too much sun or heat is present
Roast Nuts As Soon As You Get Home From The Store, Then Store Them In The Freezer
Nuts that are roasted have more flavor, keep longer, and can always be used in recipes that call for nuts, roasted or otherwise. Spread them in a single layer on a sheet pan, bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant.
Treat Oily Herbs Differently.
Oily herbs like thyme can be tied loosely together with string and hung in the open air.
Wrap Celery, Broccoli, And Lettuce In Tin Foil Before Storing In The Fridge
It'll stay crisp for 4 weeks or more.
Reuse Plastic Bottles To Close Up Your Plastic Bags
Make sure your produce is absolutely dry before putting the cap on
Freezing Cooked Potatoes
If you don’t’ plan on eating the potatoes you cooked within a few days, it is best to freeze them. They will not brown since cooking them destroys the enzyme that oxidizes. Like anything else, it’s best to store them with as little air as possible when freezing them.
Once frozen, cooked potatoes can remain frozen up to one year. They will have no noticeable change in their quality or nutritional value. It is best to defrost them overnight in the fridge versus microwave defrosting them. The microwave can change the structure and result in changing the texture.
Freeze Fresh Herbs
I have completely avoided buying fresh herbs simply because I knew I wouldn’t use them all before they went bad. You can freeze fresh herbs with olive oil in an ice cube tray. I’d rather use this trick than force myself to find a recipe to use my rosemary before it goes bad.
Spray Leftover Guacamole With Cooking Spray Before Putting It Back In The Fridge
Store Asparagus Like Cut Flowers
Sort of. Cut the stems, place in water, throw a plastic bag over 'em and refrigerate. They'll stay crisp for a week or longer, and you can use this trick on cilantro and parsley as well
Freeze Fresh Green Beans Without Blanching
Step 1: Take a step back and admire your green beans because god damn, you’re amazing, you just grew green beans!
Fresh green beans are one of our favorite foods and they’re so versatile in the kitchen! You can use them in casseroles, soups, stir fry, or even slow cooker meals. Thanksgiving is only a few months away, so you can even save your garden green beans to make your favorite Green Bean Casserole family!
How cool is it to make a Thanksgiving casserole with FRESH green bean that you grew? Talk about a dish made out of love!
Step 2: Trim the ends off both sides of green beans.
Step 3: Cut the green beans in half.
Step 4: Wash with water, making sure to get all dirt off them.
Step 5: Dry completely. Place on a cloth towel or paper towel, allowing to dry completely. This usually takes about 20 minutes.
Step 6: Place in freezer bags. I like to make 1 cup, 12 oz and 16 oz bags. Label the bag.
Step 7: Freeze!
Mist Cooking Spray On Avocado To Stop Browning
Even the biggest avocado addicts can admit to binning leftover avocados after their flesh has oxidised and turned brown. Give your favourite green fruit longevity by misting cut avocado with cooking spray. Don’t have any on hand? Store your avocado in an airtight container with a cut onion to keep its vibrant colour.
Beets Last Longer When Their Leaves Are Cut Off. That’s Because Water Loss Through The Leaves Causes Roots To Shrivel Faster.
Store Cheese With Butter On It
Put butter on the sliced surface of the cheese to extend the freshness of your cheese.
If You Use A Lot Of Fresh Herbs...
Invest in an Herb Savor. Supposedly, it'll make your herbs last up to three weeks