Are you guilty of throwing away a lot of your groceries when you clean out your refrigerator? If you find yourself throwing away a lot of groceries when you empty out your refrigerator then you are guilty of wasting food, but fear not as you aren’t alone in this as the average American throws away more than 20 pounds of food annually. This is equal to $165 billion dollars going into a landfill annually.
Here are some storage tricks you can use to get the maximum longevity out of your food, prevent wasting as well as saving your money as well:
Do not refrigerate your bread unless you enjoy eating stale bread. You should store your bread in a bread box in your kitchen. Place on a wooden board or in a paper bag to keep it from drying out. For maximum storage, seal sliced bread tightly in a bag and freeze it.
Place your raw eggs in their original container in the coldest part of your refrigerator, the coldest part being the middle shelf. Even though your fridge door might have the specially designed egg holders but the temperature near the door tends to fluctuate too much. This will increase their longevity to 3-4 weeks past their sell-by date.
- Fresh Herbs
Wrap your herbs in paper towels to absorb the moisture, and place in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer in your fridge.
Store all your unpeeled dry onion bulbs in a cool, dry, dark place with airflow (not in plastic though). It is ideal to also place them near ripening fruits.
Do not expose them to cold and moisture as this will lead to rotting and rooting. Most people when they cut onions, the trick is to chill a whole onion for 30 minutes before cutting to reduce the tears.
Lay your tomatoes face up, at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Tomatoes tend to lose flavor and water in the chilly refrigerator. To store them for a short time, stash them in a paper bag in the coolest part of your kitchen. Cold temperature halts color, flavor and nutrient development, store in your fridge once they are bright red.
- Hard Cheese
You can wrap your cheese in a moisture-proof plastic or foil. This will keep it edible for 2-4 months past the sell-by date.
Smoothies are a perfect blend of healthy ingredients that will detox your body and skin from aging prematurely in your morning routine. You would probably have a busy schedule hence you may resort to making a bulk amount of smoothies and storing them as and when you need them. But preserving your smoothies the right way is an art in itself as storing your smoothies the wrong way in the wrong containers will lead to them losing nutrients and going bad. But using proper specially designed smoothie bottles will lead to them staying edible and full of nutrients for a much longer time and you also you won’t have to worry about preparing your smoothies from time to time.
- Ketchup and Mustard
These are condiments and don’t need to be stored in the fridge and can be stored outside as they may take up a lot of valuable space in the fridge.
- Olive Oil
Oil tends to oxidize easily from the heat and sun which may make it lose its flavour and even start to taste bad which is bad if you tend to use expensive olive oil.
Make sure to store in a dark place that is away from extreme temperatures and sunlight.
Make sure that your leftovers make it to your fridge in no less than 2 hours after cooking has stopped. Choose wide shallow containers so the food cools down as quickly and evenly as possible. Don’t keep any of your leftovers for more than 5 days though.
It is always best to store your food in the refrigerator when possible as this will prevent spoilage. This will also help you maximize your nutritional properties, retain maximum flavor, prevent wastage and save money.
Nora White is the digital marketing manager for SANS. She has been an advocate of a healthy lifestyle for over 2 decades and loves to keep herself updated with the latest in clean eating and green living. When not at work, you can find her at a hot yoga class or writing to educate and help her readers come one step closer to a healthier lifestyle. In her free time, she loves to travel with her husband and two boys, and hike with friends.