Food that goes bad before you get a chance to eat it can take a big bite (pun intended) out of your budget. If you want to save on groceries, the key is to practice proper food preservation techniques to prevent food waste. The way you store your food has more of an effect on how long it lasts than you might think. To increase your everyday savings and make your food last longer, you’re going to have to rethink the way you put away your groceries:
Are your veggies looking a little wilted? You can easily revive them by sticking your broccoli, green beans, snow peas and the like into a pot of simmering water with a teaspoon of baking soda. Although this will make the vegetables look tastier, unfortunately, the process will not bring back the nutrients that have been lost. You can employ a variety of techniques to make green vegetables last longer in the first place. Store asparagus as you would fresh-cut flowers (in a jar of water with a plastic bag over top). Keep salad mixes in a bowl with a piece of paper towel and covered with plastic wrap. As for your onions, store them in pantyhose–they will last up to eight months.
For as many different types of fruit that there are, there are just as many techniques for storing it. For starters, that old wives’ tale that “one apple can spoil the bunch” is true–it really can. To make your bananas last longer, wrap the crown with plastic wrap or purchase an inexpensive banana holder. Clean and cut the tops off of strawberries right after purchasing them, storing the tasty fruit in a zip-close back in your refrigerator. Tomatoes, contrary to popular belief, should be kept at room temperature (not in the fridge). Don’t put them in a plastic bag or they’ll ripen more quickly.
Are you finding that the block of your favorite cheese is going badly more quickly than you can eat it? Try spreading a bit of butter on the side that has been cut. This will keep it from drying out. If you aren’t eating the cheese in one sitting, remember this: Plastic wrap is the enemy. Instead, wrap this delectable dairy product in cheese paper or wax paper before placing it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Be sure to keep it in the cheese drawer–that’s the warmest part of the fridge.