You are probably a lot like me, and guilty of throwing away a lot of your groceries almost every week. Does that bother you? I know it kills me watching all that good food and hard earned money hit the bottom of the garbage can. If it bothers you as much as it does me you know it’s time to change things, 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 every year! Part of the issue is that we are just flat out storing things wrong. To help you we have some great storage tricks you can use to get the maximum life out of your food and prevent wasting food and put a few more dollars back in your account.
One of the most common mistakes is refrigerating your bread. Do not refrigerate your bread unless you enjoy eating stale bread. While freezing bread is not a bad practice if you know you need to store it for a little while, you should store your bread in a bread box in your kitchen. Place on a wooden board or in a paper bag. This is a great way to keep it from drying out!
2. Are Your Eggs In The Door?
Place your raw eggs in their original container in the coldest part of your refrigerator, the coldest part being the middle shelf. Ignore those special egg holders on the door, they may look cool, but they will make the egg temperature fluctuate too much. By keeping them in their original container it will protect the porous shells from odors, and ready for the best part? They will stay good 3-4 weeks after the expiration date!
3. Wrap Up The Herbs!
Herbs are plants, as you well know, and like all plants, they need water to not shrivel up. Try this little trick: Wrap your herbs in paper towels to absorb the moisture, and place in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer in your fridge. Boom! They will last at least double the time.
4. Onions That Won’t Make You Cry
Store all your unpeeled dry onion bulbs in a cool, dry, dark place with airflow, but the big mistake is that most people put them in plastic, don’t do it! A great unknown tip is to place them on the countertop and away from other produce. Onions produce gasses that can affect the shelf life and flavor of other fruits and veggies. 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.
5. Rotten Tomatoes?
Lay your tomatoes face up, at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Tomatoes will lose flavor and water in the stored in a refrigerator. The best place to store them is in a paper bag in the coolest, darkest part of your kitchen. The cool temperature halts color, flavor and nutrient development, store in your fridge once they are bright red!
6.Cheese For Days!
Here is a great little tip try wrapping your cheeses in a moisture-proof plastic or tin foil. This will keep it edible for 2-4 full months longer than the sell-by date.
7. Keep Smoothies Smooth
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.
8. Pass Ketchup and Hold Mustard
Did you know that these are condiments don’t need to be stored in the fridge? It’s true, they can be stored outside and you can get back all that valuable space in the fridge. Bet you didn’t know that!
9. Olive Oil
Oil tends to oxidize easily from the heat and sun which may make it lose its unique flavor and even start to taste bad which is horrible if you tend to use the more expensive oils. Make sure to store in a dark place that is away from extreme temperatures and sunlight.
10. What About All My Leftovers?
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!