No matter how hard we try to meal plan and shop frugally, there’s always something in the fridge that ends up moldering or wilting away. Since I really hate throwing out food, I make sure the food we buy lasts as long as possible. You can extend the life of your groceries by following these 10 simple steps:
1. Freeze your bread. Properly wrapped and sealed bread can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. Yes, it has to be thawed, but that’s better than watching unused bread go moldy on the counter.
2. Root out bad apples. Whether it’s apples, grapes or berries, go through your fruit and take out the moldy or rotten pieces before they turn the rest of the of bunch off.
3. Be good to your cheese. Make cheese last longer by changing the wrapping regularly. And make sure not to touch it with your hands — which makes it go moldy faster.
4. Store fruit in the fridge. Fruit such as apples and oranges go bad faster at room temperature, so make sure you keep them refrigerated.
5. Keep washed lettuce in paper towel. This will help keep your leafy vegetables crisp longer.
6. Take leftovers for lunch. Why spend $10 on lunch out when you can simply reheat last night’s dinner and stretch your groceries further.
7. Keep potatoes in a dark place. Exposure to light makes them turn green and shrivel faster.
8. Make smoothies. Throw tired looking fruit into a blender and turn it into a shake. This is a great way to use otherwise fine fruit that’s nearly past it.
9. Wrap your meat before freezing it. Make your meat last longer in the freezer by taking it out of the original packing (styrofoam isn’t meant for long-term storage). Wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap or foil.
10. Have leftover nights. Once a week, get creative with your cooking and challenge yourself to make a meal with all your leftover groceries. You’ll be surprised what you come up with. Click here for some clever ways to use your leftover ingredients.
Those are just 10 small steps to help you save money and extend food life. What do you do at home to make your food last longer?