Food Storage Tips to Make Your Groceries Last

Food Storage Tips to Make Your Groceries Last

“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.”

– Hippocrates

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Frugal consumers are always looking for tips and tricks to help cut food costs and waste, and many of these come down to smart storage. Storing food properly allows budget-minded shoppers to buy items in bulk at a lower cost, for example. Keeping fresh produce in good condition for as long as possible is also a key to stretching food dollars and making fewer trips to the store — especially these days when we’re trying to spend more time at home and store more food than usual. These food storage tips are designed to help consumers spend less and enjoy more.

Many foods stay fresh longer when not stored in the original packaging. Keeping an assortment of sizes of food-grade plastic or glass containers (style and prices vary) provides an easy way to store all kinds of bulk food — from grains and flours to dehydrated meals and dried legumes, as well as spices and other powders.

Freeze Seasonal Produce (1)

Fresh produce is cheapest and has the most nutrition and flavor in season. Take time to freeze fruits and vegetables properly to save money during colder months when produce prices rise.

Buy Dry Beans

Dried beans are cheaper by volume, easier to stack in large amounts, and more shelf stable than canned beans. Buying this nutritious and versatile staple in bulk also reduces the cost to pennies per serving.

Although most Americans store butter in the fridge, keeping butter on the counter is typical in many parts of the world. Room-temperature butter is easier to spread on toast, meaning less could be used overall, saving more. Just be sure to use within a few days and keep stored properly — for instance, in a French butter bell.

 
Organize Cupboards and Pantry

If you can’t find an ingredient, you are likely spend money on something you already have. Keep like items together and store things with a common purpose together. For example, keep tea and honey in the same cupboard, and keep baking ingredients together in the pantry.

Store Greens With Paper Towels

Greens are difficult to store for longer than a few days, and once they start to go bad it can be challenging to pick out spoiled leaves from the rest. Storing greens with paper towels helps maintain a healthy level of moisture, keeping them crisp and unwithered.

Store Potatoes With an Apple

Apples give off a chemical that helps potatoes stay fresh and keeps them from sprouting. Store potatoes with an apple to help them stay in good condition for up to twice as long.

The gas that bananas give off as they ripen encourages other fruit nearby to ripen more quickly. Storing bananas away from other produce will help keep them from ripening and spoiling too fast.

Keep Chocolate Chilled

Most chocolate has a high-fat content, which tends to spoil quickly and pick up other unwanted flavors. Keeping chocolate in the fridge properly wrapped will keep it fresh for months at a time, extending the life and preserving the flavor of this sometimes costly ingredient.

Store Mushrooms in Paper Bags

The best way to keep mushrooms firm and dry is in a paper bag in the fridge, a method that provides the proper balance of humidity and moisture and allows air to circulate. Stored in this way, mushrooms can last up to 10 days without getting soggy, funky, or spoiled.

Store Dairy Upside Down

Dense dairy products such as yogurt, cottage cheese, and sour cream create a seal just under the lid when turned upside down. The seal will prevent oxygen from getting into the container and spoiling the contents and extend product life.