19 Food Storage Hacks to Make Your Groceries Last Longer
You make your list, check it twice and head out to brave the cart circus that is the grocery store. Then, instead of sticking to your carefully curated list, you are seduced into buying all kinds of fresh produce — crisp greens, tender tomatoes, fragrant herbs and enough stuff to fill up your tote bags in an instant. But how are you going to eat all that wonderful produce before it spoils? Check out these 19 food storage hacks that will increase the longevity of your groceries to keep them fresher than the Prince of Bel Air.
1. Sweet Potatoes: Keep sweet potatoes in a cool, dry place. No fridge time for these sweeties, whose high sugar content will make them spoil a little faster than regular potatoes (within about 10 to 14 days). (via Always Order Dessert)
2. Fresh Herbs: From cilantro to sage, this guide to storing herbs is worth the thyme. If you find yourself with an excess, try drying a few bundles for the winter. (via Food52)
3. Frozen Herbs: Most dishes begin with oil, onion, garlic and herbs/spices. Why not save yourself a step and preserve fresh herbs with olive oil? These tasteful cubes are ready for soups, stews, roasts and sauces. (via The Kitchn)
4. Berry Sour: Oddly enough, a vinegar solution can help keep berries fresher. Better learn how to make one before those raspberries get fuzzy! (via Momables)
5. Avocados: Forget everything you ever heard about never storing avocados in the fridge, because the refrigerator nearly halts the ripening process of an avocado. You can store them in the fridge to avoid over-ripening, but pull them out or put them in a paper bag to let them finish ripening before you’re ready to eat them. (via Life Hacker, photo via The Hot Plate)
6. Stone Fruit: Peaches, nectarines and plums should be stored at room temperature, stem-end down. Avoid putting them in plastic bags like it’s your job, as over-ripening and mold will be brought on more quickly that way. (via Real Simple, photo via Tasty Trials)
7. Not-So-Cool Cucumbers: Whoops, we’ve totally been doing this wrong, too. Cucumbers should be stored on the counter, not in the fridge, where they risk accelerated decay. (via The Kitchn)
8. Asparagus: Asparagus loves being stored like cut flowers, as do scallions and lots of other herbs. So trim your veggies, fill up a vase or jar with a couple inches of water and throw them in until you’re ready to cook. (via Always Order Dessert)
9. Get to the Root: Root veggies like carrots, beets and turnips keep pushing energy into their leaves even after they’ve reached your house. Make sure to chop off the tops before storing them to keep the nutrients in the root. (via Gardenista)
10. One Bad Apple Spoils the Bunch: Yep, the old wives’ tale is true. Ethylene, as a ripening agent, produces as fruit becomes riper, until it eventually ripens all the other fruit around it. Store apples separately from other fruits. (via Mental Floss, photo via Smitten Kitchen)
11. Cheese: Gotta keep that gouda fresh! Invest in some cheese paper so you can let your cheese breathe until you’re ready to use it. (via The Kitchn)
12. Brown Bag Mushrooms: Keep mushrooms out of the crisper and in a brown paper bag after opening the original packaging. (via Tip Busters, photo via Foodie for Two)
13. Pourable Scallions: Throw chopped green onions into a water bottle to freeze them. You’ll never be without fresh-ish green onions since they’ll last such a long time. (via A Pinch of Joy)
14. Onion Hose: It might look sort of creepy, but storing onions in pantyhose seriously extends their life. (via The Hausfrau Journal)
15. Lettuce Bag: This blogger delivers a recipe for keeping lettuce fresh and crisp by using a salad spinner, a Ziploc bag and paper towels — a cute tea towel would work too! (via Pinch My Salt)
16. Prepara Herb Savor ($29): This handy gadget will prolong the life of your herbs by submerging them slightly in water while they sit in the fridge.
17. Delicate Tomatoes: There are some foods that should never go in the fridge. Think twice about tomatoes — the fridge makes them dull and mealy. (via The Kitchn, photo via The Devil’s Food Advocate)
18. Food Friends: Apples + Potatoes = BFFs. If you store them together, the apples should keep the potatoes from sprouting. Onions and potatoes, on the other hand, should not be stored together or they will both spoil faster. (via Consumerist, photo via Domestocrat)
19. Bread Box ($128): Bring out the cute vintage bread boxes, because they really do make those loaves last longer. Whatever you do, stop storing your regular ol’ sliced bread in the fridge because it only dries it out. Gluten-free breads, on the other hand, are best kept in the freezer.
Anything going bad in your fridge? Let us know how you avoid produce and other foods spoiling too quickly in the comments below.