We pay a lot for our food so it only makes sense to find ways of properly storing it to reduce any spoilage. With so many bulk food grocery stores, many of us buy huge quantities of certain foods and using these food storage tips will help maximize their shelf life.
Fresh food is so much healthier than processed food but there is no reason to buy limited quantities. Making several trips to the grocery store every week to purchase fresh produce or basics like bread, eggs, milk, or butter isn’t necessary if we understand how to store food properly.
1) Buy an ethylene gas absorber for your refrigerator.
Fruits and vegetables give out ethylene gas and this gas is what shortens their shelf life. Using Bluapple Ethylene Gas Absorbers available from Amazon will help absorb ethylene gas and keep them fresher longer. Also, If you store fruits and vegetables in the plastic bags they came in, make sure to poke a few holes or open the bag slightly to let gas escape.
2) Wrap banana stems with plastic wrap.
Most of the ethylene gas mentioned in #1 escapes from the stems of fruits and vegetables. In the case of bananas, wrapping each stem with plastic wrap could extend their freshness for 3-4 days longer. Here are more food storage details for keeping your bananas fresh.
3) Soak your berries in water and vinegar to make them last longer.
You’ll want to use 3 cups of water and 1 cup of vinegar (3 parts water to 1 part vinegar) and soak them for 5 minutes. Here are more food storage tips for keeping your berries fresh.
4) Wrap celery in tin foil.
You can wrap celery, broccoli, and even lettuce in foil and they’ll stay fresh and crisp for up to 4 weeks. Here is how to respect the celery and keep it fresh.
5) Wrap cheese with parchment paper.
There are products called ‘cheese paper’ but if you don’t have any on hand, regular parchment paper will work just as well. Let your cheese breathe and store it properly.
6) Flip your cottage cheese when storing it.
We all know bacteria is what causes food to spoil so by flipping your cottage cheese container, it creates a vacuum and helps inhibit growth.
7) Store egg yolks in your freezer.
You can store egg yolks in your freezer for a year and always have eggs on hand if you accidentally run out of fresh eggs. Simply whisk them with a pinch of salt and store them in a plastic freezer bag.
8) Store grated ginger in the freezer.
Ginger root already has a pretty good shelf life if you keep it in a cool, dry place but if you always want grated ginger on hand, grate it and store it in an airtight container in the freezer. It will keep for up to six months and here if the full method for preparing ginger for the freezer.
9) Store apples in your crisper tray for extended freshness.
Apples seem to last forever but they’ll usually last between 6 months to a year if you store them in a humid environment (your refrigerator crisper is great) and remove any bruised or rotten apples from the bunch. If you realize you purchased way too many apples, you can make applesauce and store it in the freezer.
10) For optimum food storage quality, keep your refrigerator as cold as possible.
Bacteria doesn’t like cold temperatures so if your refrigerator is set to about 38°F, increase the cold setting to 37°F or colder. As long as it’s not too cold and your produce begins to freeze!
11) Make oven-ready vegetable packets.
If you have a wide assortment of vegetables or too much of a certain kind, chop them up and blanch them in boiling water. Then, put them in a freezer bag and they’ll be ready to cook when needed. Here is how to make your own DIY stir-fry vegetable freezer packages.
12) Divide ground meat into ready-to-use portions.
You can save a lot of money by purchasing bulk packages of ground beef, pork, or chicken as meat freezes well. But, what if you only need a small amount and don’t want to defrost the entire package? If you only need a few ounces of meat for a recipe, freezing individual portions allows you to just take what you need instead of defrosting the entire package.
13) Divide tomato paste and freeze.
Just like #12, tomato paste is also a great ingredient to section off into ready-to-use portions. Simply put them into a plastic freezer bag and section them off before freezing. When you need tomato paste, just pop out how many you need. Here is how to make leftover tomato paste sections.
14) Preserve fresh herbs by freezing them in olive oil.
If you find yourself discarding fresh herbs because they’ve spoiled, a great tip is to chop them up and put them in ice cube trays along with olive oil and freeze it. Here are 8 steps to preserving herbs in olive oil.
15) Honey doesn’t rot.
Honey is probably one of the few foods that doesn’t rot and jar of honey could last over 3,000 years and still remain edible even if it crystallizes. As long as it’s kept in a dry place in a jar with tight-fitting lid, it will taste as great as the first day you purchased it. If it does crystallize, here’s how to liquify it again.
16) Chop and freeze green onions.
Green onions are sold in bunches and sometimes we don’t consume all of it before it spoils. Instead, chop them up and store them in a plastic bottle in the freezer. Follow these food storage steps for freezing chopped onions or even fresh herbs.
17) Wrap unwashed lettuce in paper towels.
Lettuce generally starts wilting after 2-3 days but if you want to maximize the amount of food storage time, wrap lettuce in paper towels and this will help absorb any excess moisture.
18) Store chopped lettuce in a Mason jar for instant salads.
Interestingly, storing washed lettuce in a mason jar also helps lettuce stay fresh for up to 4 weeks! Here is how to store lettuce and other produce in Mason jars.
19) Use Mason jars instead of plastic containers.
Mason jars are great because they’re inexpensive, heat-resistant, and nothing will stain them. If you had to store beets in plastic containers, you’d almost have to throw them out after but not with glass jars. Best of all, they come in a variety of sizes and you could create entire Mason jar meals.
20) Freeze milk if you’re afraid it will go bad.
Have a lot of milk and you’re afraid it will spoil? Theoretically, milk can last up to 3 months but its consistency and flavor will change. My grandmother always had fresh-tasting milk and her trick was to freeze it and thaw when needed.
21) Store onions in pantyhose.
If you have a few nylons with runs in them, you can put them to good use and store your onions in them. Separate each onion by tying a knot and your onions will last for up to 8 months. Just cut the pantyhose below the knot and out pops the onion!
22) Store your pineapple upside down.
Most supermarkets display their pineapples upright and their natural sugars and enzymes eventually end up at the bottom. When storing them at home, flip them upside down to help redistribute the sugars and extend their shelf life.
23) Store apples with potatoes to prevent them from sprouting.
Onions and potatoes will spoil faster if you keep them together but it’s the opposite with apples and potatoes. Storing them together will prevent potatoes from sprouting and help extend their food storage life.
24) Keep carrots and beets fresh by storing them in sand.
This is an old trick farmers used because sand absorbs moisture and keeps vegetables fresher, longer. The root food storage bin pictured above is available from Gardner’s Supply and here is how to extend the life of root vegetables by using sand or sawdust.
25) Grow green onions indefinitely.
If you only use the green part of the scallion for garnishes and end throwing the white part out, why not grow green onions indefinitely in your home. If you cut the green part of the onion, it will grow back within a week and you’ll have endless supplies of scallions.
26) Let them eat cake and freeze the rest.
Keep your cake slices fresh by putting slices of bread over each end that was cut. Most cakes will stay fresh in the refrigerator for weeks and you can also store it in the freezer for months.
27) Keep your tomatoes out of the refrigerator.
Tomatoes like to be cool but not cold! Storing them in the fridge will stop them from ripening and also make their flesh dry and mealy. Here is everything you ever wanted to know about storing tomatoes but were afraid to ask.
28) Store asparagus like fresh cut roses.
Store asparagus by putting them in a jar full of water just as you would with flowers. You can also store other things like herbs and other produce that were cut away from their roots during harvesting. Here is how to store your asparagus for weeks.
There are so many great food storage tips and if we missed any, let us know in the comments! Please share these 28 food storage tips with your friends and family and help them reduce waste and save money.