It’s no secret that frugal consumers are always looking for ways to save money and reduce waste, and many of these revolve around smart storage techniques. Budget-conscious shoppers can save money by purchasing large quantities of food in bulk, especially, if they store it correctly.
Another way to stretch your food budget and make fewer trips to the grocery store is to keep fresh produce in good condition for as long as possible. Food that is stored properly, such as in the refrigerator and freezer, or even the cupboard, will keep its freshness for a longer period of time.
But how do you know where to put it?
You can’t get any more demoralizing than watching your food go to waste. It’s time to put those days behind you. Here are some tips for extending the shelf life of your food (with and without a fridge).
1. Refrigerate Food Items As Soon As Possible
Refrigerating perishable foods as soon as possible is an easy way to keep them fresher longer. The growth of bacteria in food is slowed when it is stored at the proper temperature, reducing the likelihood of food poisoning.
Perishable foods should be refrigerated or frozen within two hours of purchase if the outside temperature is 90 degrees or higher. This rule is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
2. Put Your Reusable Containers to Use
When food is not stored in its original packaging, such as a quality capping for which the credit goes to a reputable capping machine manufacturer, it retains its freshness longer. Food-grade plastic (for example the one used in making PTFE food grade seals) or glass containers such as glass soda bottles bulk (style and price vary) can be used to store all kinds of bulk food, from grains and flours to dried meals and legumes as well as spices.
3. Look At The Best-Before Dates
It’s a common misconception in the food industry that food that has passed its best-before date cannot be consumed. Even in other industries such as cosmetics and perfumes, when the perfume packaging box says the expiry date, the consumer believes it blindly.
Is this the truth?
It’s only a suggestion, after all. It’s just a matter of how long the product will be in prime condition, and in many cases, it will still taste fine after that. A general rule of thumb is that the food will be safe to eat for a few more days than stated on the label, even if it doesn’t look or smell right.
To be clear, it is perfectly safe to consume food that has passed its best-before date. The initial inspection should only focus on whether or not it is pleasing to the eye and smell.
4. When Storing Your Food, Don’t Wash It
In the United States, nearly half of all produce is thrown away. Waiting to wash your produce until you’re ready to eat it is a simple way to extend the shelf life of your fruits and vegetables.
5. Food Waste Can Be Used To Make Stock By Freezing It
Save the ends of vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery, as well as mushrooms, stray garlic cloves, and herb stems, instead of throwing them away. When the bag is full, use the ingredients that would have otherwise gone to waste to make a flavorful broth or stock.
6. Paper-Wrap The Cheese
A common belief is that the best way to keep cheese fresh (and keep it from stinking up the entire fridge, kitchen, or entire flat) is to wrap it up properly. Even if you think bundling it up is a good idea, paying attention to the material it’s wrapped in could make all the difference in the world. To wrap cheese, what should you do?
Porous paper, in a nutshell. This is more baking paper than cling film, so it still has some breathing room.
7. Make Sure You Don’t Put Milk In The Fridge Door
Avoid storing your milk in the door of the refrigerator, where the temperature is the warmest and most volatile. Instead, keep milk in the back and bottom of your fridge, where temperatures are typically the coldest, to avoid spoilage.
8. Use Cubes To Freeze Homemade Stock
Small batches of homemade stock and broth can save a lot of time in the kitchen. One large container makes it difficult to add a few tablespoons or cups of an ingredient to a recipe. Keep your stock in plastic storage bags so that you can use it whenever you need it, no matter how much or little the recipe calls for.
9. Herbs Should Be Treated In The Same Way As Flowers
It’s difficult to keep herbs fresh for a long time. How many of us can honestly say we’ve managed to use up an entire bunch of fresh herbs before they go sad and slimy?
Even though everyone’s methods differ, some swear by wrapping herbs in newspaper and storing them in a cool, dark place in the refrigerator. This keeps them dry and prevents them from going too cold. Put them in a glass of water and cover them with a plastic bag for another option.
10. Before Storing, Inspect The Berries
Prior to refrigerating any berries you eat such as strawberries and blueberries, inspect them for any spoiled or crushed fruit. After that, store the fruit in containers or plastic bags without washing it first, and only wash it gently before eating it.
A large amount of food is thrown away on a daily basis as many people find it difficult to put food on the table. In fact, 30-40% of the food we produce is lost to wastage. So, why not begin implementing the aforementioned suggestions right away and eat healthily?