Sixteen hundred dollars. That’s the cost of discarded produce that the average American family of four throws away every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Pretty breathtaking, especially if you consider the fact that discarded food could’ve been eaten if it were stored properly in the first place. Because storage is key when it comes to reducing food waste.
If you store food right, it can last days, weeks, or sometimes months longer than you’d expect. And it’s also easy on the environment, contributes to a more sustainable society, and saves you money since you won’t throw away food unnecessarily.
Here are 11 clever tips to keep your food fresh for ages. Check out the list below and then share it with your friends so they can also make their groceries last longer!
If you have lots of eggs at home, storing some of them in the freezer is a good way to use them all before they go bad. Just put some in an ice cube tray, add some salt and sugar (for consistency), and put them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them!
Is your milk about to pass its best-before date? Throw it in the freezer, where it can be stored for up to three months. Just make sure to leave some extra space in the container because the milk will expand. And keep in mind that when you’re ready to use it, it needs to thaw slowly (preferably in the refrigerator).
This might sound crazy, but by storing onions in panytyhose(!), they can last up to six months longer. Put an onion in a stocking, tie the stocking in a knot, and then put another onion in the same stocking and repeat. Your onions will be able to breathe and won’t be pressed up against each other, so they’ll last much longer.
4. Tomato sauce
If you like to eat pasta, but don’t like making tomato sauce all the time, you can make one giant batch of sauce and put it in the freezer for future use. Pour you tomato sauce into a freezer bag, and put it in the freezer. When the sauce is just starting to freeze, use the dull side of a knife to divide the sauce into portions. Then when you want to have pasta, just break off a piece of sauce and you’re good to go!
5. Ground beef
Just like with tomato sauce, you can store ground meat in freezer bags, divide it up the portions, and store it in the freezer. When you want to make burgers, just decide how many you want and break of that many pieces of frozen meat.
We’ve all been there. You buy fresh bananas and moments later, you discover that they’re sadly starting to brown. But don’t worry. The solution is simple: just wrap the stems in plastic wrap and the bananas will last longer!
Fresh herbs are great for livening up recipies. And if you don’t plan on using all of your herbs right away, you can just freeze them! Take your parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme—or whatever you have—and chop them and put them in ice cube trays. Fill the trays with olive oil, freeze them, and when the time is right, you’ve got fresh herbs—even if it’s several years later!
8. Celery and broccoli
Nothing tastes worse than vegetables that should be crispy like celery and broccoli when they are limp and lifeless. But with this trick, you can keep them perfect for up to a month. All you have to do is wrap your celery or broccoli in aluminum foil and throw it in the fridge!
Salad is another thing that tastes better fresh and crispy. But this trick doesn’t call for aluminum foil. Lay out paper towels on a table, spread your salad on top, then roll your it up into a loose bundle. The moisture in the veggies will be absorbed by the paper towel and keep your salad fresh longer!
I don’t know about you, but whenever I host a party, I always worry about how much cake to bake. But if your cake isn’t completely gobbled up, don’t worry. With this simple trick, you can have your cake and eat it—whenever you want. Just push two slices of white bread against the cut edges on the cake, and they’ll pull moisture from the surrounding air while preventing the cake from drying out.
Fresh berries are a highlight of the summer—and this trick will make them last longer. Place your berries in a bowl and then fill the bowl with nine parts water to one part white wine vinegar. Wait 15 minutes, then let the berries drain thoroughly before placing them in the refrigerator. This will remove microorganisms and mold spores that might have been attached to the berries. Now your berries should last twice as long!
If only everyone knew these tricks, we’d all waste a lot less food and save a ton of money by buying less food in the first place.
Don’t forget to share these smart tips so your friends can also try them!