Food Money Saving Tips

30 Brilliant Tricks to Make Your Food Last Longer

30 Brilliant Tricks to Make Your Food Last Longer

Food waste eats into your budget. You still need to eat, so you replace the canned foods with fresh items, and each time you have to throw something away because it wasn’t as fresh as you’d like it to be, you feel a little wrench: “What a waste,” you think as the item hits the bottom of the bin. We found some great ways to keep your foods fresher for longer. Check out these cool tips and save.

#1 Half an Avocado Left Over?

Sure, it often happens. But you know that your stored avo is going to turn black really fast. Can you prevent it from happening? Check out these tips:

  • Leave the pip in. It slows oxidization.
  • Brush the exposed flesh with lemon juice or olive oil.
  • Store it in a container with a cut onion.

#2 Keep Your Mayo Fresh for Longer

Some things go off when stored in fridge door compartments, but others last longer. Mayo is one of these. It doesn’t like a very cold environment, so keeping it in the fridge door works great.

#3 Don’t Let Your Milk Go Off

Milk

While mayo may be happier in the fridge door, milk isn’t. Keep it towards the back of the fridge where temperatures are colder. You can also help it to last longer by using a glass bottle instead of leaving it in the carton.

#4 Don’t Store Damp or Wet

Either avoid washing produce until just before you eat it, or drain it out on a kitchen towel before putting it in the fridge. Too much moisture will make it go off faster.

#5 Vinegar and Water Rinse

Produce that tends to get moldy fast will last longer if you can kill any bacteria and fungi on the outside. Vinegar and water washes do the job. Just make sure the food is dry before putting it in the fridge. Tip: berries are prime candidates.

#6 Keep Flour in the Fridge

Yes, white flour lasts quite long in the cupboard, but if you’re health-conscious and prefer whole grain flour, it will go off quickly if you just leave it at room temperature. Put it in a sealable container, and keep it in the fridge.

#7 Aluminum Foil Wrap for Salad Greens

If you find that your salad greens tend to go limp in storage, try wrapping them foil before putting them in the fridge.

#8 Maple Syrup Goes in the Freezer

When you put maple syrup in the freezer, it remains runny thanks to its sugars, and it will last longer.

#9 Ripening Fruits Will Make Veggies Go Off Faster

Ripening fruits give off a gas that makes everything around them develop and ripen more quickly. Keep your veggies away from ripening fruit to make them last longer.

#10 Keep Asparagus and Celery Upright in Water

Asparagus

Either of these foods can dehydrate quickly, leaving them limp. Store the crunch by putting them upright in a water container, just as you’d keep cut flowers fresh.

#11 An Apple Slows Potato Sprouting

Putting an apple in a bag of potatoes will stop them from sprouting for longer. Try it!

#12 Chop the Leaves Off

Carrots and beets last longer when their leaves are cut off. That’s because water loss through the leaves causes roots to shrivel faster.

#13 Red Spices? The Fridge Is the Right Spot

Keep your red spices fresh and flavorful by storing them cold instead of just leaving them on the spice rack.

#14 Fresh Bread: Better in Cloth and Paper

Lovely fresh bread from a bakery doesn’t stay fresh for long – unless you wrap it in a cloth and pop it into a paper bag. You still have to eat it quite soon, but it will keep its fresh texture for longer.

#15 Never Throw Honey Away

Honey doesn’t go off. It can stay fresh for hundreds of years, but it may crystallize. To make it runny again, put the jar in a saucepan of hot water. Unlike most other foods, it is best stored at room temperature.

#16 Upside Down Tomatoes

Tomatoes

We haven’t put this one to the test ourselves, but reliable sources say that storing tomatoes in the fridge with the stem side down gives you the longest shelf-life.

#17 Bananas: Just a Scrap of Cling Wrap

A tiny piece of cling wrap around the ends of bananas stops them from turning mushy as fast.

#18 Lemons Can Last Longer

This is for real: put your lemons in a zip lock bag and keep them in the fridge. They’ll last way longer than they would if you just kept them on the counter.

#19 Line Salad Greens Containers with Paper Towels

Excess moisture in storage containers makes greens brown off quickly. Paper towels absorb the moisture, the sealed container prevents moisture loss and the cool temperatures in the fridge do the rest.

#20 Store Nut Butter Upside Down

Leave it right way up, and all the natural oils drain to the bottom, so try storing your nut butter products upside down – and keep them refrigerated to prevent them from going rancid.

#21 Give Onions and Garlic Some Air

If you buy garlic or onions in plastic bags, take them out as soon as you get home. They’ll last longer in a properly ventilated environment.

#22 Keep Soy Sauce in the Fridge

Soy sauce might not turn rotten, but it does lose its flavor. Keep it in the fridge to preserve that taste.

#23 Mushrooms Belong in Paper, Not Plastic

Mushrooms

If you leave mushrooms in the typical styrene and plastic packaging, they turn slimy quite fast. But if you store them in paper bags instead, they last much longer.

#24 Make Fresh Herbs Last Longer

If you’ve just splurged on a pack of mixed fresh herbs, chances are you won’t use it all, unless you try this trick. Use an ordinary ice cube tray, and place a herb or herb combo in each compartment. Squidge on some butter or cover with olive oil. Now pop it in the freezer until it’s time to cook. Alternatively, put them in water like flowers to prevent wilting.

#25 Keep the End of Your Cheese Fresh

When opening a new pack of cheese, carefully snip off the end of the pack so that you can slide it back on as a “lid” that stops cheese from drying out in the fridge.

Another trick is to spread a little butter onto the cut end of the cheese. Yum!

#26 Revive Wilted Greens

A soak in cold water is enough to restore the crunchiness to wilted greens. Before binning them, try waking them up!

#27 Cucumber Doesn’t Belong in the Fridge

Strange, but true. Cucumber lasts longer at room temperature.

#28 Ginger Goes in the Freezer

Although ginger lasts quite long on the counter, it begins to wilt and shrivel. Try putting it straight in the freezer to get long-lasting freshness and flavor.

#29 So Do Roasted Nuts

Nuts go rancid really fast. But if you keep them in the freezer, they can last for months. Just take them out a while before eating to allow them to return to room temperature.

#30 Keep Your Fridge Clean

Wiping out the inside of your fridge regularly will clean away the bacteria and fungi that make food rot faster.

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30 Brilliant Tricks to Make Your Food Last Longer

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.

2 Comments

  • Great tips. Did not know that about cucumber-interesting! Or the red spices! I don’t like to freeze my fresh herbs. It kind of defeats the purpose of buying fresh, IMO. You can cut the tips of the stems of many (think parsley and cilantro) and store them upright in a glass with a bit of water in the bottom. They’ll stay fresh in the fridge for a couple of weeks this way. I do this, and actually plan meals around using them up.

    Also, I love your tip about not washing veggies until you use them. There are so many sources today telling us to prep veg for an entire week, make salads for work, etc. I’ve never been able to do this because of the freshness issue. I’ve compromised by prepping meat and grains ahead of time, but I always wait to prep veggies till I’m using them.

    Again, thanks for the tips! 🙂

  • These are great tips.
    I also do my best to avoid food waste, I think it’s a shame to spend money on food just to throw it away after a few days!

    To keep things fresh in the kitchen, I try to grocery shop once a week and buy only the fresh veggies & fruit I know for sure we’ll eat within the next few days. It doesn’t always work, but ever since I started planning meals ahead, I managed to significantly reduce food and money waste.
    Adriana recently posted…Simple but effective investing tips and strategies

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