There’s nothing more frustrating than reaching for your veggies only to realize they’re already moldy. Expired food is a waste of your hard-earned money, not to mention one of the leading causes of food waste. This can even discourage you from buying in bulk to cut on food expenses.
So how can you save some bucks and avoid wasting food? These five food hacks will help you make the best of your groceries.
1. Cook or Freeze Food
This majorly applies to meat and vegetables. If the food in your house is about to go off, there’s no need to waste it. Instead, cook it into something that you can store for longer.
For instance, if your mincemeat is on its way out, you can make it into spag bol. That way, it can stay in the fridge for up to one week because the mince will be cooked.
The same applies to vegetables. They make great soup, which you can store in stainless steel food containers and put in the fridge for another week. Companies such as DALCINI™ Stainless make sustainable kitchenware that you can use for food storage.
If you don’t feel like cooking, you can chuck the meat or vegetables in the freezer. Just ensure that the food hasn’t already gone bad.
2. Store Greens with Paper Towels
If not stored correctly, greens can quickly go from fresh to wilted and slimy. So, the next time you get home from buying fresh and crispy lettuce, transfer them to a plastic bag or a plastic storage container.
Don’t forget to add paper towels before sealing the lid or zipping up the bag. The few sheets of paper towel will effectively absorb excess moisture, preventing your lettuce from going bad before you can turn it into satisfying salads.
3. Wrap Cheese in Paper
No one likes it when their cheese starts stinking the fridge, kitchen, and even their entire house out. The perfect way to keep your cheese fresh and protect yourself from experiencing such an awful ordeal is by wrapping it up.
However, it would help if you were keen on what you’re wrapping the cheese in. The best thing to use is porous paper like baking paper, cheese paper, or parchment paper.
Don’t use cling film because it doesn’t leave room for your cheese to breathe. You can also sprinkle some vinegar on the kitchen towel and put your cheese in it. This kills off bacteria that may form on the surface, thus keeping the cheese fresh for longer.
4. Treat Herbs like Flowers
Unlike other groceries, keeping herbs from turning sad and slimy is quite challenging. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are so many methods that can keep your whole bunch of herbs fresh for longer.
For starters, it helps to treat your herbs like a bunch of flowers. This means popping them in a glass or container of water and then placing a plastic bag at the top. Remember to use an elastic band to hold the plastic bag to the container, which creates a greenhouse environment for your herbs.
Another viable option is to wrap your herbs in a newspaper before putting them in the fridge. Besides keeping them dry, this method prevents your herbs from getting too chilled.
Drying the herbs out can also help. Tie them together at the stem before hanging them in a dry spot near the window. This method works best for oily herbs such as rosemary since they don’t do well in the fridge.
5. Don’t Put Tomatoes in the Fridge
No matter how tempted you’re, never store tomatoes in the fridge. You’ll only be doing them massive damage. Much like avocados, keeping your tomatoes in the refrigerator inhibits them from ripening. That’s why it’s wise to keep them at room temperature.
But if they’re already bright red, popping them in the fridge will starve off the rotting process. If the tomatoes are still on the vine, it’s best to store them stem-down to prevent them from going bad quickly.
As you can see, making your food last longer isn’t such a daunting process. With the help of this quick guide, you’ll reduce your household’s food waste and spend less on food expenses.