How To Keep Your Food Fresher For Longer

There are few things that bother me more than a dirty fridge. It might be my very type-A personality, or maybe I’m just a little OCD, but when I open the fridge I want it to be so clean that it literally sparkles in there. Nothing quite gets in the way of a sparkling clean fridge like the looks and smells of food that has gone bad. Ew. Just get it out of there already. No sooner do I open my fridge to find something has gone bad, than I’m over to the trash can, tossing it out. And that’s just money down the drain.

We’ve all been there. 

Luckily, after years of inevitably throwing away spoiled produce, I have found some ways to prolong the life of my food, and in the end, lower my food bill. 

There are a few factors that affect that shelf life of your food. The first and most obvious one being time. Especially when it comes to produce, don’t buy it unless you know you will have a use for it. Meats and breads can easily be frozen if you don’t end up needing them, but vegetables usually will just end up being thrown in the trash. Make a meal plan each week and grocery shop accordingly. 

The next factor is temperature. Make sure you are storing your food at the proper temperature. Not all fruits and vegetables are best stored in the fridge. Consult this chart from “The Engineering Toolbox” for specifics: Produce Storage Conditions

Next, we have water. Once you wash your produce it is more likely to go bad quicker, so I don’t suggest washing it until you are going to eat it. If you want to prepare vegetables ahead of time for a lunch salad or for snacking, dry them off with a paper towel after washing to keep them fresh longer. 

And the last factor is air. The more surface area of a fruit or vegetable is exposed to air the quicker it will go bad. So, don’t cut up your fruits and vegetables until you know you are going to be eating them.

Here are some tried and true tips for keeping your food fresh longer: 
1. Put a paper towel in with your greens. The paper towel will soak up excess moisture, keeping your greens fresh for up to five days longer! This REALLY works and couldn’t be much easier. 

2. Store bread in a dark place. If you don’t have a bread box, you can keep it in the oven or microwave. 
3. Store your potatoes and onions far away from each other in the pantry. When stored too close to each other, they create gases that cause both to spoil much more quickly. 
4. When preparing vegetables and fruit ahead of time for packed lunches or general meal prep, dry thoroughly after washing. 
5. Always remove excess air from bags and tupperware containers. 
6. Buy organic milk. It lasts WAY longer and is much better for you anyways. 

7. Bananas actually last longer when you separate them from each other, so go ahead and take them apart. 

8. Once an avocado has ripened you can store it in the fridge for a few days to keep it fresh. 

What are your best tips and tricks for keeping food fresh?