10 Ways to Make Your Groceries Last Longer

Easy ways to extend the life of your family’s food.

By: Amanda Mushro

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Store Smarter

As we limit our trips to the grocery store, there are a few tricks you can use in the kitchen that will make your fresh food taste better for longer. These tips are super easy and only take a few minutes of prep, so, before you have to toss out spoiled food, try the following.

Wrap Lettuce in Aluminum Foil

Sure, it’s easy to toss lettuce in the fridge when it’s wrapped in the plastic packaging from the grocery store, but if you take the extra step of swapping out the plastic for aluminum foil, your leafy greens will stay fresher for longer. Fans of this process say their lettuce stays fresh for an entire month! Just be sure to wrap the entire head of lettuce in foil. You can unwrap the lettuce to grab what you need and then wrap it back up for later.

Freeze Your Bread

If you find that your bread is stale or worse, stop using the bread drawer and store your bread in the freezer instead. Bread, bagels and rolls can stay in the freezer for up to six months if properly wrapped. While you will need to thaw the bread before eating, just a few minutes in the toaster will do the trick.

Freeze Fresh Herbs

If you love cooking with fresh herbs but hate to see them go to waste, break out the ice cube trays. By freezing fresh herbs in either water or olive oil, you can extend their life for several months. Just chop the herbs and place them into an ice cube tray, about ¾ in each cube. Top the herbs with boiling water to blanch and then place in the freezer. This process works well for herbs like mint, basil and dill. However, tougher herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano freeze better with olive oil rather than water. Once the herbs are frozen, put the cubes in a freezer bags and label them. You can get creative and mix your favorite herbs together before freezing.

Store Mushrooms in a Paper Bag

Moisture causes mushrooms to spoil quickly and when your shrooms stay wrapped in the plastic packaging from the store, their shelf life is shortened. So, ditch the plastic and grab a paper bag instead.

Store Onions in Pantyhose

Sounds crazy, right? But this method can make your onions last for up to six months. The pantyhose give your onions room to breathe, as opposed to being stacked on each other in a bag. Here’s how to make the pantyhose trick work in your house.

Toss a Piece of Bread into Your Cookies

When it comes to cookies, you have two options---eat them all really quickly or get creative with how you store them. Putting a piece of bread in with your cookies will keep them chewy and delicious for longer because the cookies will absorb the moisture from the bread. Be sure to use white bread because it won’t affect the taste of your goodies.

Store Milk in the Back of the Fridge

Even if your containers fit perfectly in the door, milk will last longer when placed in the back of your fridge because it’s much colder, which keeps dairy fresh.

Longer-Lasing Berries

To ensure your berries stay fresh and delicious, mix one-part white vinegar with ten parts water. Drop the berries into the mixture, give them a good rinse and then place in the fridge. Your berries will last for up to two weeks and, don’t worry, you won’t taste the vinegar.

Know Who Plays Well With Each Other

Store your potatoes away from your onions because they will spoil faster. However, storing a few apples with your potatoes will keep them from sprouting.

Tomato 101

Tomatoes are pretty picky about how they like to be stored. Keep them at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and with the stem side down. Also, skip the plastic storage because it makes them spoil faster.

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