Easy to Apply Hacks to Extend Your Groceries Shelf Life & Keep Food Fresh Longer

by James Galea

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Don’t you just hate it when you buy groceries, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, and in just a matter of days they are no longer fresh, rotten, or completely inedible? 

Like many of you, I too have faced this ‘annoying’ situation far too many times in the past. For most of us, once we arrive home from the grocery store or the farmers market, tend to automatically unpack the food we bought and store them straight in the refrigerator or pantry. However, if you want to keep your perishables fresh for a longer period of time, you may need to do the opposite.

Curious as to what I mean? Read on for some easy yet effective hacks that I’ve learned over the years to help you prolong the shelf life of various food items!

 

Fruits & Vegetables

 

a basket of fruits and veggies

 

Fruits and vegetables are one of those grocery items that never leave my list. Somehow if I don’t eat them quickly, they’ll rot away within a few days. Basically, I was always in a race against the ‘rotten’ clock...and for the most part; the clock would win. Thankfully, by applying these simple tips, you can keep your favorite fruits and veggies fresh for just a bit longer. 

In general, when storing fruits & vegetables, make sure that you place them in the bottom fridge drawer which is lined with sturdy paper towels. The paper towel absorbs the water in the veggies/fruits and will help keep them fresh for longer.

 

 

A great hack for storing bananas – To stop them going brown (as long as it is possible), wrap the stems of the bananas in saran wrap/ cling film when you unpack them. This should give you three to five more days of freshness. Also, try to put an apple in your potato bag. Yes, an apple. Why? You ask? Well, you’d be interested to know that apples produce ethylene gas which can help potatoes to maintain their freshness. For tomatoes, opt to keep them in a box or tray at a counter instead of inside the refrigerator. This will help them keep their texture and flavor longer. 

 

optimum food refrigeration time

Want to find out more tips? You can find more incredible hacks on the unbiased reviews infographic above. It will help you to figure out how long most types of food products can remain stored in the fridge. 

 

Bread 

 

fresh french bread

 

Keeping your bread, whether they’re white loaves or wheat and other grain type bread, in the fridge can do wonders. You may be surprised that some people even store them in the freezer!

So if you have a loaf of bread sitting around that no one is eating, put it in the fridge. The best part about it is when you are ready to eat the bread, all you have to do is pop it into a toaster oven and the bread is ready to eat. Even if it does start to get a bit “rubbery”, heat it in the oven for a few minutes and all the moisture will go away. This trick also can be done to extend the freshness approximately on the fifth day after opening.

Bread may also stay fresh for a longer period of time if you put it away from direct sunlight. Hence, it’s no wonder that you’ll find this written on the package: ‘store in a cool, dry and dark place’. It would be best to store bread in a bread box somewhere that doesn’t have direct sunlight. 

 

Meats

 

Keeping meat in separately in Ziploc bags can help save space as well as keep the meat fresher. In the morning, take out the Ziploc bag before going grocery shopping so when you are back the meat is ready to go, and you don’t have to get messy. Washing the meat is only possible before the start of production, as water stimulates the release of juices and facilitates the development of rotting microorganisms. After cleaning the meat, it is recommended that it be gently drained with a paper towel and kept at 0-2 degree Celsius (around 32 to 36 degree Fahrenheit).

 

Dairy Products

 

dairy products picnic

 

Keep dairy products such as milk and cheese fresh by putting them in the middle of your fridge and not the very top, bottom, or even the compartment by the doors. Excessive temperatures will ‘hurt’ living bacteria in the dairy products. Every time the fridge opens the temperature rises and drops. So, if you store milk in the door, your milk might be prone to spoil quicker.

The same goes for any other dairy products as well as eggs. Keeping them in the middle of the fridge and the original packaging can help keep the products from spoiling. Also, keep milk package closed and away from other food that has a very strong smell or fragrant because milk can easily pick up these odors. It is really important to keep milk and all other dairy products in their original container because it can help them to stay fresh for up to 10 days!

 

Dry Foods

 

Storing ‘dry’ food items such as pasta, noodles, cereal, granola, or even oatmeal properly can help make them last longer. They may also last longer in a container rather than a bag. Also, most of the time dry foods have a longer expiry date, so you do not have to worry about expiration within a few days of purchase. Just remember to not keep it where there is direct sunlight. Otherwise, it will allow mold to appear faster.

While storing flour or groats, it is worth a little to dry them up. It should be maintained in a fully enclosed oven at 40-50 degree Celsius (105-120 degree Fahrenheit) or thinly coated on a table in a warm room. Flour is best kept on paper, material bags, glassware or metal containers. Occasionally, it is necessary to exfoliate them so as not to create an unsavory taste and smell.

 

Now, over to you…

 

woman eating fresh foods

 

I hope that the tips I shared above will not only help you keep your food fresh longer but will also save you the effort needed to make multiple trips to the grocery store every week.

These tips have personally helped me save a lot of money and I hope they help you save too! Just follow these hacks, and in no time, you’ll be finding ways to help keep your food fresh for longer as well as help to reduce food waste. There is a lot of food wasted these days so any effort we can do to minimize it will help to be kinder to the environment. 

 


Interested in learning more kitchen hacks as well as cooking tips & tricks? Learn them from professional cooks and chefs at a fun and insightful culinary holiday!

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