Are you one of those people that feels so guilty every time you throw away food? Everyone should feel bad because of world hunger and the outrageous prices we pay. Having to discard is caused by many reasons; forgetting about it, overbuying, storing improperly, and expiration dates. Shockingly, the average person wastes more than 200 pounds of food a year. Fortunately, there is something you can do to make your food last longer.
Use these five tips to extend the shelf-life of your groceries.
1. Always remove your foods from plastic bags.
Those plastic bags used for packaging most types of fruit and vegetables should be pitched when you get home. Plastic bags trap the humidity and can cause your produce to rot much quicker.
2. Freeze leftovers instead of placing them in the fridge.
You can do this with everything from fruit to leftovers from the casserole you made the other night. Most things freeze well and can be thawed or warmed up so you can enjoy them months down the road. Just make sure to label and date and make sure your freezer bags are tightly sealed!
3. Put dry goods in glass containers for storage.
Dry goods include everything from boxes of pasta and cereal to containers of nuts and granola. You can use containers or jars in any shape or size— take your pick and start sorting today. This is a gourmet kitchen idea that will keep your foods safe from humidity and bugs. Yuk! Always seal lids tightly.
4. Use a label-maker to date when the food was opened and when it expires.
This tip is a great one for anybody who has thrown something out because they’re not sure if it’s gone bad, and they’d rather be safe than sorry. We throw away foods unnecessarily from not taking time to date them.
5. Keep foods that expire first at the front of the fridge.
Move the items that are closer to expiring to the front. If it’s the first thing you see when you open the door and will avoid you forgetting about it by not seeing it in the fridge. Also, don’t over-pack your fridge. Many times foods will fall in-between the shelves and will have expired before you discover them.
Final thoughts: Don’t overbuy just because it is on sale. Wasting the money may prevent you from purchasing something you need later on in the week. Always check expiration dates before you purchase foods. Think about when you will eat them and by all means, do so. Freeze fresh vegetables for their peak nutrition! These are great year-round when they aren’t available during some of the seasons.
Herbert-Winter, Lana. (N.D.) 6 Ways to Prolong the Shelf Life of Food and Save Your Money.
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