How a Doc saves $$: Proper Food Storage

We toss way less food and have fresher tasting meals since DH researched how to store food. Here’s the cliff notes version of all the tricks we use to cut down on food spoilage:

-Apples are inspected before they go into the bin. Any that look questionable go on a shelf at eye level when we first open the fridge door, so those get eaten first. People have great success using blue apples.

-Berries are gone over when we bring them home (I’ll admit: this doesn’t always happen). We pull out ones that look like they’re gonna turn bad and eat at the next meal. Some people swear berries last 2 – 3 weeks in these foodsaver containers.

-Paper towels go into produce drawers, with berries and the lettuce container. Or you can use these nifty towels.

-Don’t stack berries on top of each other. They release gas as they’re decomposing, so the gas goes upwards and makes the berries above turn faster.

-Onions should be stored at room temp. DH bought a supposedly cockroach proof container off amazon. I laughed when I saw it and put camper screen patch over the holes. NOW it’s cockroach proof. (Gotta love living down south. Gross!)

-Inspect onions as you put them into your now-cockroach proof container. Any ones that look questionable get put on a shelf in the fridge and used before any of the ones at room temp.

 

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Save your $$$ so you can bike through Tuscany instead.                                                                                                  (just try not to face plant the first day, like I did! #DarnCliplessPedals)

-Scallions and asparagus go into water in a glass jar in the side door of the fridge. This helps the asparagus last about twice as long IMO. The scallion water is supposed to be changed once in awhile. We’re going on almost two months now of the same scallions—they are growing so tall they kind of reach out and grab us when we open the fridge door. (we put a clear plastic bag loosely over each of these. Clear so I see what’s inside and it cues me to use them.)

-Celery is taken out of the plastic wrapping and wrapped up in aluminum foil with the ends loosely open. Our celery last almost three weeks this way (I reuse the aluminum foil with the next batch of celery.)

-Sour cream gets stored upside down. This traps stuff, so bacteria don’t get in and make it all nasty. Our sour cream lasts almost three weeks now. Beware once sour cream is open, you’ll need to gingerly take out of fridge—there’ll be liquid around the edges that will spill if you tip it.

-Mushrooms get taken out of their plastic and stored in paper bags (THIS is amazing! The mushrooms taste super fresh doing it this way.)

-Milk and creamer is stored on its side on a shelf (don’t be putting milk in the door of the fridge.) I only buy organic milk as it lasts super long since we don’t drink milk—we only use it to make pancakes. (I’m not a big fan of milk, even before I married a man anaphalactically allergic to it. Go fig.)

-Bananas: ours last almost a week now! We separate them and individually wrap the stalk end in saran wrap (we tie a little twist tie around it to secure it. Or buy reusable beeswax wrap).

-Tomatoes: STOP putting them in the fridge y’all! As a total foodie, this drives me batty. There is a chemical in tomatoes that changes as.soon.as.you put them in the fridge. It’s why refrigerated tomatoes always taste bad compared to the ones that have been left at room temp. Pure grossness.

-Bugs in your rice/flour/sugar? My mom’s advice is to freeze all flour and rice to kill anything as soon as you bring it home. I don’t do this, but I should (let’s just keep this our little secret, otherwise vegan DH might flip if he knows he’s getting bug protein in the rice he eats.) Bugs aren’t that bad—I’ve eaten ant salsa on more than one occasion volunteering in Mexico. And it doesn’t taste like chicken (spicy peanut butter instead—yum!).

-We live in the South: I seal everything up. And I mean everything. I’m a clip-or-put-it-in-a-container kitchen freak!

-As far as the drawers of the fridge go, I have a Samsung fridge that has a plastic slider you can set to “vegetable” or “produce.”

-Most important thing: be aware of what’s going to spoil and what you buy. Don’t go buying the same thing on automatic pilot when you shop. We’ve all done this. I am guilty of it. Which is why I have two bags of brussel sprouts sitting in the fridge. (No seems to like them as much as I do 😉 )

 

What are your tips and tricks to toss less food? Please share below in the comments section. Thanks!

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    4 Responses

    1. Teresa says:

      I didn’t know about the paper bags and mushrooms! Do you close up the paper bag? I’ve gotten better at buying only what we will eat in the next few days so I don’t waste any produce. I also always put a clean paper. Towel in my herbs, spinach or other greens that I buy. It soaks up moisture and keeps the lettuce etc fresh for a couple weeks.

    2. Char says:

      We also store fresh herbs as you mentioned you do with asparagus – in water with a plastic bag over the top.They last weeks that way. Any carrots or celery we think won’t get eaten before they go bad get chopped up and frozen – great for making soups. Regarding the mushrooms, don’t they provide paper bags near mushrooms wherever you buy them?

      • bckrygowski says:

        Interesting – no, here in the states they are sealed in plastic, which is the worst thing for them! We take off the plastic when we get them home and stick them (still in the container) in our own paper lunch bags. Maybe we should take them out of the container too? How do you buy them in Australia? Just in a paper bag?

        • Char says:

          I guess it depends on where I’m buying them. Markets and grocery stores will have have them loose in a bin like other fruit and veg. There will be paper bags nearby for the mushrooms instead of the plastic they have for other stuff. Aldi and Costco have them in a plastic container sealed with a plastic wrap. We don’t really have any paper bags at home so if we open the pack and don’t use them all I just leave them uncovered in the plastic container in the fridge. They seem to do ok that way. I just keep an eye on them and make sure I use them up before they go bad.

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