Why spend your hard earned cash on groceries only to end up throwing a large quantity of it away. Not only is this a waste of food, it is a ridiculous waste of money. If you know of ways that you can make your groceries last longer you will not only waste less food but you will also save money. Here are some top tips on how to make your groceries last longer.
Plan cooking carefully
Being organized about what meals you make when can make a huge difference to whether your groceries last. It makes sense to use fresh produce first rather than using dried, frozen or tinned food first and leaving fresh produce until later in the week when it will be past its best. Think carefully about what you have and how this can best be used.
Know the shelf life of your groceries
While many products have a sell by date or best before date printed on the packaging, many fresh products will not have a date. Therefore, it is important to know how long each of these products can be expected to last. You can then use them and store them accordingly to ensure that they last as long as possible and are used rather than wasted.
Keep an eye on your food
Check your food regularly. Mould grows quickly and spreads. If you notice a tomato going mouldy or an apple turning rotten, it is vital that you get rids of these as quickly as possible. If you don’t do this, the mould and rot will spread to the good products. Also, it is easy to forget that you have something at the back of the fridge that only has a short shelf life. If you check on your groceries regularly you will be reminded of what needs using.
Don’t pre-prepare or bag foods unnecessarily
Once you chop fruit and vegetables you make changes to the cells and they will not last long. They will turn brown, become slimy and begin to smell. Therefore, it is important that you do not chop up and bag fruit and vegetables until you are ready to use them.
Buy an ethylene gas guardian
This is a handy kitchen product that can really help you to preserve food and make it last. Some fruits and vegetables will rot more quickly when exposed to ethylene gas. The ethylene gas guardian will help to prevent this and make your groceries last longer.
Think about storage
Thinking about how you store the food and choosing the most appropriate option will definitely help you to make the groceries last longer. Many fresh products need to be refrigerated. If there are items that you don’t think that you will use before their use-by-date, consider freezing them. If you have bought a large quantity of a particular item, it is worth splitting the product and storing separately. For example, if you bought a large value pack of bacon, separate into four. Keep one lot in the fridge and put the other three lots in freezer bags in the freezer. This means that the bacon won’t go off and you won’t have to defrost more bacon than you need. You can simply defrost one pack at a time. This will avoid waste and save money.
Refrigerate or freeze bread
If you are unlikely to use your loaf of bread within a few days. It is worth putting half the loaf in the refrigerator and the other half in the freezer. It is easy to break off individual slices of frozen bread and this will naturally defrost in only a few minutes. This avoids wasting the bread, keeps it fresh and you can easily access it without having to defrost a whole loaf.