16 Ways to Make Your Groceries Last Longer

Be a budget queen with these grocery tips.

Do you want to get the most out of your grocery dollars? Of course! But when you’re busy it can be hard to figure out exactly what you can do to make foods last for as long as possible. Check out these 16 ways to make groceries last longer.

Every person and every family has a budget, even if it’s not a formal one. Tossing out moldy, slimy food is like tossing money into the trash—or the garbage disposal. When you make groceries last longer, you might find extra money to pay bills or perhaps even treat yourself to a little extra something, like a new book or a manicure. Learn more in 10 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget.

Another reason to start using these grocery tips is because they will save you time and hassle. Don’t you hate sanitizing a moldy storage container? What about scraping sludge off the bottom of the crisper? Sometimes those messes are more frequent than we’d like to admit. Instead of dealing with the mess, prevent it from happening in the first place.

From freezing to canning to prep, these tips will help make groceries last longer.

Freezing

Think freezing is just for old-school types? Not so fast. Freezing food is a smart strategy that will help you save money, and, in some cases, it will make recipe prep easier too.

1. Ginger: Store fresh ginger in the freezer, and then remove and grate as needed.

2. Green Onions: Wash and completely dry fresh green onions. Chop, and then store in the freezer in a plastic bottle so you can sprinkle them when needed.

3. Herbs: Place fresh herbs, like rosemary, oregano, or thyme, in an ice cube tray, and fill each cube with olive oil. Freeze and then pop out each cube as you need it. Learn more in How to Freeze Fresh Herbs.

4. Nuts: Store nuts in the freezer to keep them fresher longer.

That’s not all your freezer can do! Put it to work with these 30 Recipes That Freeze Fabulously, 6 Tips to Turn Any Recipe into a Freezer Recipe, and How to Make and Freeze Marinara Sauce.

Canning

Canning is another seemingly old-school food preservation technique, but there’s no reason you can’t make it work for you today. Find canning instructions online or–maybe more fun–ask an experienced family member or friend to teach you. Consider canning these foods:

5. Fruit and fruit products, like fruit cocktails, jams, or jellies

6. Relishes

7. Tomatoes and tomato products, like sauces and salsas

8. Vegetables, like cabbage, corn, peas, and potatoes

Check out video tips for canning (and freezing) tomatoes.

Food Prep & Storage

One of the easiest ways to make groceries last longer is by prepping and storing produce properly. Don’t forget to get organized too! Check out Organize Your Kitchen for Weight Loss and How to Organize a Spice Rack, and then get a gander at these prep and storage tips:

9. Asparagus: Keep spears crisp by cutting the stems, placing the asparagus in water, and covering with a plastic bag, just as you would with cut flowers.

10. Bananas: Wrap the crown of the bunch in plastic wrap to prevent it from emitting a gas that speeds up ripening.

11. Berries: Rinse berries in one part vinegar to ten parts water. Drain, rinse, dry, and place in the fridge in a clean container. This method can extend the life of berries by days and, sometimes, a week or more.

12. Bread: Store bread in the fridge, and keep it even longer by storing it in the freezer.

13. Lettuce and Leafy Greens: Place greens in a clean container or plastic bag. Before placing in the fridge, slip a paper towel in the container to absorb the moisture that causes wilting and slime. Replace the paper towel as needed.

14. Mushrooms: Store mushrooms in a paper bag instead of plastic containers or bags; the plastic traps moisture and makes it easier for them to get mildewed.

15. Stone Fruit: Don’t store in plastic bags because it can cause over-ripening and mold. Instead store them at room temperature until ripe.

16. Tomatoes: Place unripe tomatoes stem side down to prevent them from emitting the gasses that hasten ripening. Turn them right side up when you’re ready for them to ripen.

Find more awesome kitchen and home tips in 45 Uses for Baking Soda and Want to Lose Weight? Rethink Your Kitchen.

Do you have tips to make groceries last longer? Feel free to share in the comment section below.

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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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