Storing food in its optimum environment is a sure-fire way to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Before we dive into specific food storage tips, here are some general ways to minimise food waste at home.
Check that your fridge temperature is 2 - 5° C this will keep your food fresh without freezing it.
It may add a little time to your supermarket trip, but make sure you check the ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ date on food at the store. Buying food close to its date is a-okay if you plan to use it up right away.
Before you shop, check your fridge to take the guesswork out of what you need. Plan meals based on what you have, reducing your overall spend, as well as food waste!
Fruits and vegetables:
Apples give off ethylene gas that quickens the ripening of other foods, so store them separately to your fruit bowl, unless you want to quicken the ripening of those hard avocados.
Wash berries in water and a small splash of vinegar before storing them in the back of the fridge, to keep them fresh.
Store greens with their stems intact in a glass of water, covered with a damp paper towel in the fridge to keep them crisp for longer.
Also store celery, carrots, and radishes (chopped) in a container of water, you’ll be amazed how much longer they stay fresh.
To avoid slimy mushrooms, wrap in paper towels before refrigerating
Meat, fish, and eggs:
Meat and poultry are fine to be kept in their original packaging if you’ll eat them in the next few days. If not freeze them and simply defrost them ahead of using them. Just keep in mind, once the meat has been defrosted, it should not be frozen again.
Fresh fish should be kept in its original packaging on top of a bowl of ice in your fridge. Eat it as soon as possible! You can also freeze fish to keep it fresh for longer.
Store eggs in their original carton, in a cool, dark place. If you don’t know if your eggs are still fresh, place one in a bowl of water, if it floats it’s no longer fresh enough to eat.
As a general rule, store dry foods in airtight containers, rather than the packaging they came in (if you’ve gone for that option). This will help keep it fresher for longer.
Freezing flour for 48 hours will kill any insects hiding in the bag, then transfer it to a tightly sealed container and store in a cool, dark location - this will save bringing pantry moths into your kitchen.
Prevent salt clumping up and prevent absorption of water in the shaker by adding a pinch of dry rice to it.
Buy coffee beans whole and store them in an airtight container until ready to grind and use, no one wants stale coffee.
Ever experienced hardened brown sugar? Store it in the freezer to prevent this!
Honey doesn’t spoil, so if it crystallizes, just microwave it in 30-second increments until it thins out again.
Keep milk in the main part of your fridge rather than the door as the shelves in the door are typically warmer than the rest of the fridge.
Keep cut cheese fresh for longer by rubbing a little butter on the cut part.
Reduce mold or bacteria growing on the surface of cottage cheese and sour cream by storing it upside-down in the fridge.