Eating fresh food is the healthy way to go, but when you’re juggling school and/or a part time job, it can be really difficult to cook every night and use up all of your produce! Of course, watching this produce rot in your fridge can be a lot like watching your wallet catch on fire. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to get the most out of your groceries.
Plan Before Getting Your Groceries
It may seem impossible to find the time to go grocery shopping – let alone plan ahead of time. But it’s the most important way to ensure that fresh food doesn’t just sit untouched for weeks. Plan your meals up to 1-2 weeks ahead. This will give you a set shopping list, allowing you to hit the grocery store and getting everything you need in one fell swoop. Create meals with overlapping ingredients, allowing you to use your fresh and perishable foods quickly.
Organize Your Fridge
Having a messy ridge is not only unsightly, but also can be causing your food to go bad much faster than it should be! First off, having too many things in the fridge can clutter the vents, keeping cold air from circulating through the interior and keeping your food sufficiently cold. Secondly, storing food in the right areas of the fridge allows them to stay at optimal temperatures and moisture levels, keep them fresher for a longer period of time.
One of the first things to know about fridge organization is to keep any easily perishable items – like dairy products – off your refrigerator door. This area is prone to temperature changes whenever you open the door. Milk is best kept on the top or middle shelf of the fridge, while cheese stays at its best in the deli drawer.
It’s also important to make sure that your humid and crisp drawers are set adjusted to serve their intended purpose.
Store Food in the Right Places
Just because the fridge keeps some foods fresh doesn’t mean that it’s the best storage area for everything. In fact, some fresh ingredients are better left in temperate, dark places. Here’s a quick list of things that belong in your pantry, kitchen counter, or other room-temperature storage areas:
- Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes
- Avocados (if you want them to ripe)
Keep Rotting Things Away From Fresh Things
Believe it or not, the idea that a single apple can spoil the bunch is not just an old saying. It’s a fact. Keeping rotting items away fresh items will keep the rest from spoiling. This is especially true when it comes to apples, pears, and other pieces of produce that produce ethylene as they ripen. Ethylene quickens the ripening process and can spoil an entire batch of apples pretty quickly.
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