Tuesday, February 26, 2013

7 Tips to Keep Food Fresh.

Since moving in with my boyfriend this past summer, I have been trying to find ways to reduce my our monthly spending on food, while at the same time trying to reduce the amount of food we waste. 

My solution? Meal planning and buying in bulk.

While both are great solutions and have been saving me time and money, its important to think about keeping the food you buy fresh, for as long as possible. For us, there are always a few items that don't always get used up right away, or are forgotten about. This tends to happen more often than not; and generally when this happens, I find a way to sneak it into the garbage before D knows. He hates wasting food, and I hate eating food that's gone stale, etc. 

To help keep food fresher and to reduce the amount of food we throw away, I have done some homework and found a number great tips to help.

  1. Depending on how quickly you go through sliced breads, it may make sense to store them in the freezer to help increase shelf-life. This is a must for us because there is only two of us, and sometimes it takes a month to eat a loaf of bread.

  2. Use glass or plastic containers to prolong the freshness of foods. Instead of storing half-empty bags of cereal, rice or pasta in your pantry, transfer these dry foods into air-tight containers after you've opened the original packaging.

  3. Although dry food items such as rice and pasta generally do not go bad, certain types of small bugs like to get into these dry food items. To help fight these "flour bugs," place bay leaves around your pantry. The scent will discourage these bugs from attacking. This may have happened to us last year; we ended up throwing away almost everything that had been opened. Yuck!

  4. In your refrigerator, designate one drawer for veggies and one for fruits. The reason being, some fruits give off high levels of ethylene and can speed up the ripening of nearby vegetables. But I also read some fruits can do this to other fruits. Can't always win!

  5. Snip those leafy stems off your vegetables, such as carrots, before putting them in the refrigerator. You can leave about 1 1/2 inches to ensure it wont dry out, but by doing this, it will increase their shelf-life.

  6. Store fresh herbs, such as parsley and basil, in a little glass of water (like a bouquet of flowers) and use them as you need them. This will help to keep their flavor and texture for longer than if stored loose in the refrigerator or on the counter top. For non-leafy herbs, such as rosemary and type, wrap them in a moistened towel and store in a reusable shopping bag in the refrigerator.

  7. Zip-freeze your herbs. You can store fresh herbs in the freezer for up to a month; simply place them in a ziplock bag. This is perfect for the summer because we always end up with way too much basil and parsley and can never eat it all right away.

  8. Freeze your cheese. While freezing most cheeses isn't advised, you can freeze aged cheese for up to 3 months. To thaw frozen cheese, put in the refrigerator for 7 - 8 hours. We like to buy big blocks of cheddar cheese when it goes on sale; I usually end up freezing half of it and small ziplock bags and take it out when needed.

Your turn -- do you have any great tips for keeping your food fresher?

Today I am linking up with:
The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife


  1. A fellow Canadian! Woot woot!

    Such great tips... I'll definitely have to keep these in mind. I'm aaaaaaaaall for saving a few dollars :)

    Found you via the blog hop, I've loved reading about your space! xx

    1. Yay! Hope they can help!! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi - I am LOVING your blog. Now following you via Bloglovin! Have a great week :)

  2. Cute blog girl! Visiting from the GFC Hop!
    -Sara @ The Hinton Hook-Up

    1. Thanks Sara! I am loving your blog as well, now following you via Bloglovin!

  3. Great tips! I freeze our bread & my husband thinks it's the weirdest thing.


    1. I freeze our bread all the time, if I don't, it almost always goes moldy before we finish it. Yuck!

  4. Oh my goodness....jars! What a brilliant idea. I bet they look super cute in your cupboard too! Thanks for sharing.


    1. I may possibly have an addiction to glass jars and tupperware. lol :)

  5. Fantastic tips - I have never tried freezing fresh herbs, but will have to give it a go.

    Kate x

    1. I haven't either; my mom has, but she freezes them in water (I think they last longer). When she does that, she will only use them for pasta sauces, etc.