Finding ways to make food last longer can significantly reduce your family’s food costs. Whether common sense or hidden secrets, these easy steps will help you reduce your food waste and save your pennies.
According to Love Food Hate Waste, wasting food costs the average family with children £50 a month.
Let’s look at some of the simple ways we can prolong the life of the food we buy so we can make those all-important savings:
1. Store jars upside down
If you’ve only used half a jar of sauce, screw the lid on very tight and place it in the fridge upside down. No air can get to the lid for mould or bacteria to grow and the contents will stay fresher longer.
2. Freeze bread
Freeze a loaf of sliced bread and just take out what you need each day, this will ensure your whole loaf gets eaten. The same goes for packets of muffins, crumpets and teacakes whose shelf life is short. Take a look at our guide on how to use your freezers to reduce food waste – and make your life easier!
3. Keep apples in the fridge
Keep apples in the fridge, they will last much longer and stay harder. Remove any that spoil as soon as possible as they are likely to make the rest spoil too. Bananas also spoil other fruit so store these separately.
4. Preserve with lemon
Put lemon juice on cut apples to stop them browning and looking inedible.
5. Airtight for cheese
Keep cheese in an airtight container to avoid hardening or mould growing. Store as soon as possible after using.
6. Rearrange fridge containers
Remove plastic open-top containers from the bottom of a fridge and replace with airtight containers to keep food fresher.
7. Use pegs
Use pegs to close cereal, crisp and pasta packets in between use to keep contents fresh.
8. Keep milk on fridge shelf
To keep milk for longer it’s best to transfer it to a glass bottle and keep it on the fridge shelf rather than in the fridge door. This is because temperatures are higher at the fridge door rather than on the shelves. Do always put milk back in the fridge straight after use and store it in the fridge as soon after you’ve bought it as possible.
9. Cook and freeze
If food is near its use-by date, cook it up and freeze it. Lasagnes, hot pots, salads and fruit pies can use up all sorts of odds and ends that might otherwise need to be thrown away. These are the kind of recipes that are perfect for kids to get involved with too as they involve stirring, scooping, rolling and throwing it all in.
10. Store lettuce in water
Keep iceberg lettuce leaves separated and in a bowl of cold water in the fridge, this will keep them fresh and crispier for longer.
Do you have any food storage tips to share? We’d love to hear from you! E-mail us at [email protected] with ‘Food storage tips’ in the subject line.