Australians throw away up to 20% of their bought groceries each year adding up to $8 billion worth of wastage. We over buy, incorrectly store food and overestimate our appetites. To help prevent food wastage, shop smaller or more thoughtfully by planning meals and learn how to keep food to preserve its freshness.
I buy small amounts of vegetables and fruits that are in season and build my meals around what I have in the fridge. I regularly buy meats like chicken breast or lean mince and have on hand canned beans, frozen vegetables, tofu and cheese to add to meals. Spices, tinned tomatoes and brown rice are also great to have in the pantry for your cooking.
I found an amazing list of 40 DIY ways to store groceries to make them last and stay fresh. I have picked out five of my favourites for you. See the complete list here. Have you got any tips to share?
- Don't keep cheese in plastic: Contrary to what you may have learned in the past, you should never wrap cheese in plastic wrap. Wrap it in wax paper instead and then store it in a plastic bag. You should also keep your cheese in the warmest area of your refrigerator such as in the door or a vegetable bin.
- Make herb ice cubes: You can freeze fresh herbs to make them last longer. Just cut them up and add them to an ice cube tray and cover with olive oil. Once they are frozen, you can take them out and place them in a plastic freezer bag.
- Add paper towel to your lettuce storage: Adding a paper towel to your lettuce before storing it will absorb the moisture that turns lettuce limp. Just add the paper towel over the lettuce in a bowl or plastic bag and it will keep moisture from causing the lettuce to wilt, making it last up to a week longer than regular storage methods.
- Keep eggs for up to 4 weeks past their use-by-date: If you want eggs to last longer, store them inside the fridge as opposed to in the door. Eggs that are stored on a middle shelf will last up to 4 weeks past their sell by date and those stored in the door will often begin to go bad right around the sell by date. Even if you have an egg holder in the door, avoid keeping eggs there. To test your egg, pop it in a bowl of water. If it sinks it is still fresh, if it floats, it has turned bad.
- Freeze your nuts: Nuts last much longer in cool environments as they are less likely to turn rancid. Keep in sealed containers and take out a few minutes before use.