Updated: Oct 2, 2022
If you want to keep your herbs, produce, and groceries fresh for longer than a couple of days, I've compiled my best storage tips below, which I've learned through trial & error over the years. Keep reading to save your food and your money!
Photo Credit: Loni Jane
Onions & Potatoes
Onions and Potatoes are like oil and water. Onions produce a certain type of gas that will cause your potatoes to sprout quickly. Keep them in a separate bowl so they both last longer, or try these wire baskets by iDesign to store them in your pantry.
Also, separate your fruits from the vegetables you place in your refrigerator 'crisper' bins. Vegetables are prone to moisture loss, so you want to set that bin temperature to 'high' to lock in the humidity. Fruits, on the other hand, should be put on low humidity. Some fruits, such as peaches, produce an 'ethylene gas' that will ripen other foods like vegetables faster.
I try to buy cilantro the day I use it, which isn't always ideal. But either way, I wash it as soon as I get home and place it in a salad spinner. I spin it around to drain the water and store it in the fridge. It keeps the cilantro fresh for days!
Parsley is similar to cilantro, so I like to wash it as soon as I get home or at least place the stems in a small mason jar full of water (like a bouquet of flowers). After washing, I place it back in the mason jar and store it in the fridge. It can also be stored in a salad spinner, like cilantro (lettuce too).
If you make a lot of smoothies, you can buy your bananas in bulk, and once they ripen (you'll know they are ripe if they start getting brown spots), peel them and place them in a Ziploc bag, StasherBag, or glass container. Store them in the freezer for your morning smoothies.
Only using half? When you slice it, leave the seed in the half you want to save. then place it in a glass tupperware for later use (this usually keeps it fresh for at least an extra day before turning brown). When you buy them, buy one you can use right away, and then buy a couple that aren't ripe yet and store them in the fridge.
Produce bags are a great way to store vegetables in the refrigerator, and I have found ambrosia produce bags to work very well. They are made out of linen, so they are washable, reusable and the best part is you can store the vegetables damp because the linen absorbs water and releases it back into the bag to keep the produce alive. The linen fabric also allows air flow in and out of the bag. They will stay fresh for up to five days, and ambrosia also offers berry and mushroom bags on their website.
Buy multiple packs of chicken, beef, or other and freeze them for later use! Remove them to de-thaw at room temperature the day you want to use them.
Breads and Tortillas
Store your extra bread and tortillas in the freezer as well, especially the grain-free varieties, which tend to spoil quickly when they are left in the fridge.
PRO TIP: Swap any plastic containers in your kitchen for glass containers, especially with hot food. Heat causes plastic chemicals to leach into food. I opt for dishwasher-safe glass containers and love these ones by pyrex. If you are reheating food, ditch the microwave and use a non-stick pan with a bit of water and let the food simmer on low until it's warm. You can also use a toaster oven to reheat any leftovers.