Not Today, Inflation: 40 Useful Hacks To Help Save Money On Grocery ShoppingBy Sachin P
Shopping for food can be tiresome. Some individuals enjoy creating shopping lists and methodically planning their weekly menus, whereas others prefer tossing items into a trolley and making decisions as they go.
Regardless of how you prefer to browse, quite often, the food you buy ends up spoiling before you’re able to use it. And you certainly don’t want your money to go down the drain – not in this economy. Inflation is high, so everything is expensive these days, even food.
Luckily, there are several excellent strategies for getting the best use of food before it spoils and plenty of methods to extend the shelf life of some things. It’s advantageous for the environment as well as the budget to extend the shelf life of your items and reduce the amount of waste.
Want to make your groceries last longer? You’ve come to the right place.
Keep them “shrooms” fresh and tasty
Individuals either appear to adore or loathe mushrooms. Although some people can devour these for every meal, everyone else would kindly move them toward the plate’s edge. For those who enjoy mushrooms, make sure to keep your new mushrooms inside paper bags.
Also, store them on a shelf in your fridge to maintain their freshness for about a week. In order to stop them from growing, the paper packing will completely absorb any water while still permitting adequate ventilation. Guess you learn something new every day.
Every avocado needs a lemon
Everybody should eat avocado because it is a nutritious fruit. However, it can be challenging to consume one whole avocado. It’s a lot, and it’s not advised – for health reasons. However, avocado pieces often don’t stay fresh for very long before turning soggy and brown.
The primary factor for avocados to become brown involves ascorbic acid. Fortunately, citric acid may prevent this disaster from happening and maintain its freshness. Prior to actually putting your avocado in the refrigerator, add a few lemon drops to the surface to prevent it from going bad overnight.
Pouch it and freeze it!
You might not know this, but you can easily preserve ginger in your freezer. Also, make sure to store it in a sealed container or bag. When you purchase a complete piece straight from the roots, it’s much easier to grate it.
Additionally, it is not necessary to skin the ginger because the peel will be so thin you won’t even feel it. Using this technique helps to maintain product freshness, which can remain intact for approximately six months if frozen. It’s something that will come in handy.
Keep milk in the middle of the fridge
Since dairy is a perishable good, its shelf life is short. Milk must never be kept on any fridge door shelf in which the temperature can change quickly. Instead, it must always be kept on an interior rack. Despite being practical, it isn’t the ideal method.
Therefore, if you enjoy drinking milk, keep it in the middle of your refrigerator. The greatest place to store perishable items like milk products is in this section since it is less prone to heat and humidity than in other places.
A clean fridge is a happy fridge
Mold and other contaminants can appear if you keep outdated food inside the fridge corners. Nearby places will also be impacted if one location becomes tainted. Congestion in the fridge slows the flow of colder air and causes warm areas, which hastens the deterioration of foodstuff.
So, be sure to remove expired products from the fridge once per week and provide it with a thorough cleaning once a month. Additionally, try to avoid putting open items close to damp places because this may infect them as well.
Keep an eye on the bananas
Bananas can be utilized in a variety of breakfast and dessert recipes. They have a fantastic taste, particularly when baked into moist banana bread. Ethylene gas is to blame for bananas that are extremely ripe and appear to turn brown more quickly.
Wrapping the stem in foil or plastics will limit the emission of the gas and prevent this. In order to prevent them from speeding up too rapidly, keep an eye on them sometimes and allow them time to mature before they’re ready.
Flip it and save it!
How many containers of partially consumed creme fraiche have you thrown out? This method may sound strange, but it works wonders for keeping creme fraiche or cottage cheese fresh for a longer duration of time. Simply flip the container upside-down to begin.
Your cottage cheese, as well as sour cream tubs, will experience a suction force when you flip the tubs over. This reduces the chances of bacteria developing and keeps your foods from decaying quickly and thus allowing them a much-appreciated longer shelf life.
Give the onions the space they need
People frequently enjoy the aroma of onions cooking in a pan. Its aroma permeates an entire building and enhances the richness of practically any dish. However, if onions are not properly stored, they can spoil rapidly. This is where the onion sausages make their play.
So, prepare several onion sausages by grabbing some pantyhose to prevent onions from maturing too rapidly. The ethylene gas should then be permitted to escape by hanging the items on a nail in a cool, dark area. Onions will stay fresher for longer if this is done.
It was about thyme y’all did this…
Oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary can be frozen in an ice tray to save effort and time. By doing this, you can save the hassle of looking for fresh herbs during the off-season and keep them on board for dinners like lasagna or pasta.
If you have multiple ice trays, you can make large quantities of these cubes at the same time. Use an ice tray to freeze these, then keep them inside a plastic baggie so you can take them out when you require them. This always outperforms dried herbs!
Keep scallions fresh all around
Scallions are a fantastic accent to many cuisines, for both main and side dishes. Sadly, they are frequently given a brief life. Before you have completed preparing all the meals you had planned, they may begin to wilt. We can regrow the scallions rather than throw them away.
Use the onion’s rooty ends if you can. Watch it regrow by adding a few inches of the soil underneath the surface in a mason jar that has been half-loaded using cool tap water. Keep it close to a window in your kitchen for quick access.
Tinfoil keeps cucumbers tasty
Cucumbers tend to go bad in the blink of an eye. They get mushy and soft within a few days in the fridge and then rotten. Nevertheless, a simple trick you probably already know may maintain them fresh for a bit longer.
Cucumbers can delay spoilage by being wrapped in tin foil, which keeps out all the extra moisture that could lead to mold and mildew or premature rotting. So, you may thank us afterward for this helpful hack when your experience is perfect.
Vinegar keeps the berries fresh
Use vinegar to preserve strawberries longer and fresher. Putting sweet fruit in such an acidic solution may seem weird, but it actually does work very well. Similar to other berries, strawberries have the propensity to rot rapidly, so you frequently end up throwing away a bunch.
Berries can be preserved in the refrigerator almost for a fortnight by soaking them in a solution of 10 parts of water to 1 part vinegar. It will still taste lovely because the mixture isn’t strong enough to taste like vinegar.
Bag your herbs
Some individuals favor not freezing fresh herbs. You could put a handful of herb leaves into a glass of water and seal it securely with a Ziploc bag. Do this prior to putting it in the fridge rather than leaving them in the package it came in.
It’s preferable to keep fresh herbs wrapped and damp. Air must be sealed out of the container in order to prevent hazardous microorganisms from growing and causing your herbs to decay and wilt. This will prevent pathogens from getting to the herbs.
Cold storage works wonders for red spices
Red spices should be stored in the refrigerator to maintain their freshness. That’s the best option other than keeping them on a spice rack. In a spice shelf or in a drawer, red spices, including paprika or powdered pepper, may lose flavor if kept out at room temperature.
Put your preferred red spices in a tiny plastic bag and place it in the fridge rather than letting it out into the heat and sunlight all day. As a result, their flavor will stay fresh for longer durations of time.
How to keep lettuce as crunchy as possible?
We are all aware of how delicious lettuce is as a garnish for burgers, salads, and sandwiches. But no one likes to consume drab, limp lettuce. You may learn how to keep salad greens crisp and delicious for a long period of time by using this tip.
Cut off the lettuce crown leaves and store them separately from the rest of the lettuce to extend their shelf life. Before putting these in Ziplock bags with a paper towel to collect excess moisture, wash and dry each one separately.
Freeze green onions to keep them handy
Among the numerous multitudes of veggies that are frequently incorporated into stir-fries, as well as other delicious recipes like chili, we have green onions. The most typical manner to purchase these green stalks in supermarkets is in bundles with lengthy stems connected.
Green onions can be stored in a dry bottle of water after being cut into the proportion you might normally use for preparing if you frequently have a surplus of them. Pump out the contents as necessary onto your preferred dishes after freezing the jar overnight.
To refrigerate tomatoes or not refrigerated
There has been much debate regarding whether tomatoes should be kept inside or outside the fridge. This is due to the fact that when they are kept refrigerated, their enzymes can alter both flavor and texture. However, there is a recipe you should employ instead.
Till they are fully ripe, keep tomatoes around room temperature to extend their life span. After this process has finished, you can prevent over-ripening by storing unripe and chilled fruits separately. You will always have access to tomatoes that taste just right.
Keep bread in a bread box, not in the fridge
Never store bread in the refrigerator. You must keep your bread rolls, rye bread, and sourdough at room temp, either on a countertop or in a cupboard. Since moisture is retained when bread is stored in the cold, it will deteriorate faster.
Bread can be preserved in a number of ways. Instead of keeping it on the countertop or in the fridge, place the bread in a specific box to keep it fresh. When you require toast for the morning, be mindful to remove it from storage!
Thaw – don’t microwave
Bee honey is quite helpful to have in the household if you’re unwell. That’s because this food has plenty of antifungal and antibacterial properties. Sadly, improper storage can cause honey to crystalize as well. There is, however, a simple solution if your honey crystallizes.
For a few moments, submerge the container in a warm bowl of (not scorching) water. After that, mix the contents to re-emulsify. The wonderful liquid honey will reappear when the crystals have disappeared. Honey should not be microwaved as this destroys the nutrients which render it so wonderful.
How to keep ice cream creamy
Ice cream will rapidly freeze and then become rock-solid if improperly stored. Therefore, we wish for this tasty dessert to be nicely velvety on the interior while preventing it all from melting too quickly on hot summer afternoons. How can we achieve harmony?
In order to keep the delicious treat smooth even when frozen solid for long periods of time, simply place the ice cream tub in a Ziploc bag, followed by yet another sealed Ziploc bag or Tupperware. This simple hack will work for any type of frozen food.
Organization is key
Observe the zones to ensure that your refrigerator is in great condition and that your foodstuff is fresh. Remove all perishable items from the doorway. To keep produce fresher for longer and prevent other food from rotting, store it in a crisper, including a tight seal.
Additionally, place dairy in the backend of the fridge where it will keep cold for a longer period of time. By doing this, you may keep food fresh till the next time you go food shopping without worrying about cross-contamination.
Keep the JIF upside down
Butters made with natural nuts (peanut, cashew, hazelnut) should be kept upside-down to avoid separating. When you do this, you could avoid having to re-blend it afterward because the oil that normally collects on top will move to the bottom.
But if the item does begin to become rancid or is getting close to its expiry date, rapidly put it in the refrigerator. Otherwise, they’ll wind up being horrible. In order to keep nut butter fresh for an extended time, we suggest keeping them inverted until thoroughly combined.
Butter that cheese up to keep it fresh
Many people can be won over by cheese, however, only if they aren’t lactose intolerant. For cheese aficionados, the green fungus can be an immediate red flag, but there’s great news: There’s a simple tip that’ll make your fresh cheese last for weeks.
Place the cheese on parchment paper and smear it along with butter if you want to store it for an extended period of time. Mold growth on a wonderful block of brie or swiss cheese occurs due to oxidation, which again is prevented by the fat in the melted butter.
How to keep raisins fresh
If you enjoy raisins, you might be surprised to hear that there is a rather simple way to increase their shelf life. All you have to do is soak them in hot water before putting them in another container. Pretty easy, right?
You can now have viable raisins for close to a year if you soak them initially and then store them in a container that is well-closed. The raisins would, nevertheless, lose moisture with time, becoming less gooey and hardening, rendering them challenging to chew.
Apples and potatoes go hand in hand
Apples produce ethylene gas, which is tasteless and colorless. The vegetables and fruits you’re putting along the apples must be considered because their rotting processes may interfere with one another. Apples and potatoes can stay fresher for longer when stored collectively.
It will be easier to prevent early potato sprouting if you store both of these items next to one another, preferably in a darkened room. An apple’s ethylene gas aids in this procedure by preventing the fast development of potatoes.
Store grapes in pierced plastic bags
If you’d like to preserve grapes properly, polyethylene containers are an excellent choice. It will preserve the quality of those tasty tiny fruits. Although the plastic bag that grapes are delivered in may not appear lovely, it is the ideal wrapping for them.
The ideal way to keep grapes is in plastic bags with perforations. If grapes have proper ventilation, they will last longer. And the plastic bags provide plenty of ventilation with their pierced surfaces. These allow gaseous exchange whilst retaining humidity inside. Your grapes won’t dry up this way.
How toothpicks can keep lemons fresh
Lemons are wonderful since you can add them to a variety of recipes and beverages. But they do not last very long before being too gooey or rock-hard. Fortunately, there is a simple approach to preserve the freshness of lemons so that we don’t waste them.
Simply use toothpicks to secure the ends once you’ve cut them, and then keep the items in water as usual. This will let them remain fresh for several weeks, ensuring that they are always readily available and preventing money from being wasted.
Freeze maple syrup for longevity
Who would’ve thought that maple syrup could be frozen and that freezing it would retain its freshness for years? While it tastes heavenly, 100% genuine maple syrup is typically pricey. Do you enjoy purchasing a few gallons at a go but struggle with adequate storage?
The capability to keep maple syrup fresh inside the fridge for up to a year makes freezer-storing even more efficient. Pure maple syrup may be kept continuously by freezing; this saves both money and time. No more discarding used but unfinished bottles.
Preserve carrots like this
As with asparagus, properly stored carrots will maintain their freshness and crispness for a longer period of time. Before preserving carrots or celery, remove them from the plastic shopping bag. This stops any possible bacteria or mold from forming on it.
Carrots can be stored in a closed glass or jar containing water by having the tops and tails chopped off. They will remain viable in this manner for close to a week. As a result, you won’t need to stock up on vegetables as frequently.
Restrict ethylene for long-lasting produce
Some vegetables and fruits, such as apples and onions, release ethylene gas. Although this undetectable, tasteless gas doesn’t damage people, it can nonetheless have an impact on other food nearby in the refrigerator. An ethylene gas absorbent is essential for the refrigerator.
Your vegetables and fruits will be protected from going bad soon. They are made to restrict their exposure to ethylene, a naturally occurring plant hormone that causes numerous different types of vegetables to ripen. You’ll undoubtedly save a good amount of cash by doing this.
Remove beetroot leaves to make them last longer
Once the leaves of beetroots are removed, they survive better. This is due to fluid loss via their leaves, which causes the roots to dry up more quickly. Start by cutting off the stems of the beetroot closest to the base of the root.
Remember to remove all of the bristly leaves first. After thoroughly cleaning your beets, keep these in a box with layers of damp sand or peat replacement to prevent drying out. To prevent loss of moisture, ensure that you place these containers someplace cold.
Cooking spray to keep the avocados fresh
Your favorite avocado can sometimes begin to turn brown, as we have explained. You won’t have to throw away the unconsumed side of your avocado if you use this simple tip, provided you don’t have any lemon juice at hand.
Before putting it away in a sealed container, spray it with any type of cooking spray. Additionally, retain the seed with the portion you’re saving, whether you’re using lime juice or oil. This also happens to be a good guacamole cooking tip.
No need to blanch green beans, just do this
Others might not be aware of this additional, not-so-secret cooking tip. Green beans don’t change their consistency or flavor when frozen, unlike several other veggies. They are, therefore, a fantastic way to year-round add the flavor of summertime to your dish.
After thoroughly washing them in iced water, cut or break off the stem and the pointy tips of the green beans. Before storing them, ensure that they are completely dry because too much dampness increases the risk of freezer burn.
Asparagus bouquet, anyone?
Though arranging a lovely bunch of flowers in a flower pot is usually a good idea, were you aware that adding asparagus to your floral arrangements has additional advantages? Although asparagus tastes great and is packed with nutrients, it may be expensive for a vegetable.
The easiest method for storing asparagus is to place it upright in a jar or a bottle with just an inch of water at the bottom for about four days. Just keep in mind to wrap it in plastic and replace the water if it gets hazy.
Preserve the guac for another day
Every once in a while, everything will come together perfectly, and you’ll have everything you need to make delicious guacamole. Even the thought of it makes us happy! Consider adding one straightforward kitchen item to enhance your snacking pleasure and the guacamole’s storage stability.
The very next time you’re considering tossing out that guacamole, you might want to try covering it in saran wrap and spraying oil on the surface. This will protect it from oxidizing and maintain it green. This vivid hue may last for almost a whole day after that!
Chill them taters for laters
Most of us were probably aware of this next tip. It is a smart option to freeze extra potatoes that you prepare if you anticipate you won’t use them all right away. The quality won’t be affected in the slightest.
Your potatoes will still taste as good when you thaw them as they did when you first made them, even if you store them in the freezer for close to a year. If at all feasible, avoid microwaving them because it may drastically alter their texture.
Repurpose old plastic bottles as sealable bags
Although plastic bags with top resealable zippers are ideal, not every one of them always had this function (something we really wish that someone would come up with). More often than not, we run out of these and must use normal plastic wrap instead.
You can ensure that those plastic wraps or zipper-less bags keep your foodstuff from rotting by using an old water or drink cap. Just cut off the bottle’s cap, insert the plastic ends, and bend them over the sides, and there you have it!
Toast it and freeze it
Make absolutely sure you roast your store-bought nuts as quickly as you can and then store these in the freezer. Compared to raw nuts, roasted nuts have a greater taste, stay fresher for longer, and take less time to prepare.
Roasted nuts can be used in a wide range of recipes, including everything from desserts to salads. On a sheet pan, distribute the mixture evenly and bake it at 350 degrees till golden brown. Once they have totally cooled down, keep them in the refrigerator or freezer.
The stronger the alcohol, the better the shelf life
You’ve been saving money for that wine bottle for ages. Upon the first sip, the flavor was silky, there was a tinge of timber, and there were earthy undertones. But what if there was a way to make your drinking experience more enjoyable? There are numerous theories for keeping alcohol fresh.
Strong alcoholic beverages are considered to have an unbelievably long shelf life and actually improve with time. It would be beneficial if you kept them out of the warmth and sun, which can harm the tastes within as well as the corks that hold things intact.
Perfect tater temperature
Potatoes will last longer if you store those in a dry, cool place in your kitchen with excellent circulation. If feasible, think about storing the potatoes in basements, cellars, or garages. These are all fantastic options that will enable them to have a long shelf life.
Potatoes can be kept for up to six months at a temperature range between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, please note that potatoes will begin to sprout or spoil sooner if the weather is hotter or even moister than that.