If you find yourself going through the fridge before your weekly shopping trip and throwing out plenty of food that was fresh and tasty mere days ago, don't worry — there's still hope.
With a little planning ahead and some insight into the shelf life of fresh foods, you can make sure you use your food when it's still fresh so you can eliminate waste and save some money.
Take a look at our top five tips for storing fresh foods below, then take a peek at our handy food shelf life chart so you know exactly how long you can expect to keep your groceries around.
Always cut off the tops of root vegetables like carrots, beets and radishes before storing in the refrigerator. Leaving the tops on will draw moisture from the veggies. You can store the leafy tops wrapped in paper towel in a plastic bag if you plan on eating them.
You should always try to plan ahead and thaw meat in the refrigerator overnight. If you find yourself in a bind and need to use frozen meat for dinner tonight, try using this method and thawing in water.
It dries out the bread and makes it go stale faster. Bread will usually last around four days at room temperature, so separate loaves into how much you think you'll eat within that time frame, and freeze the rest.
Certain fruits and vegetables should be stored separately. Most fruits produce ethylene as they ripen, a gas that can cause vegetables to spoil prematurely. Apples, cantaloupe, nectarines and plums, to name a few, can cause veggies like broccoli, peas, cabbage and beans to go bad fast. Get the full list.
Even when dealing with produce you normally store on the counter, if you're saving leftovers, they should be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator so they don't spoil.
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