How To Keep Foods Fresh Longer

Most of us wind up throwing away lots of food on a regular basis.  The average household throws away an astounding 14% of all the food they purchase. This is nearly double the average of what it was 20 years ago.  If the average family of four spends $150 per week on groceries, this adds up to about $1,100 every year.  Listed below are some tips to keep food fresh longer!

Herbs tend to be pretty expensive and you almost always have to buy more than you need. The best way to keep herbs fresh is to wash them, seal them in a zip lock bag and freeze them.  If you follow these steps, your herbs should last about a month, which is twice as long as they would in the refrigerator.  An additional benefit is that herbs are easier to chop when they are frozen.  

Veggies tend to go bad quickly and they are the most commonly tossed out item in America today.  The reason vegetables wilt is due to water loss.  The best way to crisp up a wilted vegetable is by putting them in ice water for about a half an hour.  You can even throw in a couple pieces of raw potato to help the re-crisping process.

Moldy cheese is not always a good thing…  A weird but reliable way to keep cheese fresh longer is by spreading butter or margarine on the cut side.  This helps seal in the moisture and works best on hard cheeses.

Water is the mortal enemy of salt, so you must keep salt as dry as possible so that it does not clump together.  Add some dry rice to your saltshaker and it will stop the salt from hardening.  The rice works as a sponge and absorbs any condensation.

Freeze it.  It is really that simple. Butter is expensive, so when it goes on sale, stock up! Butter will keep in the freezer for up to six months. 

There isn’t a way to make eggs stay fresh longer. However, there is an easy way to find out if the ones in your fridge are fresh or not. Many people go strictly by the expiration date, but you may be throwing away perfectly good eggs by doing so. Fill a container with water and put the eggs in it.  Fresh eggs will sink and spoiled ones with float.

Sour Cream
Sour cream does not last very long and there is a simple remedy.  Place the container upside-down.  Doing so will create a vacuum effect that slows the growth of bacteria.  This tip also works for cottage cheese.

Fun fact - honey never goes bad! The sugar itself in honey acts as a preservative and the acids in it keep bacteria from growing.  Honey will crystallize and become hard though. However, all you need to do is heat it up in the microwave for about 15 seconds

Lisa VanKampen likes to write about home improvement, frugal living & term life insurance quotes.

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