Making Your Groceries Last Longer and Prevent Waste


Now that we are well into social distancing and stay at home orders of this COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are limiting their trips to the grocery store. How can you manage to store that food a little bit longer to try to stretch the days between trips out of the house?

• Invest in produce savers. Many options exist on Amazon from green bags to containers to freshness saver balls. These will keep your produce from going bad as quickly.

• Remove rubber bands from any produce like greens, carrots, and others that might come with a rubber band around them.

• Wait to wash. Moisture tends to cause produce to age more quickly, so don’t wash produce until you’re ready to eat it.

• Add paper towel to packages of greens to absorb excess moisture.

• Freeze anything you can! You can freeze milk but remember that it expands so leave some air in the container. Eggs can also be frozen—make sure you crack them out of the shell and into large ice cube trays or individual small containers.

• Produce also freezes well. Here is when you should clean, peel, and slice them first and then put them in Ziplocs. You can use them later for smoothies or in recipes.

• Nuts can be stored in the fridge or 6 months and the freezer for 12 months. The key is to keep them as airtight as possible.

• Puree tomatoes for sauce when they start to turn on you.

• Fresh herbs are best kept in a vase with water like flowers. They will last a lot longer than just sitting in the fridge in plastic containers. You can also blanch them and freeze them in ice cube trays.

• Of course, to keep meats as long as possible, don’t leave them raw for long. Either cook them up or freeze them within a few days.

• Batch cook and freeze your favorite recipes like lasagna, casseroles, and soups.

• Get used to eating leftovers! I’ve already told my family that they will be getting leftovers because any food that goes to waste is money thrown in to the garbage!

Plan out your week before you head to the store so you know exactly what you need for each meal and recipe for the week!

Tara Collingwood
Tara is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition, fitness, and health promotion and is quoted in a variety of media including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and websites.

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