Storing food in your pantry, refrigerator, or other areas of your home is a great way to enjoy the most savings when a sale is occurring and to also make the most of your leftover meals that you’ve cooked. While storing food can be a great way to save money, there are a number of mistakes that you may be making which could be leading to your food spoiling earlier than necessary. Becoming familiar with what you can do to help preserve the freshness of your food can ensure that you’ll be able to enjoy buying food in bulk and taking advantage of sales.
1. Failing to Label Frozen and Canned Goods
When you store leftovers in the freezer or you make some homemade canned goods for later consumption, it can be upsetting to be staring at the containers and be unsure of how long you put them away and what the contents are. In order for you to be confident that these goods are still edible, it’s important that you include labeling on the jar or plastic bag for the frozen food inside. Along with including the date that you made the food on the packaging, it’s a good idea to also include the contents of the bag or jar so that it is easily unidentifiable even months later. By knowing the date that you cooked the food originally, you can be sure to eat the leftovers or canned goods before they expire.
2. Storing Dry Food in Original Packaging
Many people purchase bags of cereal and other items that come in plastic or paper packaging and placing them in storage without much thought. While this is suitable for short-term storage, mites and mice can easily get into this kind of packaging very easily when allowed to sit for an extended period of time. Insisting on using glass jars and other durable packaging can help a lot in ensuring that the food is protected from pests.
3. Leaving Leafy Greens in Plastic
Most leafy greens come in a plastic bag when purchased, encouraging many consumers to allow the greens to remain in this plastic once brought home. Unfortunately, the plastic doesn’t allow air to circulate properly, resulting in the greens becoming slimy and inedible after just a few days in the refrigerator. By placing the food in a perforated container, air can circulate properly and allow the greens to remain fresher longer.
4. Refrigerating Berries Immediately After Purchasing
While berries are a delicious treat, they can become moldy very quickly after being purchased. This can be so upsetting if you have purchased a large quantity of berries due to them being on sale at a great price. An easy way to extend the freshness of your berries is by rinsing them in a 3:1 mixture of water and vinegar, then drying them and placing them in a perforated container. This simple step can help extend the freshness of your berries drastically so that they don’t mold as quickly.
5. Keeping Dented and Damaged Containers of Food
When a can become dented, there could be tiny cracks in the packaging that could lead to the food inside becoming spoiled. Many consumers make the mistake of assuming minor damage with cans and packages of food isn’t a big deal, resulting in them consuming food that has expired and leading to serious health issues. By throwing out any food and refusing to purchase anything with cracks, tears, or dents, you can help ensure that the food won’t spoil early.
By utilizing the above tips for storing your food, it should be much easier to have plenty of food that is ready to eat at any time and won’t be spoiling any time earlier than the expiration date listed. Proper storage of fresh vegetables, fruits, and even packaged goods can help prevent spoiled food from being in your kitchen so that you won’t be wasting any of your purchases and so that your food won’t be wasting away due to poor storage.