Save £182 On Groceries With These Food Storage Hacks
- Food wastage is an increasing problem, with many of us forgetting about food in the fridge
- Consumer Expert Tom Church shares his hacks which can save shoppers £182 a year
- Tricks include washing strawberries with vinegar, wrapping bananas in foil and storing bread with a celery stick
As food prices rise and food wastage remains a constant problem, nobody wants to check the fridge and discover their supplies have gone mouldy, turned brown or just taste off. However Consumer Expert Tom Church, Co-Founder of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, has a number of tricks up his sleeve which will make a variety of foods last for longer.
‘It’s disappointing when you get some lettuce, bread or fruit out of the fridge, only to realise you can no longer eat it,’ he said. ‘However, with some simple preparation tips, you can increase the shelf life of your fridge staples - and in some cases, even double it. Here’s how.’
Store Lettuce With A Paper Towel - Lasts For A Month
You may buy lettuce once a week for your salads, and be accustomed to watching it grow brown after a single use - then have to throw it out. However, there’s an easy way to keep it fresh for up to a month. First, take the lettuce head and break it down into small pieces. Then, wash it thoroughly. Make sure you get all the water off afterward - use a salad spinner or a tea towel. Next, place the lettuce in a glass container with a clean cloth or paper towel. Be sure to change it out every couple of days to save 50p a week on buying new lettuce heads - that’s equivalent to £26 a year!
Wash Strawberries With White Vinegar - Lasts For 2 Weeks
Fresh strawberries can last between 3 and 7 days in the fridge, but if you follow this hack you can double their storage time. Wash your strawberries with one cup of white vinegar to three or four cups of water. Then, dry them thoroughly and place them in a container with paper towels. Not only will this remove any pesticide residue, but you’ll also be able to eat these strawberries for up to 2 weeks. If you were buying a £3 punnet of strawberries a week and halving your spending with this hack, you’d save £78 a year!
Take Your Milk Out Of The Fridge Door - Slow Down Spoiling Process
When we come home from the shops with milk, many of us place the cartons in the fridge door without giving it a second thought. However, this could actually be the worst place to store it. The coldest sections of the fridge are always the lower shelves, as the cold air sinks towards the bottom. The upper shelves and doors are actually the warmest - so by storing your milk in the bottom drawer or lower shelf, you can slow down the spoiling process. If you bought half the amount of two-pint cartons of milk as a result, you’d be saving just under £14 a year.
Wrap Cheese In Parchment Paper - Prevents Moisture & Lets It Breathe
Instead of keeping cheese in its original packaging, consider increasing its shelf life by weeks and wrapping it in parchment paper. This method works because the cheese will receive airflow without being subject to dehydration. Plus, it will remain humid without becoming soggy. Don’t use plastic wrap, as this could actually make cheese go off quicker. Your best bet is parchment or wax paper - and if you really want to invest, you can buy special cheese paper online. If you only bought a block of £3 cheddar every other month instead of monthly by trying this hack, you’d be saving £18 a year.
Swap Unsalted For Salted Butter - Double Shelf Life Easily
If you’re in the habit of buying unsalted butter, but you’re only using it for your toast and sandwiches, consider swapping it for the salted variety. Generally speaking, unsalted butter lasts around a month after the best by date, then two weeks once it’s opened. Meanwhile, salted butter should last for two months after the best by date, then a month once it’s opened. If a family of four is getting through a 225g stick of Lurpak unsalted butter every month, but switches to salted - the same price for both at £2.50 per unit - they will only have to buy half as much and save around £15 a year.
Wrap Banana Tails In Tin Foil - Slows The Ripening Process
We’ve all encountered a banana we forgot about, which has turned brown or black due to us not eating it quickly enough. However, you can slow down the ripening process when you bring a bunch of bananas home from the shops. How? By getting some tin foil or cling film and wrapping it around the stems, also known as the ‘tails’. By wrapping these black or brown sections of the fruit, you will reduce the release of ethylene gas - which is emitted from bananas and assists with its own ripening as well as that of fruit nearby. For the best result, separate the bananas from the bunch and wrap each individual stem.
Put Celery In With Your Bread - Stops Bread Going Stale & Mouldy
If you’ve ever opened your loaf of bread to make a sandwich, only to discover that it’s gone mouldy, consider placing a stick of celery into the bread bag. It may sound odd, but the bread will absorb the moisture provided by the celery and, in turn, remain fresh. Your loaf won’t become dry and mouldy at the same rate, so your chances of getting a sandwich together will increase! Plus, if you buy bread such as the £1.20 Hovis Soft White Medium weekly and only buy half as much due to this hack, you’d be saving just over £31 a year.
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