8 Clever Food Storage Hacks to Extend Your Food’s Shelf-Life

There’s nothing worse than that sinking feeling you get when you open up your refrigerator and are greeted with the sight of just-off produce that you intended to cook but just didn’t get around to on time. None of us want to contribute to food waste, so it’s important to give ourselves, and our groceries, every opportunity to eat and get eaten.

The first step to extending your food’s shelf-life begins long before the time comes to prepare a meal or consume your leftovers. Proper storage techniques can not only keep your food more fresh, it can even help revive some iffy-looking produce from the brink of no return.

Food Storage Tricks to Prevent Spoiling

Here are some clever food storage hacks that will help save your food.

1. Keep cookies fresh by storing them with bread.

You don’t even need a full slice of bread for this trick. The rule of thumb is to use a quarter slice per dozen cookies. Your cookies will absorb the moisture from your bread and remain soft, rather than go stale. Then, repurpose that leftover bread in one of these recipes.

2. Preserve your herbs in ice cubes.

Too often, we’re forced to buy huge bundles of fresh herbs, when the recipe we need them for only calls for a sprig or two. An easy (and incredibly delicious) way to ensure your herbs are getting used is to freeze them…in flavorful broth, water or even olive oil ice cubes.

Per The Gardener’s Eden, all you need to do is chop up your herbs, stuff them in an ice cube tray, and fill the tray with your binding liquid of choice. Pop the tray in the freezer, and then chuck an herb-infused ice cube into whatever meal you need it for at a later date.

3. Wrap your greens in paper towels.

Or, alternatively, place a dry paper towel the middle of a store-bought container of spinach, lettuce, or similar. The paper towel will help absorb excess liquid from your greens that makes them go mildewy and soft after a few days.

4. Store your tomatoes on the counter…

Raise your hand if you store your tomatoes in the refrigerator—yeah, me too. But it turns out storing tomatoes in room temperature (and out of direct sunlight) actually makes them less mealy and can improve their color and taste.

The only exception here is if you accidentally bought an incredibly ripe tomato at the grocery store and desperately need to keep it fresh for a day or two. That’s when throwing it in the fridge is the way to go.

5. …and upside-down.

Who knew tomatoes were so particular? It’s true, though. If you store tomatoes stem-side down at room temperature, less air is able to penetrate into the top, and that will help extend its shelf-shelf-life, as well.

Of course, if your tomato still has it’s stem attached, you can disregard this tip.

6. Dip your berries in vinegar.

This is one of the less intuitive hacks, but if you dip your berries quickly in a water and vinegar mix (three parts water to one part vinegar, such as apple cider) before storing, the vinegar will help kill off bacteria that makes your berries spoil and mold faster.

Find out how to wash them in the mixture properly here.

7. Store eggs and dairy in the back of the fridge.

Most people store eggs and milk in the very front of the refrigerator. In fact, many refrigerators even have an egg contained installed in the door. However, doors are the warmest part of the refrigerator, and foods stored in the front are more susceptible to room temperature changes.

Keep juices and condiments at the front, and push the eggs and milk closer to the back.

8. Treat your asparagus like a bouquet of flowers.

This last hack is my favorite. Asparagus, scallions and some other herbs keep best if you store them like you would store cut flowers from the market. Trim their stems and place them in a glass jar (or vase, if you’re feeling romantic) with some water, and then place a clean plastic bag over the top to keep them hydrated, fresh, and crisp. Find out exactly how here.

8 Clever Food Storage Hacks to Extend Your Food's Shelf-Life

Images via Getty

65 comments

Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer13 days ago

really good ideas thahks

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Barbara S
Barbara S13 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Chad Anderson
Chad A14 days ago

Thank you.

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Christine S

I must try the vinegar rinse for berries- I hate when my beautiful strawberries get moldy the day after I bought them!

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Teresa W
Teresa W16 days ago

thank you

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Angela K
Angela K17 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Olivia M
Past Member 17 days ago

Thank you

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Leo C
Leo C17 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Leo C
Leo C17 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Tabot T
Tabot T17 days ago

Thanks for sharing!

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