Tag Archives: food waste

Making Groceries Last Longer

food wasteWhen it comes to buying groceries, I realize I am an odd duck. I work out of the home. I get bored. The grocery store is about a 2-minute drive from my house. Also, we don’t cook all that much. Bottom line, shopping is boredom therapy for me, and I am at the grocery store 3 or 4 times a week, buying 6 or 9 dollars’ worth of stuff at a time.

I’m not a mom with 4 kids buying…however much groceries are needed to, you know, keep them alive and stuff. But if I were, I would be concerned about food waste and spoilage, and making my purchases last.

If that’s you, you should check out this piece from MoneyTalksNews, “21 Tricks to Make Groceries Last Longer.” Here are some highlights…

  • Toss spoiled produce: the culprit is ethylene. Rotting produce emits this gas, and it corrupts the good produce.
  • Punch holes in plastic produce bags: Trapped moisture speeds up breakdown
  • Freeze fruit: Apparently, you can do this. I have never tried anything beyond bananas
  • Shrink-wrap the crown of bananas: Again, ethylene. This apparently helps
  • Fresh herbs in water: Bundled in a vase, just like flowers!
  • Onions in pantyhose: Your mom read this in a Helpful Heloise article in 1977
  • Store counter items away from windows: Sunlight makes produce age faster.
  • Wraps greens in foil: Makes them last longer in the fridge
  • Reduce clutter in the fridge: Better air flow means better temperature distribution, fewer warm spots
  • Upside down tomatoes: If the stem is gone, storing upside down means less air will seep into the hole and cause spoilage

There are many more tips at the original piece, so check it out!

Some of these make complete sense, others (such as buttering your sliced cheese for storage) seem a little nutty. But, if you’re desperate to wring every penny out of your food budget, preventing food waste is a big concern.

How about you? See any useful tips? Any old family tricks you would like to share? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Fighting Food Waste


I usually avoid reading articles about food waste, as they are typically written to make Americans feel bad about the rich bounty of our lives. This one, however, puts it in dollars and cents – you PAID for that food! Why throw it away?

First, the depressing statistics:

  • About 40 percent of all food in the U.S. goes to waste.
  • The average American wastes about $28 to $43 in food each month, roughly 20 pounds of food.
  • Broken down, about 17 percent of dairy, 20 percent of vegetables, 15 percent of fruit, 18 percent of the grains, 25 percent of seafood, and 33 percent of the meat you buy goes to waste. Money Talks News

How to avoid throwing food (and money) away? There are several tips and tricks you can use – some a little nuttier than others.  The full list is at the original article, but here are some highlights.

1.     Store onions in pantyhose. (I assume you shouldn’t be wearing them at the time.)

2.     Add rice to your seasonings. (Absorbs moisture, and gives your spices that extra ricey flavor!)

3.     Invest in airtight plastic containers. (Keeps crackers, cereal, etc. fresh for two extra weeks!)

4.     Store bread in the fridge. (I don’t buy enough bread to know if this works or not, but my bagels last up to a month!)

5.     Prep salads in mason jars. (Apparently, you can keep salads for 10 days this way!)

6.     Give fruits and vegetables a vinegar bath. (Removes dirt, wax, and bacteria for longer shelf life.)

7.     Keep an eye out for bad apples. (Despite what the Osmond Brothers say, one bad apple CAN spoil the whole bunch, girl.)

8.     Make frozen buttermilk or cream cubes. (Yes, in an ice tray. Yes, people will think you are crazy.)

At our house, it’s usually bananas and salad fixin’s that seem to get wasted most. How about you? Are these tips useful? Bizarre? Usefully bizarre? Read the original article, and let us know!