11 Quick Fixes to Make Fresh Ingredients Last Longer

Save your hard-earned cash for something fabulous and stop spending money on food you end up throwing away. These penny-saving tips and tricks for how to keep food fresher for longer will help reduce your food waste by extending the shelf life of food.

1. Make Yourself Some Pantry Hose

Did you know that keeping whole onions in a breathable, dry and separated fashion will maximize their shelf life? Try popping your onions into a clean pair of tights, tying a knot between each and hanging them up in your kitchen. You can do the same with garlic and they’ll last for months.

2. Wrap the Tops of Bananas in Foil

They’ll ripen at a slower rate, making sure you have fewer bananas going too brown and spotty all over. This crown is where the ethylene gas that ripens them comes from. Don’t worry if they do get there eventually – there’s always the option of baking banana bread!

On the other hand, if you need ripe bananas for banana bread but your bananas are still green, place them on a baking tray and bake at 140C for 20-30 minutes. They’ll turn black and be perfect for your bread or cake.

3. Don’t Store Cheese in Cling Film

Wrap your cheese it in wax or greaseproof paper, then foil and store in a warmer part of the fridge. This will stop it from drying out quickly.

4. Brown Sugar SOS

Add a marshmallow to a bag of brown sugar to stop the granules from clumping together and becoming solid. The marshmallow helps to soak up excess moisture you don’t want hanging around in your bag. Sweet.

5. Herb Oil Ice Cubes

Chop up your fresh herbs, put them in ice cube trays, top with olive oil and cover in cling film. These will keep in the freezer for months and add a burst of flavour to everything from soups to stews. For a little kick, add chopped chilli too.

6. Keep Fruits and Veggies Away from One Another

This is a valuable trick that’ll help extend the life of your produce. This is because fruits emit ethylene, a gas that makes other fruits and vegetables ripen faster. That’s why one rotten apple can ruin a whole bunch and why putting a banana in a paper bag with an avocado will make the avocado ripen quickly.

7. Store Shredded Salad with a Paper Towel

Set your poor salad free from its’ plastic packaging and place it in a big bowl with a paper towel, then cover with a lid or cling film. Next, keep it nice and cool in the fridge. The paper towel will absorb any moisture, keeping your salad crisp.

8. Freeze Butter

Good deal on butter at your local supermarket? Buy some extra and pop them in your freezer so you’ll never be caught short again. I you’re a keen baker try grating frozen butter for shortcrust pastry dough. It’ll be wonderfully crisp once baked.

9. Keep Mushrooms in a Paper Bag

A brown paper bag will keep your mushrooms fresh by absorbing any moisture that evaporates. Plastic bags don’t allow them to breathe and can cause them to spoil very quickly.

10. Don’t Store Onions and Potatoes Together

The onions will make the potatoes sprout and neither will last very long. Instead, keep onions in a pair of tights and store potatoes with apples.

11. Keep Fresh Herbs in Paper Towels

If you’re not keen on freezing your fresh herbs in oil, try washing them as soon as you get them home, drying and storing in the fridge between two pieces of kitchen roll instead.

12. Don’t Put Sweet Potatoes in the Fridge

The cold temperature will affect the sugars in sweet potatoes and make them spoil quickly. Store these beauties in a cool, dark place for a longer life.

If you're looking for brilliant ways to reduce food waste, take a peek at ToTheRescue. They have pulled together loads of practical help and inspiration on how to waste less and save more, including using their website Sainsbury's Food Rescue which helps you to use up ingredients that can often lay forgotten at the back of your fridge or cupboard.