Charles Haverfield, Packaging Executive at US Packaging and Wrapping has shared his top food storage hacks to keep your food fresher for longer. In this way, families and individuals can save money on their weekly shop.
When it comes to fruit and vegetables, some ingredients are best kept in the fridge, while others are best stored in the cupboard.
“In a test, it revealed lemons lasted longer if they were stored in the fridge,” Charles revealed.
“Not only this, but if you refrigerated the lemons in sealed plastic bags as well, they lasted four times longer than lemons kept at room temperature.”
As for berries, which can be expensive, Charles had a handy trick that helps prevent them from getting stale.
“To keep them mould-free for as long as possible, try rinsing your berries in a water and vinegar solution,” he explained. “Make sure to use one part vinegar to 10 parts water.
“Your berries could last up to ten days by doing this nifty hack as soon as you get them home from the supermarket.”
Charles went on to recommend vaccum sealing, which can help keep food fresher for longer.
He said: “If you already do a lot of freezing or bulk-purchasing to help cut costs, it might be worth adding a vacuum sealing method to this process.
“Typically used for commercial food preservation, it can be adopted on a smaller scale at home too.
“You can either buy a mini vacuum sealer, which retails for around £25, or there is a simple DIY method using a zip-top plastic freezer bag and a bowl of water.
“The extended storage time for vacuum sealed foods is impressive and can make it last up to five times longer.
“For example, cheese like parmesan, Swiss and cheddar can remain fresh for four to eight months, while vegetables like lettuce and spinach can last for two weeks, and fruits like pears and apples last around two months when vacuum sealed.”
Bananas are another food that can go mouldy and stale quickly. Charles advised: “Wrap banana stems in clingfilm to keep them fresh.
“The plastic wrap helps enclose ethylene gas, which bananas produce as they ripen. The clingfilm works by trapping the gas and preventing it from speeding up the ripening process.
“This method can keep bananas fresh for up to five days longer than usual.”
As for vegetables, Charles recommended storing them “like flowers”. “Save money on flowers by making your veg the new centrepiece of your home,” he joked.
“Some vegetables need water to stay fresh if they are not consumed on the day they are purchased.
“Try storing sliced cucumber in water to preserve it for longer. You can also keep greens like asparagus, spring onion, and celery in jars of water.”
Other vegetables should be kept in the dark to prevent sprouting, Charles explained. These include garlic, potatoes, butternut squash, and root vegetables.
“A dry environment is best and so is using brown paper bags to store them in,” the expert said. “You’ll need a separate brown bag for each vegetable.
“Another tip to keep potatoes fresh for two weeks or more is to store them with an apple. The ethylene gas given off by an apple also stops potatoes from sprouting.”