An average Indian family spends 5-20% of their monthly budget for groceries. If you are careful of your budget and plan the grocery items before ordering, pat your back as many don’t do it. We often visit our favorite grocery store or browse through online grocery shopping site, we end up ordering and purchasing things that are tempting and appealing. Consequently, we order and reorder, which adds to our budget. Do you know why we always spend more than the budget for our groceries? Maybe its time to open your fridge and peek what is going bad, and while you decide to throw a few kinds of stuff, you should keep a count on how much you spent on it. This happens to everyone, so here we have listed grocery hacks to help you save your food and money. As you often look for grocery store hacks, now it the time you also read more about grocery hacks.
21 Grocery Hacks to Boost the Shelf Life of Your Groceries
1. Bundle your Herbs
Ever Indian dish looks incomplete without a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves. Now we also use herbs like basil, parsley, and rosemary in our dishes. The biggest problem we face it the short life of these herbs. To increase its life, you need to trim a half-inch of its stem and place it in a glass. The glass should hold water only to dip one inch of the stem. Then you can also cover the greens with a plastic bag to contain its moisture loss. This grocery hacks can keep your herbs fresh.
2. Never keep green leafy vegetables open
The leafy vegetables like spinach (palak), fenugreek leaves (methi), or spring onion(Pyaaz Patte) are the most delicate and quick to ruin vegetables. It is advised to consume as soon as possible. Yet if you want to store it longer, make sure it is not kept open. If they are rinsed, wrap it in a paper towel and refrigerate in an airtight plastic bag or container. The paper towel absorbs most of the moisture keeping your vegetable fresh for a long time.
3. Freeze herbs with oil
If you see herbs are a little dry and cant be used fresh. Please don’t throw away; rather, give it another chance to impress you with its flavors. You can separate the leaves from the stem and finely chop the herbs. Further, take the ice tray and evenly distribute all the chopped herbs in each section. Now pour olive oil or any cooking oil you use. Please put it in the refrigerator to freeze it. These oil cube can be used in any dressing or cooking purposes. This grocery hacks saved me from the guilty of throwing away plenty of herbs.
4. Wrap green with foil
Instead of keeping the green vegetables like broccoli, lettuce, cabbage uncovered in the fridge, you can consider wrapping it with foil or cling sheet to keep it fresh. The covering and wrapping will restrict its air interaction resulting in more moisture retention and prevention of discoloration. It will make the vegetable look fresh and stay longer in your fridge.
5. Store the Onions in pantyhose
Onions are one of those everyday vegetables which we can order in bulk and keep it fresh for a long. You will be surprised to know that if you store the onions in cold, dry, and dark place, you store it up to 6 weeks. The best place to store its pantry or any moisture-free area of your house. Another way to keep onion is pantyhose; you can drop an onion in each foot, then you can tie a small knot in between and then continue this pattern till you fill the legs with onion. It is good to store a small quantity of onion. Further, you can also cut and keep the onion, which will last up to 10-14 days. You can pick any of the grocery hacks for onion and try to save the rotting onion.
6. Store the potatoes in a cardboard
The biggest mistake we do while storing potatoes is that we use plastic bags to store them. That’s a big NO if you wish to store potatoes for long. The best grocery hacks for potatoes we can suggest is to start using a cardboard box, basket, mesh bag, or simple paper bag. It will allow for adequate ventilation. Also, you can store it in a dark, dry room, so it doesn’t sprout.
7. Keep tomatoes upside down
Only put the ripe tomatoes in the fridge. You can keep the unripe tomatoes on the countertop. You need to remove the stem and store it with the stem-side down while storing beautiful red tomatoes. It will contain the moisture in one place and keep it juicier for a more extended period. It is advised that when you reach your fridge to pick the tomatoes, don’t choose the best one; instead, check for which is a little soft, and many get spoilt and use it first. Also, if there are many tomatoes and they are on the verge of getting spoilt, you can make a puree out of it can store it in the airtight jar.
8. De-stem the chilies
The green chilies are something that is always found in our fridge. Maybe that is the most ignored fridge resident. It dries up or get mashy and eventually thrown in the dustbin. To save the chilies, we are sharing with you this grocery hack that no one will tell you. Rinse the chilies, remove all the stems, wipe it with a kitchen towel, and store it in an airtight container. Try doing this, and you can keep the chilies fresh for weeks.
9. Burry the ginger
Because of so many medicinal properties, it has a fond place in every Indian kitchen. If we keep ginger on the countertop, it will soon lose moisture and get hard and dry. If this happens with you too, then next never heard grocery hacks is for you. Next time when you buy ginger, you can store it in soil. Yes, you heard it right. Get the unused flower pot, moisten the soil, and burry ginger under it. The moist soil will keep it fresh for quite a long time. This is proven to be the best hack for ginger; give it a try.
10. Ziplock mushrooms
If you properly store mushrooms, it is kept fresh up to 10 days. It is best to store unwashed, unpeeled, and whole. You can keep it in the paper bag and fold the top of the bag. Also, you can store it in a zip-lock plastic bag.
11. Wrap the cucumber
The cucumbers you buy, make sure you rinse and dry it first. Then wrap every cucumber individually with a cling sheet or plastic wrapper. The intention is to contain the amount of moisture in it. The wrapped cucumber can be stored in the fridge to slow down the decay process. This grocery hack will help you keep it fresh for a week or ten days.
12. Wrap the tip of carrots
The carrots are colorful and best friends for our eyes. If you wish to store carrots longer, you need to know its decaying pattern and act accordingly. Unlike cucumber, carrots start getting mashy and rotting from the tip. Even when it starts drying up, the tip of the carrot becomes flimsy first. Therefore, you should wrap all carrots individually and make sure the tip is specially wrapped well. It will prevent excess moisture loss and will keep you carrot crunchy and colorful for a longer period.
13. Cover apple with a damp cloth
Generally, fruits are useful to store at room temperature without getting bad. However, when summers get as hot as 48-50°C, they are to be kept in the fridge. The ideal apple storage temperature is between 2 to 3 degrees celsius. You can store apples in the fruits and vegetable crisper drawer covered with a wet paper towel. Storing apple in a plastic bag is never a good idea.
14. Wrap banana crown
You can wrap the banana’s crown and tip with a cling sheet to minimize the moisture loss. You can do this when banana is fully ripe, as refrigeration will slow down ripening. Using this grocery hack, you can see the peel may turn brown, but the fruit will remain firm and fresh up to 1 to 2 weeks.
15. Put the strawberries in a container
In case you bought the strawberries home and you are going to consume the same day, there is no need to put it in the fridge. However, if you are planning to consume later, then you can rinse and dry it. Further, take an airtight container and line it with a paper towel, and place the strawberries there. It helps to maintain humidity and keeps it from becoming dry. Also, make sure all the strawberries are equally fresh because anyone rotten strawberry can damage the entire batch.
16. Store meat separately
When you are freezing the raw chicken, meat, or seafood items, we would suggest removing it from the plastic package and washing it well. Later, you can place it in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container. If you are trying to freeze it for a longer time, consider this grocery hack, which would come handy. You can wrap the meat in individual servings amount. This will keep it fresh, and it will also save you time. Of course, you cant do it with minced meat, but you can still keep it in an airtight container. The best place to store meat is the lowest shelf and away from other groceries if you don’t want to freeze it.
17. Freeze the bread
Bread is a portion of everyday food for many of us, and maybe the most wasted food item. The bread gets bad quickly and can even grow molds. Therefore, this is the most useful grocery hack for us. You can wrap the bread in aluminum foil or plastic. This will not let the bread dry. Also, note that you should not keep it in room temperature for more than two days. If there are many bread extra, freeze them and thaw it when needed.
18. Don’t keep Eggs on the fridge door shelf
If you have been storing the eggs on the refrigerator door, then stop doing it right away. The eggs need consistent cold temperatures, and when you keep it on the door shelf, the temperature fluctuates for it. Therefore, it is suggested to keep the eggs in the main body of the refrigerator.
19. Don’t keep milk on the door shelf
Once you open a milk carton, it can last for 6-7 days in the refrigerator, while if you boil the raw milk it lasts for just two days. Therefore milk is the most perishable item in your fridge. Like eggs, it also requires a consistently cold temperature around 4℃. The best place to keep the milk in the middle or top shelf of the fridge.
20. Reseal prepacked goods
The packaged product which is not moisture friendly should be kept sealed. For instance, you opened a large pack of oats, and you used a little now, you would generally clip the open mouth or fold it, yet in some time, it will be a waste as air and moisture can still enter, especially in monsoon. This grocery hack will save you a lot of money, and you won’t have to throw the dry food product. So next time when you open that large plastic packet of oats, burn the tip of the open mouth slightly with a candle or matchstick or gas burner and stick the ends together. It will completely reseal the packet.
21. Store leftover
Storing and reusing the leftovers is an excellent idea. It helps us not to wastefully throw away the cooked food rather keep it well for later consumption. You can divide a large amount of leftover into smaller portions and place it in shallow containers for quicker cooling. Make sure you store the poultry and meats separate from other leftover food. Consider this last grocery hack regarding leftover food, never overload the container. If you stuff your container with leftover food, the chance of it getting spoilt is more.
Organize your fridge better to boost the shelf-life of the food
We never cared to notice how can we organize the fridge cleverly to make the food last. Believe it or not, it matters a lot. We need to start storing food items in the refrigerator not based on ‘let’s see where it fits’ instead, let’s know where it should be. In this blog, we talked about specific items that should be placed on one particular shelf of the fridge. So, go through this detailed infographic below and try to follow it because it will help you say I don’t waste food anymore. Of all the above grocery hacks, this is one of the most helpful hacks.