5. Make frozen fruit and vegetables your new best friend.
Frozen produce lasts basically forever and is just as nutritious as the fresh versions. Bonus: Freezing means the fruits and veggies don’t need other preservatives. (Check ingredients lists and look for the ones with just the fruit or vegetable itself.)
6. Watch out for the Bulk Trap.
Some things (toilet paper, socks, beer) should always be bought in massive quantities when sold at a discount. But when it comes to fresh produce: Beware. Ask yourself, “Will I really eat that entire box of peaches before they go bad?”
7. Skip the Keurig.
Goodness gracious, the wastefulness of these machines cannot be overstated. In addition to all those little pods you’re tossing in the trash, you’re also throwing away your hard-earned dinero. When bought in Keurig-friendly pods, you can spend more than $50/pound on Folgers coffee. (Already committed? Buy a reusable filter instead of more pods.)
8. Buy organic milk instead of regular: It lasts a whole lot longer.
Not only is organic milk antibiotic- and hormone-free, it’s also processed differently to last longer. It might cost more upfront, but you won’t end up throwing away half the carton four days after you bought it.
10. Reorganize your fridge on the reg.
An organized fridge is a happy fridge, and maintaining one is a constant battle. Pro-tip: When you unpack your groceries, move older stuff to the front and newer foods to the back so that you finish the old foods before they expire.
11. Don’t mix fruits and vegetables.
They spoil each other.
14. Make your scallions last longer by keeping them in a jar of water in the fridge.
Simply remove the rubber band they came in, add about an inch or two of water to a jar, stand the scallions up in it, cover with a plastic bag and stick it in the fridge. Now they’ll stay crisp for a week.
19. Tupperware: Not just an excuse for parties.
You’re more likely to store your food properly if you have the right equipment. Invest in reusable, glass tupperware (stores better than the plastic disposable kind), as well as chip clips, and cookie tins. (Mason jars work too!)
25. Pickle (or preserve) whatever you’ve got.
You can pickle pretty much anything, so if you’re wondering what to do with all that kohlrabi your CSA keeps giving to you, or even your watermelon rinds, this might just be the answer. (Pro-tip: Save your pickle brine and use it again.)
30. Don’t confuse “sell-by,” “best-by,” or “use-by” with “toss-by.”
Not all expiration dates were created equally and very few of them will actually tell you if a food has gone bad. “Sell-by” means it has to be sold, not eaten, by a given date. “Best-by” means it will be at its peak of freshness, not safety, by a certain date. And “Use-By” indicates when the quality will start to go down.
Find out how you can compost in your city.
Different cities have different composting systems. More than 100 U.S. cities offer curbside composting, plenty have drop-off points at local farmers’ markets and community gardens, and if neither of those works, you can always pay someone to do it.
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