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Updated on Aug 4, 2020. Posted on Mar 19, 2020

16 Food Storage Hacks For Stretching Your Groceries As Long As Possible

These are especially important right now.

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1. Store lemons in the fridge, not on countertops.

Faith Durand / The Kitchn

In a test, lemons stored in sealed plastic bags in the fridge lasted four times longer than lemons kept at room temperature. (The sealed plastic was key — read more at The Kitchn.)

2. Take cheese out of the plastic wrap it came in.

food52.com

Instead, re-wrap it in parchment paper or cheese paper so it can breathe and last longer. As Food52 explains: When cheese is wrapped in plastic, it can't intake oxygen — which can affect flavor and breed bacteria.

Get a set of 15 cheese paper storage bags on Amazon for $9.

3. Store refrigerated greens with a paper towel.

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The paper towel absorbs excess moisture, which keeps the greens from getting soggy over time — and extends their shelf-life.

4. Freeze about-to-wilt herbs in olive oil.

thepioneerwoman.com

Then use them as ready-made recipe starters in dishes that call for oil as the first step — like stews, soups, or roasts.

5. Or freeze the leftovers from a half-empty box of broth or stock.

pickytoplenty.com

Portion them out into ice cube trays, then drop into recipes that call for a bit of liquid to add flavor at the end, like pasta sauces.

6. Puree any past-their-prime greens (like kale or spinach) then freeze them into smoothie boosters.

popsugar.com

Totally fine if they're a little wilted or droopy — you won't be able to tell once everything gets pureed. Read more at PopSugar.

7. Stash berries in one of these magical produce savers.

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

We're pretty obsessed with these — and they work with other fruits and vegetables too. Read our full review here.

Get a set of three containers on Amazon for $26.99.

8. Store natural nut butters upside down to prevent separation.

Kelli Foster / The Kitchn

By doing this, the oil that naturally collects on top will instead work its way to the bottom — and you can avoid having to re-blend later.

9. Learn the zones of your fridge — then use and organize them correctly.

searshomeservices.com

This is so important — but not something everyone does. TL;DR: Get perishables off the fridge door, store produce in the crisper, push dairy towards the back, and keep raw meat on the bottom.

10. And double check the temperature.

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If your fridge is too hot or too cold, it doesn't matter how well it's organized. Stuff will still spoil before it's supposed to. (If you're not sure about proper temp, double check the manual that came with your fridge model — or look it up online.)

11. Freeze leftover tomato paste in scoops.

budgetbytes.com

Instructions here. Also, pro tip from a reader: "Open both ends with a can opener. Do the top, take it off, flip it over and open the bottom. Then push the paste out from the bottom — that way, nothing goes to waste."

12. Don't leave canned food leftovers in the can.

BuzzFeed

If you open a canned good — like beans, tuna, or tomatoes — but don't use all of it, make sure to transfer leftovers into a separate container. Refrigerating leftovers in the same open can negatively affect taste, among other things.

13. Store herbs upright in fresh water.

seriouseats.com

If you have the counterspace, this is the best way to ensure maximum extended freshness. Read more about why at Serious Eats.

14. Freeze meat if you're not eating it right away.

BuzzFeed

This way, you can also buy in bulk — which can save you a few bucks or at least prolong your next trip to the store. Find the FDA's freezer + fridge storage guidelines here.

15. Don't wash produce until it's time to eat it.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

If you pre-wash all your fruits and veggies when you get home from the store, the leftover dampness can make them mold or rot more quickly.

16. And lastly, freeze lime juice into ready-made margarita starters. 😎

reddit.com

Because you never know when the craving will strike. (When it does, just add tequila and sweetener — and you're good to go!)