Food Saving Tips
Prepare perishable foods soon after shopping. It will be easier to whip up meals later in the week, saving time, effort, and money.
• When you get home from the store, take the time to wash, dry, chop, dice, slice, and place your fresh food items in clear storage containers for snacks and easy cooking.
• Befriend your freezer and visit it often. Freeze food such as bread, sliced fruit, or meat that you know you won’t be able to eat in time.
• Cut your time in the kitchen by preparing and freezing meals ahead of time.
• Prepare and cook perishable items, then freeze them for use throughout the month. For example, bake and freeze.
Food Scrap recycling is easier than you think! Follow our easy to use chart and make sure you're using the most of the food scraps you end up with at the end of your meal prep!
Here's a Storage Guide for keeping your food as fresh for as long as possible!
If you like your fruit at room temperature, take what you will eat for the day out of the fridge in the morning.
Many fruits give egg natural gases that hasten the spoilage of other nearby produce. Store bananas, apples and tomatoes by themselves and store fruits and vegetables in different bins.
Consider storage bags and containers designed to help extend the life of your produce. To prevent mold wash berries just before eating
Tips from Save The Food Campaign: https://www.savethefood.com/tips
Don’t give up on that droopy celery just yet. Often a quick fix in the kitchen can transform would-be throwaways into healthy, hearty meals.
Yes, even if it’s a bit stale, burned, or questionably seasoned. So, before throwing it in the garbage pail (or better yet, the compost pile) — use one of these tips to extend the life of your food, and cut down on waste.
A quick soak in ice water for 5 to 10 minutes is often enough to reinvigorate wilted veggies. Bendy carrots will straighten right up, lettuce will crisp, and limp broccoli will find its strength again. And even if they can’t be restored, some veggies you intended to eat raw — carrots, celery, and greens — can still shine in a cooked dish.
Toast stale chips and crackers for a minute or two in a regular or toaster oven to crisp them right back up. This works for bread, too — day-or-two-old bread turns into perfectly acceptable toast. And those crumbs and small bits at the bottom of a bag of chips or crackers add a lively crunch when sprinkled over salads.
Is your soup too salty? Add vinegar, lemon juice, or brown sugar to fix the problem — or dilute with water, crushed tomatoes or unsalted broth. You can also pop a raw, peeled potato into the pot of soup to absorb some of the salt. Remove the potato before serving (and combine it with another boiled potato to make a not-too-salty mash).
The timer broke, the phone rang, or you just got distracted. Whatever the reason, the next time you burn a dish, don’t just toss it right away. You can remove burned beans or stew from the heat, scoop the unblackened portion into a new pot and cover with a damp cloth for 10 minutes. This removes much of the burned flavor. And, if the dish still tastes unappetizing, try adding barbecue, sweet chili, or hot sauce. (By the way, these sauces work wonders on recipes that turn out bland or weren’t seasoned quite right.) Still inedible? Okay, you gave it your best, you may now order takeout.
When in doubt, puree. Overcooked vegetables and dishes that disappoint can always be transformed into soups or sauces. Just toss them in the blender with some soup stock, milk, or cream. Broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes and even leftover stir fry are excellent for this.
If you’re really ambitious, you can revive kitchen scraps. Onion and green onion bottoms, celery, and lettuce cores can all be replanted to generate more of themselves. Take a look at the Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook to learn more.
Sure, a freezer is useful. But it’s so much more. It’s practically magic — a tool that allows you to push the pause button on food in your kitchen.
When you’ve bought (or cooked) too much. When you’re about to go on vacation. When your best intentions to make chicken parmesan fall prey to last-minute plans. And when you’re the only person who liked that huge pot of soup you made. During these times, the freezer is the best way to preserve food until you’re ready to eat it. And even though almost any food can be frozen, many people underuse this valuable piece of machinery. These six tips can help you get the most from your freezer.
FREEZE IN PORTIONS
Think about real-life meal planning when you freeze. For instance, you probably won’t need a whole loaf of bread at once, so slice it up before you pop it in the freezer. Then you can toast it right from the freezer a slice or two at a time. Use a muffin tin to freeze stews and chili in portions that are perfect for lunch. Freeze berries on a cookie sheet separately for about half an hour and then transfer to a bag, so they won’t all stick together in a clump. Scramble two raw eggs (yes, eggs can be frozen!) so that you can cook breakfast for one. You get the idea.
KEEP IT AIRTIGHT
Less air = less freezer burn (what happens when foods oxidize in the freezer). Remove meat from supermarket trays and wrap well with plastic wrap or freezer paper before storing in zip-top bags. Squeeze excess air from plastic bags and containers, and avoid opening the freezer door unnecessarily. Freezer burn is harmless but affects taste. Oh, and those water crystals that can form on frozen foods? Perfectly normal.
LEAVE ROOM FOR LIQUIDS
You may have learned in science class that matter contracts when subjected to lower temperatures, but that’s not always true in the kitchen. Most liquids expand in the freezer, so leave about half an inch at the top of containers to account for this.
You can put most foods straight into the freezer with minimal preparation, especially if you plan to eat them within a couple of days. Most fruits and vegetables, however, benefit from the simple process of blanching, which preserves their quality, color, and vitamin content—particularly if they might be in the freezer for a long time. It takes a few minutes at the most: you clean your produce, pop it in a pot of boiling water, then cool in ice water. See the storage section for specific blanching times.
LABEL AND ORGANIZE
Label containers with contents and date, and use clear containers when possible so you can easily see what’s inside. Lay bags of leftover mashed potatoes and tomato puree flat in the freezer so they’re easy to stack. You can use large containers to partition your freezer by food type, with areas for fruits, vegetables, and prepared foods. As your commitment to freezing grows, you can use a white board on the freezer door to keep a log of what’s inside. It helps with meal planning and minimizes time spent digging around for last week’s corn.
You’ve taken care to freeze your foods to their best advantage, now give some time and attention to proper thawing. The safest ways to defrost frozen foods are by placing them in the fridge (overnight will usually do it), in the microwave (settings vary according to model), or in a bowl of cold water. Food safety experts do not recommend thawing on the kitchen counter or in warm water. And, yes, you can refreeze your food, as long as you’ve followed one of the procedures to defrost it safely in the first place.