Do you feel like you are constantly running to the grocery store or splurging on Instacart for a handful of items? Maybe you’ve run out of something or need additional items to pull off a meal. Perhaps that lettuce just didn’t make it as long as you’d hoped.
Whatever the reason for frequent supermarket trips, if you can minimize them, you’ll save yourself time and likely money.
9 Hacks to Make Your Groceries Last Longer:
1.) Plan ahead.
Make a simple outline or menu of what you plan to prepare for the week. Then build a shopping list around those meals. Be careful not to overbuy items that will spoil quickly.
With proper planning it’s easy to nearly eliminate waste while only having to shop every 7-10 days. Yes, you may spend more time meal planning but you’ll save time on less grocery store trips.
2.) Buy a mix of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
Use fresh produce in whatever you are cooking early in the week and use the frozen produce later in the week.
Frozen fruits and vegetables often have a higher nutrient content than fresh. So you don’t have to worry about lacking on nutrition with this tip.
3.) If you buy delicate greens like spring mix lettuce, arugula or spinach you can extend their shelf life.
Open the container as soon as you get home and stuff a few paper towels down into the container surrounding the greens.
This will help absorb any moisture in the container that makes them rapidly wilt. Crunchy greens such as romaine lettuce typically do well with a little moisture. So don’t use this hack with crunchy greens.
4.) Make a list of staple items you like to keep on hand as well as items you buy every week.
Doing this will ensure you don’t forget something you need, resulting in time wasted on an extra grocery store trip.
If you are an app person you can use an app like AnyList to get organized. In the app simply create a “recipe” for staple items and weekly items. Then you can easily add items to your shopping list every week by opening the recipe and clicking on what you need.
5.) If you have more leftovers, go ahead and freeze them.
They will make great meals later when you are in a pinch and can’t make it to the store anytime soon.
6.) As fruits reach their peak, if you don’t think you will use them soon freeze them for later use in smoothies, sauces or pies.
The same goes for vegetables. If you don’t think you will use them soon freeze them for later use in soups, stews, slow cooker recipes or just to steam as a side dish.
7.) Be careful which produce items you store together.
Ethylene gas producing fruits and vegetables, such as apples, grapes, kiwi, tomatoes will speed up ripening of other fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, lettuce and berries.
8.) Most produce items shouldn’t be washed until they are ready to be eaten.
This will ensure your produce lasts longer.
9.) Take advantage of the crisper drawer in your fridge when storing items that need moisture such as grapes, celery, cucumbers, etc.
Be sure to keep moisture sensitive items out of the crisper drawer such as berries and delicate greens like spring mix lettuce.
With these handful of hacks you can help you make your groceries last longer. Let us know in the comments which tip you plan on using first.