Fresh produce is essential if you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet, but sometimes your fruits and veggies go bad before you’ve even had the chance to enjoy them. And what’s worse, you just wasted precious grocery money. Luckily, there are ways to keep produce fresher longer. Let these 19 tips be your guide.
Note: If you’re storing produce in the refrigerator, maintaining a proper temperature is key. Keep your fridge at 40 degrees at all times.
1. Trim 1/4 inch off the bottoms of asparagus and place in water.
Keep trimmed asparagus in the refrigerator and watch it stay fresh for a week, sometimes even two weeks! Some suggest covering the asparagus with a clean plastic bag, but that’s optional.
2. Peel, cut, and freeze fresh ginger.
After you buy ginger, just peel it all and chop it into different size pieces, both big and small, and toss the pieces in a freezer bag for convenient use later.
3. Refrigerate cut avocados with onions.
Stick a piece of sliced onion in with cut avocado—this should keep the avocado from turning slimy. Don’t worry — the taste of the onion won’t transfer to the avocado.
4. Wash strawberries in a vinegar solution.
Soak strawberries in a three-parts-water, one-part-vinegar solution. Or, for easy math, use six cups of water and two cups of vinegar for a total of 8 cups of liquid. Soak berries for up to 10 minutes, and try not to wash them with water. Make sure they’re dry before re-packing them into the breathable container they came in.
Get more directions here.
5. Dice up and freeze fresh herbs in olive oil.
This is a great way to add some pizzaz to a meal when you’re short on time, or if you want to save the herbs from your garden at the end of the season.
6. Store mushrooms in a paper bag.
Storing mushrooms this way gives them a longer shelf life. The paper bag will absorb the moisture from the mushrooms, which keeps them from getting soggy.
7. Separate and layer a head of lettuce with paper towels.
This layering technique is a good way for lettuce to stay fresh for up to a week, sometimes longer.
8. Or, transfer bagged lettuce to a lidded container and place a paper towel on top.
9. Wrap celery in foil before refrigerating.
Storing celery in foil helps keep just the right amount of moisture in without being too airtight so ethylene gas can’t be released.
RELATED: The Ultimate How-to-Freeze Guide
10. Refrigerate nuts and seeds.
Nuts can go rancid from light and heat exposure, so storing them in airtight containers in the refrigerator, or even the freezer, guarantees they last longer.
11. Store potatoes with apples to keep them from sprouting.
12. Place herbs in water and loosely cover with a plastic bag.
Snip the bottoms off the stems, place them in water, and cover loosely with a plastic bag. Herbs like cilantro and parsley do best in the refrigerator, while herbs like basil should sit at room temperature. Herbs can stay fresh for up to two weeks.
13. Freeze sliced citrus on baking sheets.
Transfer frozen citrus slices or wedges to a freezer bag. Keep frozen until you’re ready to use them.
14. Chop up green onions, and store pieces in a water bottle in the freezer.
This method should keep the green onions fresh for up to three weeks. The water bottle allows for easy dispensing, but you can use any freezer-safe container.
15. Store onions, garlic, and shallots in paper bags with holes.
Follow these easy instructions to extend the life by up to two months.
16. Or, store onions in pantyhose.
Tie knots in between individual onions, and hang groups vertically in your pantry so each onion is protected and has room to breathe. Onions stored this way can last up to 8 months.
17. Cut the greens off carrots and store in a covered container filled with water.
By doing this and changing the water every 4 to 5 days, carrots can last up to a month in the refrigerator.
18. Store tomatoes at room temperature.
If the tomatoes you have are no longer attached to stems, place the stem part down to keep air from getting in and moisture from getting out.
19. Or, store tomatoes and fresh produce in Debbie Meyer GreenBags.
Debbie Meyer GreenBags actually work and will help fresh produce last for weeks. Buy 20 bags for $8.19 on Amazon. Each bag can be used up to 10 times.