Monday, April 21, 2014

Ways to Save Money on Groceries

I am always looking for ways to save money on anything that I can. Whether it's using coupons, cutting back or making things last longer, I try to stick to them. 

Too many times I have opened the fridge and found things that have gone bad overnight! Here are a few ways that I have found to work very well to save money by keeping things longer, storing food longer and getting most out of what yo pay for.

Chop up your chives and keep them in an old water bottle in the freezer for extended freshness. Make sure the green onions are completely dry before storing or they’ll get freezer burn. 

Rinse your berries in vinegar (both white and apple cider will work). 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water.

One rotten apple can spoil an entire batch of fruit, so the second you see something looking a little old be sure to toss it.

Add a dab of butter to the cut side of cheese to prevent it from drying out. Also, be sure to wrap it in wax paper (not plastic) and then place it into a reusable baggie and store it in the warmest area of your fridge (i.e., not your chiller drawer).

Store asparagus like fresh cut flowers.

Wrap the top of bananas with plastic wrap and they should keep 3 to 5 days longer.

Wrap greens such as broccoli, lettuce, and celery in foil before popping them into your refrigerator.

Tomatoes do not belong in your fridge—rather they should be stored outside of it at room temperature.

Leftover guacamole tends to oxidize and turn brown quickly. To prevent this, spray with oil and put plastic wrap over the top but make sure the plastic wrap is touching the entire exposed surface of the dip. You should also keep the pit in the guacamole.

Mushrooms should never be stored in plastic. Instead, place them into a brown paper bag or a cardboard box.

Onions stored in pantyhose will last as long as 8 months.

Store delicate herbs like flowers, then cover with plastic, secure with a rubber band, and refrigerate.

Oily herbs like thyme can be tied loosely together with string and hung in the open air.

Don’t store onions with potatoes. Both emit a gas that can spoil the other. Store potatoes with apples to keep them from sprouting. 

Freeze and preserve fresh herbs in olive oil.The herbs will infuse the oil while freezing, and the ice cubes are very handy for cooking: just pop one out and use as the base of a dish. Works best with rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano. Dill, basil, and mint should always be used fresh.

Clean your fridge. Once something goes bad in your fridge or cupboards, it leaves behind a nice gang of mold ready to eat up your new food. Disinfect the fridge — it’ll make everything last a little longer.

Keep ginger in the freezer. It grates much more easily, and the peel grates up so fine that you don’t actually need to peel it. Plus it lasts way longer.

Nuts that are roasted have more flavor, keep longer, and can always be used in recipes that call for nuts, roasted or otherwise. Spread them in a single layer on a sheet pan, bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant.

Avoid cutting and slicing. If you keep your produce in full form, it won’t go bad or mold nearly as fast!

If you are buying a few loaves of bread or even buns, freeze what you won’t use right away and put what you will use in the fridge.

Avoid bagged veggies and pre-cut fruits

Keep milk and other highly perishable items on the middle shelf of your fridge, NOT in the door where the temperatures fluctuate.

Avoid over stocking your fridge. A crowded fridge will keep air from circulating properly leading to warm spots that can cause spoilage.

Add rice to your seasonings. The rice will absorb moisture.

Bag clips or freshness clips are a quick and easy way to keep food fresher… longer.

 Honey is actually the only food that never spoils but it can turn sugary after a while. Just place the entire jar of honey in a glass container with a bit of water in the bottom and put it on a candle warmer.

If you want eggs to last longer, store them inside the fridge as opposed to in the door. Eggs that are stored on a middle shelf will last up to 4 weeks past their sell by date and those stored in the door will often begin to go bad right around the sell by date.

In order to keep raisins from hardening, store them in a mason jar with a tight lid.

If you tend to buy up more flour and sugar than you typically need, you can keep them in the freezer to preserve their freshness. Just sit the entire bag in the freezer and you can keep it there for up to six months or longer.

Orange juice is great for keeping peaches fresh when freezing. Just slice in half and remove the pit and then dip only the fleshy side into orange juice. Place the peaches on a cookie sheet with the flesh side up and freeze. Once they are frozen hard, you can transfer them into freezer bags and date them so that you know when you froze them.

Put a marshmallow in with your brown sugar; it prevents the sugar from clumping and hardening.

Store your salsa jars upside down in the fridge; it will prevent mold.

Freeze leftover liquids in usable portions to use for later.

Freeze things as flat as possible to save room.

Store spices in a cool, dark place, not above your stove. Humidity,  light and heat will cause them to lose their flavor.

Save the zest from my organic citrus, (oranges, limes, and lemons) and store it in the freezer for later.

Store nut butters upside down. This will prevent the oils gathering at the top.

“Sell by” is the last day the product should be bought in the store. It can be eaten several days to a week after it’s been purchased.

“Use by” is the date through which the item will be considered top quality, but it too can be used days after that, if stored properly.

Pay Attention to Package Instructions.
Some items require refrigeration after opening while others do not. How do you know which ones do and which don’t? Just read the package. Note that to avoid food-borne illness; you should always “keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold”.

It’s really important when shopping to only buy what you need. Make sure to pre plan what you need to make it through till the next grocery shop and avoid overbuying items that may be wasted. This is especially important when it comes to fresh produce.

Educate yourself about the life of your grocery items

Do you have any tips for keeping food longer?

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