25 Ways to Safely Store Food for Long-Term Survival

Trista - July 19, 2020
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Some fruits and vegetables should be stored in the fridge, while some should be kept at room temperature. Shutterstock.

Know Where And How To Store Fruits And Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables can be tricky foods to store correctly for the most prolonged survival. Some you should store in the crisper drawer or other places in your fridge. Then, there are some that you should save at room temperatures, such as potatoes, onions, bananas, peaches, tomatoes, pears, avocados, nectarines, and citrus.

However, you shouldn’t store onions and potatoes together because they can make each other spoil faster due to the different ethylene gasses that each produce releases. The further away they are from each other, the longer they’ll stay fresh.

You can add various fruits on top of the cottage cheese or eat it with crackers for a great snack or side dish. Shutterstock.

Store Cottage Cheese Upside Down

Do you love cottage cheese, but not everyone in your family eats it? Even if you have peaches to add on top and love lasagna, it’s easy to buy too much cottage cheese. If you find that your cottage cheese goes bad before you can eat it all, turn the container upside down when you store it.

The reason why the food goes bad so fast is because of bacteria that get into the container. When you set it upside down, the bacteria aren’t able to grow in the container, allowing it to stay fresh longer.

Ginger is a great ingredient to add to your dishes or tea for a little extra flavor. Shutterstock.

Store Grated Ginger In The Freezer

You probably didn’t worry about needing to keep ginger longer because it already has a pretty good shelf life when kept in a dry and cool place, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want some of it to last a bit longer. While you don’t want to store whole ginger in the freezer, but you can grate it and store it in the freezer so it’ll stay fresh longer.

All you need to do is grate some of the ginger into an airtight container and place it in the freezer. Your grated food will last around six months in the freezer, giving your ginger whenever you need some.

Add the scraps from vegetables that you would typically throw in the garbage into a broth or soup for additional flavoring. Shutterstock.

Freeze Food Scraps For Stock

It happens to everyone. You’ve made a nice meal and find that you have scraps leftover, and you’re not sure what to do with them. Usually, you’d toss them away without giving them a second thought, but because you need to stretch pennies due to the current crisis, you start wondering if there’s something you can do with the scraps.

There is a step that you can take, which is freezing the scraps so you can add them to soups for extra taste. It’s best to keep the ends of onions, herb stems, mushroom stem, stray cloves of garlic, carrots, and celery. Keep them all in a freezer bag, and when it’s full, add it to some soup or broth.

You can break up the bulk beans and keep them into jars until you can find the time to boil them and place some in the freezer after drying. Either way, dry beans keep longer than canned beans. Shutterstock.

Purchase Dry Beans

It’s easy to buy beans in a can because it seems like less work to make them. However, you can purchase dry beans in bulk (which always saves you money) and make them merely boil. Of course, you’ll probably add little herbs and spices for flavoring, but you don’t need to worry about it.

Even if you boil too many beans, you can dry them and store them in the freezer. Just get some airtight containers and keep them until you need them again. Not only do you get more for the price, but they taste better and last longer than canned beans.

Think twice before you wash your produce as soon as you bring it home. Shutterstock.

Wait To Wash Your Produce Until You Use It

Do you ever feel like the fruits and vegetables in the store last longer than in your home? Part of this reasoning is because the store doesn’t wash the produce when it enters their facility, which keeps it fresh for a longer period.

Once you clean your fruit and vegetables, mold has a better chance of growing. This action can easily lessen the shelf life. Therefore, if you wash your produce as soon as you bring it home, try changing your routine. It’ll help you increase the presence of these foods for a few days.

Apples will stay fresh for months naturally, but keeping them in a particular place will increase their lifespan. Shutterstock.

Store Apples In Your Crisper Drawer

It seems that apples seem to have the most extended lifespan of all produce. They do tend to last a long time, up to 6 months, if you keep them in the right type of environment. This idea means that you want to store apples in a humid place. The best place to choose is the crisper drawer in your fridge.

But there’s another step that you’ll want to take to ensure your apples have a long-term lifespan. You should also remove any rotten or bruised apples right away as the bacteria from the damaged ones can infect the healthy apples.

Roasting vegetables will not only extend shelf life but also help you prep your meals. Shutterstock.

Roast Your Vegetables

You live a busy life and probably think about meal prepping from time to two, but wonder if it’s something you can do. Well, hearing that roasting your vegetables can extend shelf life might change your mind. Not only will this make your vegetables last longer, but it’s also a great meal prep tip.

All you need to do is roast the vegetables, let them cool, place them in an airtight container, and put them in the fridge can make them last a few days. Some, such as cauliflower and broccoli, will last a bit longer and may taste better.

All you need to do is to pop out the number of herbs you need and add them to your dish. Shutterstock.

Freeze Herbs In Olive Oil

You know that dried herbs and spices, like Mrs. Dash, will last a long time. However, you probably want some fresh herbs in your home as well. The problem is they don’t last as long, and you can’t always make the batch before it starts to rot.

One of the biggest keys to extending the life of fresh herbs is to freeze them in olive oil. All you need to do is chop up the herbs, toss them into ice cube trays, pour in the olive oil, and freeze. Then, when you need the herbs, just pop out as many olive oil cubes you need and either thaw them or toss them right into your dish.

It’s best to wrap the leaves separately to keep them as dry enough to stop welting so quickly. Shutterstock.

Wrap Unwashed Lettuce In Paper Towels

One of the most significant food items that many people struggle to keep fresh is lettuce. People have tried so many different steps to extend their shelf life and found that there’s very little they can do. But, there is one step that works excellent, and that’s wrapping lettuce leaves into paper towels. The trick is that you don’t want to wash it before because this will help mold grow faster.

Usually, people want to use up the lettuce immediately because it starts to welt within a couple of days because of the moisture. But wrapping each leaf in a paper towel, the moisture is soaked up, and your lettuce will last a few more days.

Freezing milk is a great way to extend its shelf life, which is already about three months. Shutterstock.

It’s Okay To Freeze Milk

Many people won’t freeze milk because they’re afraid of what it’ll do to the taste and consistency. However, freezing milk is a great way to make it last longer. In fact, you won’t even know that it was frozen because it tastes fresh.

The key is not to open the milk jug. You don’t need to worry about the milk becoming too much for the container because there’s not enough milk to cause too much of a problem. Plus, the pitcher is meant to expand a little, which helps the freezing process.

You know how to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, but what about goodies like cake? Shutterstock.

Freeze Leftover Cake

You might live in a house where leftover cake doesn’t seem like a problem. If you ever find yourself with too much cake or don’t want your family eating cake for a few days in a row, you can let them have their piece and then freeze the rest.

All you need to do is place a slice of bread on each end cut and place it in the freezer, where it will last for months. You can also set the cake in the fridge, but it’ll only last a few weeks.

Storing apples next to potatoes can keep them from sprouting. Shutterstock.

Store Apples And Potatoes Next To Each Other

Okay, this article should probably end on a healthy note. You know that you shouldn’t store your onions and potatoes next to each other because the gasses will cause them to go back faster. However, one way to extend your potatoes’ shelf life is to store them next to apples. This hack will cause the potatoes to keep from sprouting for a longer period.

Plus, it won’t hurt the apples, and you don’t need to keep a lot of them next to the potatoes. For instance, you can save some apples in your crisper drawer and a few next to the potatoes. Just ensure you eat the ones by the potatoes first.

Sources:

“28 Ways to Store Food and Extend Its Shelf Life and Save Money. #11 Was Brilliant.” Winkgo.

“12 Food Storage Tips to Make Your Groceries Last Longer.” Paige Smith, OpenFit. July 2019.

“50 Food Storage Tips to Make Your Groceries Last as Long as Possible.” Tess Rose Lampert, Cheapism, April 2020.

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