Americans waste an estimated 40% of the food they produce – that’s about $165 billion worth of food each year! Not only is this a shame, it also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and fills up our landfills.
It’s easy to overbuy when you’re doing your weekly shop, or forget fruit and vegetables lingering in the back of the fridge or the bottom of the fruit bowl.
Luckily, there are some thrifty tricks that can help you avoid such waste. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to make your fruit and veg last longer.
Follow these simple tips and you’ll be able to reduce your food waste – and save money in the process!
1. Store fruits and vegetables in the right place.
Certain fruits and vegetables should be stored in the fridge, while others are best kept at room temperature. For example, berries, cherries, grapes and melon should be kept in the fridge, while apples, pears and bananas are best kept at room temperature.
2. Use airtight containers.
Storing fruits and vegetables in airtight containers helps to keep them fresh for longer. This is because it prevents them from losing moisture and prevents other food odors from permeating them.
3. Eat your produce before it goes bad.
One of the best ways to avoid wasting fruit and vegetables is to eat them before they go bad. This means checking the expiration date on packages, and using up produce that’s starting to look a little wilted.
4. Donate extra food.
If you find that you have too much produce and are at risk of wasting it, consider donating it to a local food bank or soup kitchen. This is a great way to reduce food waste and help those in need.
5. Use a paper towel to extend the life of leafy greens.
If you’re storing leafy greens like spinach or kale, wrap them in a damp paper towel before placing them in the fridge. This will help them stay fresh for longer.
6. Don’t wash fruits and vegetables.
Don’t wash fruits and vegetables until you’re ready to eat them. Washing them before storing them can actually shorten their shelf life.
7. Use a sharp knife when cutting fruits and vegetables.
A dull knife will cause more damage to the flesh of the fruit or vegetable, causing it to spoil more quickly.
8. Buy local and in-season produce.
Not only is locally grown produce usually fresher, but it’s also typically cheaper than out-of-season produce. When fruits and vegetables are in season, they’re also at their peak in terms of flavor and nutrition.
9. Meal plan and only buy what you need.
Before you go shopping, take a look in your fridge and pantry and see what you already have. Then, make a list of the meals you want to make for the week, and only buy the ingredients you need for those recipes. This will help you avoid buying too much food, and it’ll also help you save money on your grocery bill.
If you follow these simple tips, you’ll be able to reduce your food waste and save money in the process. So next time you’re doing your weekly shop, remember to think about how you can make your fruit and veg last longer!