Store Food Carefully to Save Money

College students, young professionals, and anyone trying to save money as well as time cannot afford to have food waste before consumption.  Here are some tips to store your food to save time and money.

  1. Use good containers.  I recently discovered vacuum storage containers.  I didn’t really believe the promotional claims, that they can seal in freshness by locking out excess air, but the containers were on sale, so I had to try.  Guess what?  It actually worked ridiculously well!  I stored grapes in them in the refrigerator.  Instead of wilting within a week and a half, they were fresh and firm for three weeks, the amount of time it took for me to finish them.  Usually, I have to throw out half the grapes because I just can’t eat that much.  So, invest in some good containers to store your food.
  2. Wash and dry vegetables immediately after purchase, then store them in a good container or bag with a paper towel.  The paper towel reduces moisture, delaying rotting, but gives out just enough moisture to prevent the vegetables from wilting.
  3. Plan your purchases to account for the fact that some food will go bad before others.  I have a bi-weekly grocery shopping schedule.  I buy and plan my meals so that I eat the fragile foods first and the hardier, longer lasting foods the following weeks.  So, fish gets eaten the first week, sausages the second week.  Spinach the first week, broccoli the second week.
  4. Cook meats as soon as you get them, portion the meats, then refrigerate or freeze the meats. If you don’t, one of two things will probably happen if you are anything like me.  One, you leave the meat in the refrigerator and a week later throw it out because you don’t want to touch it anymore.  Two, you put the meat in the freezer and then keep it there for months because the whole process of defrosting and cooking mid-week is too much for you.  But, immediately cooking, portioning, and then freezing assure that you have individual sized meals ready for the microwave whenever you want.  Chicken and pork work best.  Avoid reheating hunks of beef, just doesn’t taste good.
  5. Create your own freezer meals!  This is just the best thing to do for anyone trying to save money and time.  Make your meals, pack them in individual containers, and grab and go for the rest of the week.  Check out my earlier articles for great freezer meals.