21 Tricks to Make Groceries Last Longer

A few simple moves can extend the life of bananas, tomatoes, bread, milk and many other items.

16. Don’t store milk in the refrigerator door

The cooler temperatures are found on the middle shelf.

17. Segregate produce and meats

Allowing fresh produce and meats to mingle runs the risk of cross-contamination, which causes rapid spoilage. All meats should be wrapped and stored toward the bottom of the refrigerator or freezer (in case they leak). To be extra safe, place meats in a bowl to catch any liquid residue.

18. Reseal prepackaged goods

When you keep goods sealed, air will remain in the package and items won’t quickly harden.

19. Freeze bread

Freezing bread eliminates the onset of mold, which spreads like wildfire and can quickly contaminate an entire loaf. You can also try storing half of the loaf in the fridge and the other half in the freezer.

20. Store leftovers in airtight glass containers

Airtight lids keep air out; and with glass, you don’t have to worry about any chemicals leaching into your food.

21. Maximize pantry and counter space

Not all produce should be refrigerated. Here are some items that should always be stored at room temperature, preferably not in direct sunlight:

  • Bananas
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mangos (in a brown bag)
  • Melons (in a brown bag)
  • Peaches (in a brown bag)
  • Pears
  • Pineapples (upside down)
  • Plums

If any of these items begin to ripen and you want to keep them around, place them in the fridge.

I’ve tried the bulk of the suggestions on the list and they work. Most importantly, I’ve been able to limit last-minute grocery runs.

What tricks do you use to extend the life of groceries? Share your ideas in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Allison Martin
Allison Martin @amthewriter
After spending years as a governmental accountant, I decided to transition into the world of freelance writing. When I'm not busy writing, I enjoy mentoring mommy-preneurs and helping others manage their finances. ... More

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