I admit. I’m one of those people who wastes produce. I buy it and forget it and then it goes bad and I have to throw it away. I feel really bad about it and eventually, I just stop buying fresh fruits and vegetables.
I want to be healthier but I don’t want to waste money on food I’m just going to end up throwing away.
Now that summer is coming and more produce will be in season (and therefore cheaper) I plan to buy more of it. I need a plan though so I don’t waste anything.
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Step 1: Don’t Overbuy
Sometimes I get overzealous and buy way more produce than I actually need. I cannot eat a whole bag of apples before it goes bad. It may be cheaper to start but I will lose more money if I have to throw half of those apples away.
Step 2: Prep Right Away After Shopping
I try to have enough time after shopping that I can properly wash and cut my produce to prepare it for the week. I like to fill the sink with water and pour a cup of vinegar into it. Then I soak/wash anything that may get moldy. This works really well for bell peppers, tomatoes (be gentle), and especially berries. I find my produce lasts significantly longer if I do this. My mother-in-law gave me some GreenBox Storage Containers to try out. They’re supposed to make produce last longer.There’s science behind why they work but I’m just going to trust them. Since they’re a different color than my regular storage containers it reminds me to use them up before the next shopping trip anyway.
I always make sure to have a container of diced onions in my fridge as well as a container of diced peppers. It makes it so much easier to throw a handful into whatever I’m cooking.
Step 3: Store Properly
Make sure you are storing your produce in the right place. Some things should be refrigerated and some should not. Certain things aren’t supposed to be stored next to each other. There are a lot of rules. It really makes a difference when you store things in the right spots.
Step 4: Meal Planning
I use a meal planning calendar to help me save money while shopping during the week. It helps me know how much produce to buy and I can plan a meal at the end of the week to use up any produce leftovers I may have. So I usually make a stir-fry or pizza at the end of the week to use up any left over bell peppers, onions, carrots, kale, or whatever other vegetables I had.
Fruit freezes really well so if I don’t want to eat it right away I can freeze it and make a smoothie later. The Magic Bullet Blender is seriously amazing for making single serve smoothies. It’s fast and quieter than a regular blender.
What Are Your Favorite Tricks for Keeping Fruits and Vegetables Fresh?
Let me know in the comments.