6 Genius food hacks to make your groceries last longer

Don’t want to waste your groceries because they’re past their best? Here’s how to make your fresh produce go the distance.

By Tiffany Loh, 04 December 2015
6 Genius food hacks to make your groceries last longer

Do you often find yourself throwing fruit and veg away days after you’ve bought it? These clever food hacks – from storing your onions in tights to soaking your berries before refrigerating them – can help keep produce fresher for longer. 

Do you often find yourself throwing fruit and veg away days after you’ve bought it? these clever food hacks can help keep produce fresher for longer

Store onions in tights

Ever wondered why you often see stringed onions hanging in European markets or restaurants? Turns out it’s not just for decoration. Hanging your onions can help them last up to eight months. Do it without the fuss of threading and put your onions in old tights one at a time, knot them in between bulbs and then hang them up in a cool dark area.

Freeze already cut spring onions

Don’t need all your sliced spring onions? Extend the life of them beyond the four-day mark by storing them in a recycled plastic bottle and freezing.

Put an ethylene gas absorber in the fridge

Fruit and veg come in two varieties, ethylene-producing foods (tomatoes, avocados, bananas, kiwis and mangoes) and ethylene-sensitive foods (apples, broccoli, carrots and leafy greens). Keep them separate and buy an ethylene gas absorber to make your foods last up to three times longer than they usually would.

Store delicate herbs in plastic

Keep your fresh parsley, basil, coriander and chives in freezer bags and secure their stems with a rubber band to keep them fresh. Want to extend their life for longer? Place cut herbs in olive oil-filled ice cube trays and freeze them, so they’re ready to use the instant you pull out the pots and pans.

Hang oily herbs

Oilier herbs need to breathe so tie together and hang thyme, rosemary and sage upside down to keep them fragrant. They’ll also act as a brilliant natural air freshener, yum!

Mist cooking spray on avocado to stop browning

Even the biggest avocado addicts can admit to binning leftover avocados after their flesh has oxidised and turned brown. Give your favourite green fruit longevity by misting cut avocado with cooking spray. Don’t have any on hand? Store your avocado in an airtight container with a cut onion to keep its vibrant colour.

Line salad bags with paper towels

Are your baby spinach leaves wilting? For crisper greens, line your salad bags with a few sheets of kitchen roll to soak up any condensation that your veggies generate as they chill.

Store potatoes with an apple

Stop potatoes sprouting by placing an apple in the sack to extend their life for a few more weeks.

Sit tomatoes on the counter

Did you know tomatoes continue to ripen after they’ve been picked? Let them soak up the sun and turn a vibrant red colour in a bowl on your kitchen worktop, instead of putting them in the fridge where the chill will cause them to lose their flavour and juicy texture.

Keep mushrooms in a paper bag

Slippery mushrooms are friends to no one, so store them in moisture-absorbing paper bags so they can breathe and stay dry.

Revive raisins with hot water

Resurrect dry currants or sultanas by soaking them in hot water for an hour or two. Store them in an airtight container and they’ll be as good as new.

Wrap greens in foil

Give your broccoli, lettuce and celery a new lease of life by wrapping them in aluminium foil.

Cover the crown of bananas

Wrap the crown of your bananas in cling film to give them three to five more days before they start to ripen and speckle.

Immerse your asparagus in water

Treat your asparagus spears like a bouquet of flowers. Trim off the ends and place them in a jar of water, loosely cover them with a freezer bag and store them in the fridge to stop the spears wilting before you’re ready to eat them.

Butter your cheese

Rub a little butter on the cut side of your leftover hard cheese to keep it moist and seal it off from mould. Wrap in wax paper or foil – plastic will make it make your cheese sweat – before putting in the fridge.

Soak berries in vinegar before refrigerating

Add one part vinegar to three parts water for a soak solution that will help your berries last up to two weeks longer – that’s if you don’t devour them before then! Swirl your fruit in the mixture for a few seconds, then rinse and store in the fridge.