How to Store Groceries in the Refrigerator to Make Them Last


 

Nobody likes to throw away food after going bad. You may have worked hard to grow some fruits, vegetables, and others, and thus knowing how to store groceries in the refrigerator can save you money. In most cases, food can last for a few days or hours at room temperature. For instance, nuts can stay longer in your kitchen pantry than meat or leftover foods.

How you keep your food before long–time preservation matters a lot. Some foods should be kept dry and others in a place with lots of humidity, such as citrus fruits. Therefore, ensure your kitchen can accommodate all those conditions, and if not, you can consider remodeling it to fit such standards.

Avocados

Avocados are multipurpose fruits that are sweet in sandwiches, salads, or tacos. They are different from other fruits in that they don’t ripen on the tree, and instead, they are harvested and left to ripen. If you want to speed up the process, you can put them in a paper bag together with an apple or banana. Both fruits contain ethylene hormone that triggers ripening.

How to store a whole avocado: Once ripe, place them on a counter if you plan to consume them soon. To store them for long, put them in the refrigerator, and they will last up to two weeks. Make sure they are ripe before putting them in a fridge. To keep them much longer, you can freeze your avocados while in puree form.

How to store a cut avocado: Once cut, you can still store your avocado and eat it after some time. When exposed to oxygen, a ripe avocado usually turns brown due to the oxidation process. It is still fit for consumption, but it’s unpleasant. Brush the cut avocado with lemon juice to stop oxidation, wrap it with cling wrap and refrigerate.

Avocados are delicious, and thus it is necessary to know how to store groceries in the refrigerator instead of letting them spoil. Keep spoiled avocados far away from the kitchen to avoid pest infestation. You can keep them in an unused garage before the garbage truck arrives and ensure you close the door. If it’s broken, ask around for the cost of garage door repair and do the necessary fixing.

Cake

Baking a cake takes time and effort, and you won’t like to throw away a leftover piece after your birthday, wedding, anniversary, among other events. If kept at room temperature, cakes go for two to three days only, but there’s always a way to extend their shelf life until the last bit.

Cakes to refrigerate: Just as you’d plan how to store groceries in the refrigerator, a cake should be no exception. Cake with dairy products and fruits such as cheesecakes, tres leches cakes, and cakes with berries and fresh cream can be refrigerated. But ensure you put them in a tightly closed container to keep air out and keep it moist.

Cakes to Freeze: If you want a cake to last a bit longer, you can consider freezing it for 2-4 months except for cakes with whipped cream. If you intend to make a cake to eat in the future, freeze it before icing and decorations. Before placing it in a freezer, wrap it with saran wrap, tinfoil and put it in an airtight container.

At times, a cake may spoil before refrigerating or freezing if it comes to contact with bacteria. Wrap it with paper and dispose of it in a trash dumpster.

Vegetables

Consume leafy greens within 1-2 days after buying to ensure you take a fresh meal with all nutrients. Select various varieties and group them separately. If you want to store them, it’s advisable to learn how to store groceries in a refrigerator to avoid spoilage.

How to Preserve Veggies in a Fridge: Sort out each variety, remove rotten leaves from the bunches, and wrap your unwashed vegetables with a paper towel that absorbs excess moisture that speeds up rotting. Put them in a plastic bag and store them in a fridge.

How to Freeze your Vegetables: Freezing vegetables is an excellent way to preserve nutrients and ensure you enjoy your favorite veggies all year long. Blanch your veggies by boiling the whole pieces or cut up pieces for 1-2 minutes and put them in ice-cold water to halt the cooking process. That process ensures the veggies do not get freezer burns.

If you have a kitchen garden where you grow vegetables, search for residential pest control experts to spray and kill all pests in the garden.

Corns

You can preserve most corn varieties to take you through winter to summer-fall. The standard method of corn preservation is freezing and canning. But they are also other ways to store groceries in the refrigerator to keep them for long. Before preservation, ensure your corns are free from pests and insects such as ants. You can also consider ant control methods to get rid of them.

How to Prepare Corn for Freezing: Pull the husk and silky fibers from the corn ears and scrub lightly to clear all fibers. If you want to dry or freeze, cook your corn partially for 7- 11 minutes, depending on the size of the corn. Put your partially cooked corn in cold water, keep them in the freezer-safe packaging, and place them in a freezer.

Canning Corn Kernel: The best corn to can is one that is slightly or barely mature. However, somewhat mature corn may turn brownish during storage, but it’s still suitable for consumption. After removing the husk, cut the corn in small sizes and add salt. Then place your corns in the jar and close tightly.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a versatile food that can be used on food such as sandwiches, desserts, bread, etc. After opening a jar of peanut butter, the contents may spoil if left long on the shelf. So, it is advisable to refrigerate your butter to last up to 3-4 months. If not refrigerated, the oil separation may occur after prolonged exposure to air. It will not go bad, but exposure to air will alter its taste and smell.

Ensure you close the lid tightly before putting your peanut butter in the fridge. However, note that refrigerated butter hardens, and it may not spread quickly. So, before using, ensure you remove your jar for a while at room temperature so that it softens. Consider utilizing air conditioning service to warm up the room.
Peanut butter preservation is not different from how to store other groceries in a refrigerator. It can also last for 3-4 months in the fridge.

Meat

Almost every meat is expensive, so you won’t like it to go to waste. You can store your meat safe for days or months in a refrigerator or freezer. However, it is necessary to look at recommended timeframes for storing various types of meat such as bacon, poultry, beef, etc. Also, buy meat before the expiration or sell-by dates.
Various types of meat and how to store them

Chicken: A whole chicken can last up to a year in the freezer and 1-2 days in the fridge. On the other hand, cut-out chicken pieces such as thighs, drumsticks, or breasts can last for nine months in the freezer and 1-2 days in the fridge.
You can also store your leftover chicken meat for 3-4 days in a fridge and up to four months in a freezer. Just as storing groceries in the refrigerator to last long, you should also ensure you keep every chicken piece to consume later.

Bacon and sausage: Sausage made from either beef, pork, and others, can last for 1-2 days in the fridge but, smoked sausages can last up to seven days. The same can last for one to two months in the freezer.

Beef, Lamb, and pork: You can store your meats in steaks, roast, chops, etc. Be keen on meat expiry dates before storage and check meat color and smell; spoilt meat may turn gray with a bad smell. Meat steaks can last for a year in the freezer and 3-4 days in the fridge, while roasted meat can last up to 3-5 days.

To avoid spoilage, keep your meat in a cool place before storage. Check your AC units system in your home and ensure it is in perfect condition.

Packed meat: Once opened, packed hot dogs and lunch meats can get spoilt quickly. Therefore, you need to store them in the fridge or freezer. The hot dog can last for 1-2 months in the freezer and a week in the refrigerator. Lunch meats such as pepperoni and salami can last up to 2 weeks in the freezer and 3-5 days in the fridge.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits such as lemon, oranges, and lime can only last for few days on the counter. If they extend for a week at room temperature, the fruits can lose their flavor and moisture. Citrus fruits are only necessary when fresh. For instance, a withered lemon is useless since it has lost all its juice. So, it is vital to plan how to preserve your citrus fruits, just like storing groceries in the refrigerator to keep them for long.

How to store citrus fruits in the refrigerator: If you have few pieces that can be consumed within a day or two, there’s no need to refrigerate; put them in place with high humidity and avoid direct sunlight, such as in the kitchen window or open decks. When preserving in a fridge, put your fruits in a bowl of water and place them on the shelves. Or, you can place them in crisper drawers whose primary purpose is to maintain moist conditions.

You can also put your fruits in a tightly sealed container or silicone bags and put them in the fridge. These ways of storing citrus fruits ensure the fruit doesn’t lose its moisture, taste, and soft-feeling.

Nuts

Nuts such as walnuts, cashews, almonds, or pistachios are sources of vitamins, good fats, and minerals. They are also delicious and can be used to prevent illnesses such as diabetes and heart conditions. So to get their maximum benefits, it is advisable to consume them in moderate amounts.

Storing nuts can be a challenging task since they spoil when they get into contact with moisture. However, ensure you purchase fresh nuts, look at the manufacture’s expiry date, and avoid exposing them to heat. As discussed above on storing groceries in the refrigerator, nuts should also be preserved to last long.

How to Preserve Nuts in the Refrigerator: Nuts can last for some days in your kitchen pantry but should be kept away from moisture and heat. If you want them to stay longer, you can place them in airtight containers and preserve them in your fridge.

As stated above, nuts should be kept dry, so you need to check your kitchen plumbing system and ensure all pipes have no leakages.

Tortillas

Tortillas are mouth–watering dishes that originated in Mexico. The best way to preserve them for long is through proper storage methods. Good storage will keep them soft and fresh. However, just like how to store groceries in the refrigerator, you can also store your tortillas in airtight containers or plastic bags and keep them in the fridge for up to two weeks.

To preserve tortillas for longer, you can also put them in a freezer. For your wellness sake, avoid eating contaminated and spoiled food.

Summing Up

As stated above, they are many ways to store groceries in the refrigerator. Be keen and learn the shelf life of every food, fruit, or drinks in your kitchen to avoid consuming spoiled food. Foods that spoil quickly should be refrigerated as soon as they are purchased. If you suspect your food is contaminated or spoilt, do not freeze or refrigerate them; keep them away in a dustbin.

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