After a large grocery shop, it’s easy to feel like this amount of food will last for weeks…
But did you know that the average person throws out nearly 20% of their food – that is money down the drain! All this little exercise will cost you is a bit of time and organisation – and you can use 100% of your food – and waste nothing! Remember Frugal Living means less waste and more money in your pocket!
1. Blocks of Cheese
It would take a normal family a few weeks to get through a 1kg block of cheese – and it is so much cheaper to buy it in the larger blocks. But if it isn’t sealed well cheese goes mouldy – and then it needs to be chucked! Best way to store it – cut the 1kg block into quarters. Wrap one quarter well with plastic wrap or an old clean shopping bag and place in the fridge for use as usual. The rest of the cheese should be grated – if you have a food processor with a grating function – terrific – it’s nice and easy. If not – get grating! Place the cheese in medium zip lock bags (only 3/4 full the bag) and place in the freezer until you need it. Terrific for pizza’s on top of lasagna, cheese sauce – anything – so very versatile!
As soon as you get meat home from the supermarket, remove it from it’s packaging (meat rots faster if its sitting in blood), cut into required pieces, double wrap with cling wrap and freeze in family sized portions. Remember meat is expensive so for a family of four – two large chicken breasts is the perfect amount of meat – you can cut them in half or use them in pasta or bulk them up with veggies. To know how much meat per person you should allow – check out our post on Portion Control!
The biggest problem with milk is that it takes up a LOT of room. Most fresh milk have a use by day of about 5 days after purchase. Milk can be frozen – again if you have the room. Defrost on the kitchen sink until icy then place in the fridge – just give it a good shake before use. It’s always a good idea to stock up with a few long live milk cartons in the pantry for when you run out or if there is loss of power and the milk in the fridge spoils.
Bread goes stale very very quickly in the heat – and it only takes two days for mould to start. The best place to store bread is the freezer – and to take out pieces as needed. Make sure you keep the bread sealed so it doesn’t get that ‘freezery’ taste. It’s good to keep some yeast on hand for when you run out of bread – and I find making bread from scratch is good fun and excellent exercise for the upper arms. Don’t be frightened of trying the smaller corner shops for bread – my local sells bread far cheaper than the supermarket – and it’s always fresh!
Eggs are best kept refrigerated in their own carton rather then in the provided egg container in the fridge. Eggs are notorious for absorbing odours – and this can make them spoil quicker – so the egg carton is the bomb!
6. Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
This is a tough one because all fruit and veggies have their own rules. But here is a brief way of keeping the more popular varieties fresh for longer!
Strawberries: Remove from the punnet, wash and dry well. Place a paper towel in the bottom of the punnet and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Potatoes and Onions: Remove from the plastic bag and store in a cool, dark place. One bad potato or onion will spoil the lot – so check them for softness regularly – potatoes really pong when they have gone bad – and don’t eat the green ones – they can be poisonous to children.
Pears: Keep ripe pears refrigerated in the bottom drawer of the fridge. Unripe pears will ripen naturally if left in the fruit bowl at room temperature.
Grapes: Wash the grapes well and store them in the plastic bag they came in in the fridge for up to a week.