Buying food in bulk helps us to save money. However, if we don’t use it timely and it goes off or mouldy, then it is a waste of both the food and money. I’m sharing seven simple tips to make your food last longer.
Use your senses
For most packaged foods, the “Best before” date is an indication of how long it tastes the best whereas the “Use by” date is when it’s safe to eat it by. So, for some foods past their best before date like grapes, canned beans, cereals, etc you can use your senses and do the smell, visual, touch and taste test to see if the food can still be used.
Make meats last
If your meat like chicken or fish is close to its use by date, then cut and marinate with herbs and spices and portion accordingly into Tupperware, then label and freeze it. As it is marinated it will save you time on the day you will be cooking it. Minced meat can be made into patties and pan fried. Then when cooled, put into freezer bags and freeze.
Soups and stews
Don’t throw away wilted vegetables like carrots or celery. These may not look good but can still be used and will taste good in soups and stews. Just combine these vegetables with your favourite herbs and spices to cook into a one pot meal and add in pasta or rice to make it more satisfying. And any leftovers can be frozen to use when too busy to cook.
Often a loaf of bread may not be fully eaten, so you find you are throwing the rest away as its mouldy. Instead, slice the bread and freeze it, using what you need. Can also do this with wraps and pitta bread too. Plus, you can make your own homemade breadcrumbs and use when cooking.
Herbs begin to limp quickly, so to keep them looking and tasting fresh, wrap in paper towel or newspaper and refrigerate as this absorbs the moisture. Can also dehydrate the herbs in your oven and dried herbs can be stored in an airtight container in a cool place in the kitchen. This extends the amount of time you can use by.
Bananas need to be kept separately as produce larger quantities of ethylene gas, which quickens the ripening of other fruits. If kept in a fruit bowl, then cover the bunch of bananas stem with plastic to reduce the release of this gas.
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Preserve your vegetables by fermenting, which is easily done by immersing vegetables such as cucumber, carrots, and cabbage along with fragrant herbs like thyme or rosemary in brine in an airtight container. This adds months to the life of the vegetables and adds nutritional value as is a good source of probiotics and prebiotics, essential for a healthy gut flora.
There are so many other wonderful tips to saving money and keeping meals affordable.
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