This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Rubbermaid®. All opinions are my own.
I am always excited to find some great kitchen hacks that not only save me time but also money. Food isn’t cheap. It costs more if you like to buy fresh produce, and even more if that produce is organic or non-GMO. If your produce often rots before you get to eat it, then that’s just money down the drain! To keep your monthly grocery costs down, you’ve got to learn how to make your produce last! That’s where these great kitchen hacks come into play for helping you keep your produce fresh for longer!
10 Simple Tips To Keep Produce Fresh That Will Save You Money
1. Keep Some Fruits and Veggies Separate
Did you know that some fruits and vegetables create a lot of ethylene gas while they ripen? Some other fruits and vegetables are sensitive to this gas and will ripen quicker if exposed to it. This is why you should keep apples and papayas away from your bananas and carrots, for example. This is one of the easiest kitchen hacks you can use to keep your produce fresh for longer.
2. Utilize Refrigerator Compartments
Your refrigerator was designed with food preservation in mind, so use it to its full potential! Put some fruits and veggies in the crisper drawers, and use those drawers’ humidity settings to help keep your produce fresh. If you don’t have enough room in your refrigerator compartments, you may also want to use produce keepers like the Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Saver containers, that are specially designed with air filtration around your fruits and vegetables.
Why Use FreshWorks Produce Saver?
- Keeps Produce Fresher, Longer: FreshWorks is a food storage container that uses patented FreshVent™ technology to keep produce fresher up to 80% longer* than traditional produce packaging. It uses a revolutionary built-in FreshVent™ lid, which naturally regulates the flow of oxygen and CO2, in and out of the container to create the optimal environment so produce stays nearly as fresh as the day it was picked. The CrispTray™ at the bottom elevates produce away from moisture and promotes proper airflow to help reduce spoilage.
- Reduces Waste: Many people find that their produce has spoiled after just a few days, leaving them no choice but to throw it away. FreshWorks extends the life of your produce, so you can eat your produce before it goes to waste.
- Saves Money: As a result of throwing away fresh produce, Americans waste $24 billion worth of produce every year, which is the equivalent of $192 per household.**
- Easy to Use: With FreshWorks Produce Saver, you can simply move produce from store packaging and into the FreshWorks containers before refrigerating to maintain freshness for up to 80% longer*. The lid filter lasts a lifetime, no replacements needed.
- Made in the USA of global components, BPA-free.
- Available now in six sizes to hold all types of produce:
- Large Square (11.1 Cups): Perfect for Tomatoes
- Long Rectangle (8.4 Cups): Great for asparagus or zucchini
- Small Rectangle (4.0 Cups): Will keep your green beans fresh.
- Small (2.5 Cups): Ideal for small berries.
- Medium (6.3 Cups): Perfect for strawberries.
- Large (17.3 Cups): Optimal for leafy greens.
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3. Keep Root Vegetables in a Cool, Dark Place
Always store root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and beets in a cool, dark place to keep them from sprouting, growing mold, or decaying. An actual root cellar would be ideal, but if you don’t have one you can use a cold area of your garage, or a drawer in your fridge. This kitchen hack dates back to early days of agriculture when root vegetables were kept in a root cellar or under the home for use months after harvesting.
4. Keep Produce Away from Heat
Never store your produce close to heat, as this will cause it to decay faster. Keep your fruits and veggies away from the stove, microwave, and even your fridge if it’s warm to the touch. Another thought to consider is to move your fresh produce out of the window or where the sunshine streams into your kitchen.
5. Use Plastic Wrap
Once you do cut your produce, wrap any excess tightly in plastic wrap. This will help reduce how much air touches the exposed part, helping to keep your produce fresh longer. When it comes to keeping produce fresh longer, keeping air out is one of the best kitchen hacks you’ll find!
6. Don’t Cut Until Ready
Don’t cut your produce until you’re ready to use it. Cutting fruits and vegetables removes the protective outer layer on the cut part, exposing the insides to air. This can lead to oxidation or early decay around the cut. However, for many items, you can prep ahead a few days before use to save time during the week as you are preparing fast meals for your family.
7. Use a Dry Paper Towel
Some produce may create its own humid environment depending on how it is packaged, where it is in your fridge, and how wet it was when you bought it. This is often less than ideal, as the excess moisture causes the produce to decay quicker. To compensate for this, stick a dry paper towel in with your bagged or packaged produce.
8. Add Holes to Plastic Bags
Another way to counteract humidity and keep your produce fresh is to punch holes in the plastic bags holding your produce. Using scissors or just your fingers, punch holes in produce bags to promote air circulation and reduce humidity. You may also prefer to use a reusable eco-bag for your produce that will have holes already in them and keep things fresh for longer.
9. Keep Produce Away from Water
Just as produce shouldn’t get hot, it also shouldn’t get wet. Never put wet hands in a bag of grapes, and don’t wash potatoes that you’re not going to cook that day. Getting produce unnecessarily wet just speeds up how quickly it decays or grows mold, especially on soft fruits like grapes.
10. Promote Refrigerator Air Circulation
While you may be able to fit a ton of fruits and veggies in your fridge, jam-packing it with produce is actually not the best idea. If produce is shoved too close together, the air can’t circulate well. The result is your produce that rots and grows mold very quickly. Keep some air space in your fridge if you want to keep your produce fresh and organize your refrigerator too!
These simple kitchen hacks are great for keeping your produce fresh longer. They apply to both fruits and vegetables and are easy to implement into your routine without costing a lot of money.
Other great Kitchen Hacks:
- Kitchen Hacks: How To Easily Cut A Pineapple
- 10 Must Have Items To Organize Your Kitchen
- 10 Kitchen Hacks To Make Dinner Time Easier
FreshWorks Produce Saver Giveaway
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Disclaimer: *Based on strawberries in FreshWorks™ containers vs. store packaging. Results may vary depending upon produce and use.
** Source: USDA 2014