9 easy ways to make your food last longer


Food is getting more and more expensive so here's our quick guide to getting the most out of your fresh produce.

Keep the fridge clean

Start out with a clean fridge, using a proper cleaning product to help get rid of any nasty bacteria hanging around. Do it every week and at the same time check your fridge settings to make sure the temperature is set right: It should be around 3-5 degrees centigrade, any warmer is bad news!

Organise your food

Once you've got your sparkling clean fridge, put any food in the right places. The basics include placing your raw meats and fish at the bottom to avoid contaminating other food, while placing milk towards the back at the coldest part of the fridge.

> How to Organize Your Refrigerator Drawers and Shelves

Avoid using the fridge door

The fridge door is the hottest part of the fridge (although it still should be fairly cool), so don't use it for things like Milk. Instead, the door should be reserved for products that need to be refrigerated but don't necessarily need to be super chilled: Soft cheeses, butter, condiments, booze and soft drinks.

Check use by dates before you buy

Not all products are created equally, so when shopping - especially for fresh products like fruit, veg, meat, bread and milk - be sure to check use by and best before dates. You may find that what you're buying is already close to going off, so look towards the back of shelves for items with longer expiration dates.

Add butter to your cut cheese

Rub a bit of butter on your cheese when you cut it to stop it drying out in the fridge by the next time you want a slice.

Don't cut until you want to eat

Despite a variety of (often expensive) kitchen gadgets that promise to help, cut foodstuffs are far harder to keep than those that remain whole. Don't slice your meat, fruit or veggies until you have to, even if you want to try and be prepared and organised for a future meal.

Store crisps in containers

Avoid your leftover crisps going stale by removing them from the packet once opened and storing them in sealed bags or containers. If they do start tasting a bit off, don't throw them out right away, put them in the oven with a bit of oil to make them crisp again.

Add a tissue to your salad

Stop your salad going off within a day by adding a tissue on top, and covering with a tight layer of cling film. The tissue will help absorb the moisture and stop the leaves going soggy. Depending how long you hope to leave it, you may want to replace the tissue and get rid of any other moisture every few days.

Freeze it

Whether it's meat or veg, milk or bread, freezing will preserve almost any food for longer than you'll probably ever remember it even exists. Just make sure you store it all appropriately, with a sealed plastic bag a good starting place for most loose foodstuffs such as fruit or veg.

About the author: Thomas Brella

Thomas Brella is the founder of Student Hacks, starting the website in 2013 while studying at the University of Brighton to share tips and tricks on life as a cash-strapped student. He's now spent over 10 years scoping out the best ways to live on a budget

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