In Episode #29, we tell you easy ways to save big bucks—and keep your family safe—by shopping smarter for food, and storing smarter too! Don't believe us? We waste about a pound of food per person each day in America. That's about 25% of what we buy. And if you're trying to eat healthy and buying more produce, odds are you waste even more. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that food waste costs the average family of four $1,500 a year! So if you're clipping coupons and scrounging for sales you might be erasing all of those savings by tossing money in the garbage each week.
Here are some ways to stop the waste!
Don't overreact to food dates. We'll explain what "use by," "sell by," and "expiration" dates really mean—odds are you're tossing perfectly good food!
Re-org your fridge & pantry. For example, put milk, meats, and eggs in the back of the fridge where it’s coldest. And keep produce in full view so it doesn't get buried and go rotten. Also, try these tricks to make veggies last longer:
Wrap broccoli and salad greens in damp paper towels before storing them in the fridge.
Keep celery in tinfoil instead of plastic bags.
Stick asparagus and herbs in a glass with a half-inch of water and cover the top with plastic wrap.
Rotate your canned foods. Do an inventory at least once a year and put foods about to expire in the front row of your pantry shelves, keeping in mind that acidic foods like tomato-based soups and sauces last about 18 months while other foods can last for up to 5 years.
Know how long to freeze your meat before it starts to taste yucky.
Ground meat is best if used within 3 to 4 months.
Chops can stay in the deep freeze for 4 to 6 months.
Roasts and steaks and chicken parts should be fine for 6 to 12 months.
Fatty fish like bluefish and salmon, eat up within 2 to 3 months, while leaner fish like flounder and sole will last around 6 months.
Whole chicken can stay in the freezer for up to a year. And if it it’s getting close to that date you can always toss it into a pot and make chicken soup! Then you can freeze that for another few months!
For more food-storage tips, check the USDA's Foodkeeper app, which you can check online or download onto your phone.