Tricks for Keeping 16 Different Food Items Fresh Longer

If you're tired of buying food, only to have it go bad before you manage to eat it, you're in luck. The answer could be as simple as knowing the proper way to storage certain foods. If you adopt the following storage habits, your food purchases will stay fresh for days; if not months.


apples in bowl
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Don't store apples in the refrigerator. Store apples on the counter, away from other produce.


bunches of bananas
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store green bananas at room temperature until they ripen. Store ripe bananas in the refrigerator to impede further ripening. Freeze over-ripened bananas for use in banana bread and other baked goods.

Note: When you refrigerate or freeze bananas, the peel will turn black. Don't panic. Despite the discoloration, the fruit inside will still be good.


sliced bread
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store bread in a breadbox or on the counter. Another option ​is your microwave.

  • Uses for Stale Bread


salted butter stick
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store butter in its original packaging inside the refrigerator compartment (not on the side of the door). Butter can also be frozen for up to six months.


wheels and wedges of wrapped cheese
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Remove cheese from its original packaging. Then, rewrap it in a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper, and seal it inside a plastic bag


carton of brown eggs
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store eggs in their original carton inside the refrigerator (not on the side of the door).


bowl of flour
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Freeze flour for 48 hours to kill any insect eggs that might be present. Then, place in a tightly-sealed container; and store in a cool, dry spot away from sunlight. Keep whole-grain flours in the refrigerator, or freezer, to extend their life.


Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store heads of garlic unpeeled in an open container in a cool, dry place. For long-term storage, garlic can also be dried and braided.


jar of honey
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store honey in a cool, dark place in an air-tight container.


heads of lettuce
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Remove the lettuce from its store packaging. Then, wrap it in paper toweling, and place it in an open storage bag.


mushrooms on cutting board
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store fresh mushrooms in a paper bag inside of the refrigerator. Do not keep mushrooms in the crisper.


nuts in jars and on table
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store nuts in the shell until you are ready to use them. Refrigerate or freeze any that you plan to keep for more than three months.


onions on cutting board
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store whole onions in a cool, dark place away from moisture. For bulk storage, cut the legs off of a pair of pantyhose; drop an onion into one of the legs, and tie it off. Then, drop in another onion and tie it off again. Continue doing this until the legs are full. Then, hang in a cool, dry place.

Note: Potatoes give off a gas that ripens onions, so be sure to store them separately.

  • How to Cure Fresh Onions


Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store whole pineapples unwrapped in the refrigerator. Store cut pineapples in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.


bowl of potatoes
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store unwashed potatoes in a paper bag, pantyhose, or a well-vented container. Then, place in a cool, dark, dry spot.


tomatoes in cartons
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store tomatoes at room temperature. Once they ripen, keep them out of the sun.