5 Easy Ways to Cut Down on Food Waste

Find out how to prevent some of your expensive groceries from spoiling before you've even had the chance to enjoy them.

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How to reduce food waste - milk and cheese
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How to Reduce Food Waste

Make Cheese and Milk Last Longer

Good cheese is expensive. It also gets moldy fast. Mold is fine on blue cheese but less than delectable on cheddar. You can delay the onset by wrapping the cheese in a piece of cheesecloth soaked in whisky, then put it in a plastic bag. Or wrap the cheese in parchment paper and then foil and keep it in the crisper drawer. To keep the side of a piece of cheese from drying out, rub a little butter on top. To keep milk or cream fresh longer, add a pinch of salt to the carton.

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Raisins in bowl
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Soften Rock-Hard Raisins

You can prevent raisins from getting hard—or at least slow the process a fair bit—by storing them in a jar with a tight lid. But say you forgot to do that and you only ate a handful before the 15-ounce (425-gram) box hardened into stone. It feels like a shame to toss away that food, inedible though it may be. Don’t scribble “raisins” on the shopping list just yet—you can revive those hardened nuggets! Drop them into a cooking pot and add water until they’re submerged. Bring the water to a boil on the stovetop and then turn the stove off. Let the raisins steep in the water for 10 minutes. Set your colander in the sink and pour your soft-and-tasty raisins in to drain.

Find out more clever kitchen hacks that’ll save you time, money and effort.

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How to reduce food waste - throwing out old bananas
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Save Not-Yet-Rotten Bananas

When bananas get too ripe to be eaten whole or even to be presentable as slices, they’re still fine for shakes or banana bread. If you can’t use them immediately, peel them and freeze them individually in plastic wrap. Thaw before using.

This easy banana bread recipe takes just five minutes—in your microwave!

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Bunch of carrots
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Make a Portable Root Cellar

Rather than let your ginger shrivel up in the fridge or watch the carrots turn to slime in the crisper, try storing roots in a pot filled with clean sand. An unglazed flowerpot works well. Cover the roots and pick them out as you need them. Store the pot in a cool, dark place.

These grocery store secrets will change the way you buy fresh produce.

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Reduce food waste - spoon of tomato paste
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Freeze Leftover Tomato Paste

When you just want a tablespoon or two of tomato paste, remove that from the can and drop the remainder by spoonfuls (pretend you’re making cookies) onto wax paper. Put these dollops, wax paper and all, in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, peel them off the paper, drop the paste pieces into a zip-seal plastic bag, and store them in the freezer. Next time you need a little tomato paste, just add a “cookie” or two to your sauce or soup. There’s no need to thaw them.

Now that you know how to reduce food waste, find out the best apps to save money on groceries.

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