Did you know that most food waste in the UK comes from within your home? You may think it’s the large corporations and supermarkets creating the most waste, but in fact, individual households cause the majority of food waste. We all need to find ways to keep food fresher for longer and prevent this waste.
In the UK alone, 6.6 million tons of food are wasted every single year. This costs £284 per person, per year. That’s almost £300 which could be put towards bills, rent or mortgage payments. Even more shockingly, in the US, 31.9% of food bought is wasted, costing $1,866 annually per household – that’s about £1,522!
As the cost-of-living crisis rages on, it’s more important than ever to keep your food fresher for longer and ensure we are using all the food we buy. Not only will this prevent waste but save us precious pennies.
Here are 7 top hacks to help you keep food fresher for longer. Some of them may surprise you!
Use vinegar on your berries
This slightly weird, but wonderful hack comes from TikTok user @westwing. In a viral video, they suggest washing your berries in diluted vinegar. This keeps your berries fresher for up to two weeks, without compromising the flavor of the berries. Give it a go and see if it works!
Keep veggies crunchy
Another hack from the same TikTok user suggests putting vegetables such as celery, peppers and carrots straight into the fridge when unpacking your food shop is a huge no-no. Wash your veggies before placing them into an airtight container or Tupperware with a small amount of fresh water in them. This will keep your produce crunchy and fresh for up to a month!
This prevents waste from a half-eaten pepper or avocado. Simply wash the remainder of the food item, pop it in your container and voila, no more gray avocados or squishy celery.
Yes, this method does involve wrapping up and swaddling your herbs like a precious newborn. But it is totally worth it for saving your herbs and boosting their life span. It’s simple, too.
Herbs often don’t last long at all, and it can be totally frustrating opening the fridge to wilted basil and rotting coriander. Remove any rubber bands or plastic ties from your herbs, run them under the tap and place them on a clean, dry tea towel or some kitchen roll. Once your herbs are dry, wrap them in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic zip lock bag or container. Your herbs will stay fresher for longer.
Keep your biscuits fresh
One of the most heart-breaking moments in life is when you go to the biscuit tin, excited to munch on a custard cream while you have your cuppa, only to find your biscuits have gone stale. But don’t fear, stale biccies are a thing of the past, thanks to TikTok user @lifetipsing.
This hack suggests putting a slice of bread in your biscuit tin – a good way to use the heel of your loaf of bread if you aren’t a fan of eating it. The science behind this? The biscuits will draw moisture from the bread, keeping them softer for longer. No more hard-as-a-rock cookies when you have your morning tea.
Give your basil a new lease of life
As previously mentioned, herbs can be super hard to maintain. But popping your cuts of basil in a small pot of water, as you would a bouquet of flowers, keeps it going for longer. Refresh the water in the pot every few days, and you’ll be adding your basil to spaghetti, risottos and pesto for a while to come.
Protect your potatoes
Do you buy potatoes but never use them fast enough? Do they sprout and turn green before your eyes? Well, you are in luck, because TikTok user @thismumcooks has an amazing hack for you.
Peel and chop your potatoes. You may choose to cut some into chips, wedges or even for use as roast potatoes down the line. Par boil your tatties, then allow them to cool. Once cool, place them on a baking tray and freeze them. Once your potatoes have frozen, pop them into freezer bags, ready to use at dinner time or with a Sunday lunch.
Homemade fruit spray is a quick, easy and cheap method of keeping your fruit fresher for longer. Apples will be crispy and juicy for longer, so no more mushy fruit. Simply combine 230ml of water with 230ml of vinegar and a few drops of lemon juice. Spray on your fruit to keep it fresher for longer and maintain that recently bought aesthetic for your fruit bowl.
What are your favorite tips for keeping food fresher for longer?