Food Tricks That Keep Your Hard Earned Money Out of the Trash

Posted on Posted in Money Saving Tips

Fresh and tasty strawberries

There’s nothing worse than spending good money on food, only to see that food spoil or otherwise go to waste. Hard earned money simply thrown out with the trash.

Ive recently experienced this problem with baby carrots. Yes, its true you save money by buying and peeling whole carrots, but I like the small snack like proportions of baby carrots.

The problem is that the outside of my baby carrots have a habit of developing a white film on the surface a couple of days after I open them, so I throw them out.

While reading this months edition of Oprahs O magazine I discovered that this white film is actually quite normal.  According to Dr. Trevor V. Suslow, as quoted in the article, the white covering is actually dried out cells on the carrots surface!  Rinse the carrots in water and the white covering will disappear as the dried out carrot cells are rehydrated.

Wish I had known this before Id thrown out my carrots.

Here are some other cool food tips that’ll help reduce waste and make your food last longer.

Use Your Ice Cube Trays to Prevent Waste

Ice cube trays are a great way to store bits and pieces of ingredients that you might otherwise discard. If you use a lot of freshly squeezed lemon juice, don’t throw out the excess juice or lemons. Just squeeze them into an ice cube tray. Once the lemon juice freezes, place the lemon juice ice cubes into a freezer bag for later use.

You can use the same concept with a wide range of left over kitchen ingredients including wine, milk, and sauces. Have a recipe that calls just for egg yolks, place the egg whites into an ice cube tray and freeze for later use.

Cover Your Ice Cream

If you’re an ice cream lover you’ve probably run across ice cream that’s been ruined from the formation of ice crystals. These crystals destroy the smooth, silky texture of the icecream.

According to the Breyers ice cream website, to reduce ice crystal formation simply cover the top surface of the ice cream with wax paper or plastic wrap before closing the top of the container.

Keeping the ice cream from continually melting and re-freezing also helps. This may mean instead of letting your ice cream sit on the counter to soften, you may need to use a warm ice cream scoop to remove the ice cream from the container while its still hard.

Don’t Use The Refrigerator Door to Store Eggs or Milk

Bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes multiply rapidly when the temperature of food rises above 40F, resulting in food spoilage, or worse food poisoning. Consequently, the US Department of Agriculture suggests that your refrigerator be set below 40F.

The problem is that studies have shown that the refrigerator door is frequently several degrees higher than the rest of the refrigerator putting anything stored there at risk.

Keep your eggs, milk and other perishables safe by storing them on your refrigerator shelf instead of on the door.

It does make you wonder why manufactures build egg holders right into the refrigerator door.

Use These Tricks to Get the Most From Your Left Overs

Many people throw left overs in the refrigerator where they may be forgotten. Others store left overs in a freezer bag or freezer container. When the bag is full they use the collected meat and vegetables to make delicious homemade soups.

Jackie Blue at eHow has an effective way to use left overs. She creates ready to go dinner plates by placing left-overs into partitioned microwave ready dinner plates. When a family member needs a quick TV dinner, she just takes out one of these plates and puts in the microwave for a quick meal.

Don’t Wash Your Berries Before Putting Them in the Refrigerator

As a neat freak, I always like to wash my produce before placing it in the refrigerator. Thats why I was surprised to find that some fruits shouldn’t be washed before placing in the fridge.

Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and grapes should be refrigerated unwashed in a container or plastic bag.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, washing produce like strawberries will actually cause the food to spoil faster. Of course you should wash the items in cold water right before eating.

Using these tips you can help reduce the spoilage and waste that robs you of your hard earned money. Do you have any great food storage tricks?