How to Keep Foods Fresh Longer

Tired of buying foods, only to have them go bad before you manage to get them eaten? Improper storage could be the cause. Adopt the following storage habits, and your foods will stay fresh days – if not months – longer:


apples in bowl
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store apples on the counter, away from other produce.


bunches of bananas
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store 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, but the fruit will still be good.


sliced bread
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store bread in a breadbox or on the counter.


salted butter stick
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store butter in its original packaging inside the refrigerator compartment (not inside 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 inside the refrigerator 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 tight-sealing 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 them 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

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


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 potatoes unwashed in a paper bag, pantyhose or a similarly vented container. Then, place in a cool, dark and dry spot.


tomatoes in cartons
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Store tomatoes at room temperature. Keep out of the sun, once they have ripened.