9 Food Storage Hacks You Should Know

I'll just be honest — I hate grocery shopping. So, whenever I do manage to drag myself through the doors of the grocery store, I prefer to fill my cart until it's absolutely overflowing, just so that I can avoid coming back for a long, long time. Needless to say, there are a few food storage hacks that help me ensure that I'm getting the most out of my infrequent grocery trips.

Whether you're short on space in your fridge or pantry, or you're just searching for some ways to keep your food fresher for longer, a few clever food storage tricks will help save you some serious frustration. After all, there's nothing more maddening than purchasing produce or deli meats, only to have them go bad in a matter of days.

Plus, smart food storage has another great perk. It won't only save you from many repeat trips to that dreaded supermarket, but it'll also save you some cash. Less wasted food = more money in your pocket. And, who doesn't love that?

Curious about some tips and tricks to keep your groceries fresh and tasty for a longer period of time? Look no further! I've rounded up nine food storage hacks to help you out. You can thank me later.

1. Store salad greens with paper towels

We all know that it doesn't take long for lettuce to get wilted and slimy. To preserve that crispness, line an airtight plastic container with paper towel. Pour your lettuce into the container, and then top with another paper towel. The paper towels absorb excess moisture, and the container allows the greens to be stored without getting smushed — unlike a plastic bag. Voila, fresh and crisp greens for days!

2. Keep stone fruit out of the fridge

You might think that the refrigerator is the best place to keep your peaches, plums, and nectarines. But, room temperature is actually best for these fruits. Store them stem-end down, and avoid putting them in a plastic bag, as it actually encourages over-ripening and mold growth.

3. Wash berries in vinegar

Before just sticking your cartons of berries in the fridge, give them a preserving vinegar bath. Use one cup of vinegar for every three cups of water. Then, spin the berries dry in a salad spinner lined with paper towels. Keep your washed berries in a sealable container lined with paper towels. Just be sure to leave the lid open a bit so that moisture can escape!

4. Heat your honey

Honey lasts forever. But, it usually forms those hard crystals that make it nearly impossible to use. Fix the issue by placing your jar of honey in a frying pan on the stove with simmering water. Then, stir the honey until all of the crystals are dissolved. Also, remember not to keep your honey in the fridge — that can cause it to crystalize!

5. Break apart your bananas

We're all probably guilty of just setting the entire bunch of bananas on the counter when we get home from the store. But, if you want them to keep longer, break the bunch apart! They should last about 14 to 17 days that way.

6. Store your potatoes with an apple

Want to keep your potatoes from sprouting? Store them with one apple. I can't explain why it works, but it does. We'll just thank the magic of science, I guess.

7. Freeze leftover sauces

Did you make too much pasta sauce with dinner one evening? Transfer the sauce into the spaces of an empty ice cube tray, and then place it in the freezer. Simply reheat the cubes in a pan the next time you need a quick and easy sauce!

8. Keep ice cream cartons in plastic bags

Is there anything worse than rock hard, freezer burned ice cream? Store your cartons of ice cream in sealed plastic bags in the freezer. Your ice cream will be soft and delicious!

9. Store avocado with onion

Brown avocados are the bane of my existence. Prevent this tragedy by keeping your avocado in an airtight container with a piece of an onion, and then storing in the refrigerator!

Images: Kathleen Franklin, sakura_chiyaha+, Ray Bodden, julochka, Sharon Mollerus, Chiot's Run, Joey Rozier, Shandi-lee Cox, Kate Ter Harr/Flickr; Faith Durand/The Kitchn