Fresh Food Saving Hacks

Food waste is a dirty word in my domain. And according to leading climate change solutions source Project Drawdown, individuals have the power to reduce greenhouse gases by 12% collectively if personal food waste is reduced and plant-based meals are incorporated. 

Let’s start with our fridge! Follow these simple hacks to keep fresh produce staples from going to waste. 


Avocado storage hackDoesn’t it kill you to let even a teaspoon of avocado go to rot? It turns out that storing an open avocado with a chunk of onion in the fridge virtually eliminates the browning process! The sulfur compounds in the onion prevents oxidation. I’ve experimented on avocado storage with Bee’s Wraps, glass storage containers, and silicone zip-close bags – and they all really work – but the winner is the silicone zip-close bag. Whichever method you try, pair a chunk of  onion with your avocado and see the difference.

Lemon/Lime storage hackLemons & Limes

It seems counter intuitive, but storing fresh lemons and limes in a jar or pitcher of water in the fridge extends their life up to 3 times!

Stale Bread

No reason to toss stale bread when you can run it through a food processor with your favorite herbs and create bread crumbs! Or cube and toss with olive oil and herbs. Just bake to create artisanal croutons. Both are easily stored in freezer for when needed.

Fresh Greens

Veji Bags for produce preservationThe French terry Veji bag has turned out to be the most invaluable food preserver in my fridge. The concept is simple – tuck your produce into a rinsed and wrung terry bag to prolong freshness! In the past I used damp dish cloths to swaddle my romaine but found that they dry out too quickly and must be continually re-moistened. Not so with these fresh produce bags! They hold on to moisture for at least a week before needing to be re-rinsed, and breath just enough to keep produce fresh three times longer than traditional storage. Veji bags work for ALL greens – celery, Brussel sprouts, herbs, as well as lettuces – for significantly extended produce shelf-life.


Herbs for drying and preservingThere is never an excuse to toss wilty herbs! Chopped them up and mix with olive oil or butter, and freeze in ice cube trays. Store frozen cubes in silicone zip-close bags and use as needed for soups, stews, roasts, or sautées. Also remember that drying herbs is foolproof. You can simply make bouquets and hang in a clean, dry, dust free, well ventilated space (avoid drying directly in sunlight) – or on a tray. Drying in the oven is also a no-brainer. Just lay out on a cheesecloth or silicone lined tray and bake in oven at lowest setting for 30 min..

Hopefully you’ve saved your empty herb bottles for your cost-effective home dried herb refills. If not, small glass bottles are cheap and easy to find. Make it a habit to buy products in glass and save the bottles to use indefinitely.


Bee's Wraps beeswax wraps for food preservationI love beeswaxed wraps for cheeses. They’re effective because they allow the cheese to breath. But you can also wrap cheese loosely in waxed paper before putting it back in the plastic packaging, and only partially seal the plastic. Or lose the plastic altogether!  This prevents ammonia and bacteria from being trapped and keeps your cheese from absorbing chemicals and odors from the packaging.


ripe banana storage hackWhen bananas begin to brown, you’ll be able to extend life by days if you cut off stems and store them in a mesh produce bag in fridge. Once they are no longer firm, slice and freeze for smoothies, pancakes, and banana bread!


Store potatoes in a cool, dark place with an apple or two to prevent sprouting.


Carrots & Celery

Just as with lemons and limes, carrots and celery last three times longer when stored in water in the fridge. I have found that I prefer to store celery in a Veji bag, but either works. Be sure to trim the leafy celery tops to keep the stalks fresher. Always save those leaves for a salad add-in or freeze with other veggie off-cuts for soups, stews, and stocks.


Store tomatoes stem down to preserve freshness. Cherry tomatoes can be rinsed, patted dry, and frozen – ready to be popped into any sauces or sautées on demand.

Do you have any great food saving hacks? Please share in comments!


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About the Author

Here at Jenny Green Jeans, by sharing success stories and easy-to- implement tips, I hope to inspire and empower you to continue to make sustainable choices in your life and watch how far the impact goes. Please contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have. Also visit the Green Design Goods store for my favorite environmentally sustainable products.

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