Groceries take up so much of your monthly budget… Be sure that you're doing your wallet justice by learning how to store your food the proper way! It'll help your groceries last longer, which will stretch that grocery budget further. Winning!
Aaaah, that beloved grocery bill. Kicks you in the pants a bit, doesn't it? I get so many questions about grocery shopping on the daily. Putting it lightly… how much you spend on groceries can make or break you. If you go to the store several times per week, wander the aisles, tossing whatever sounds good in your cart, well…
I hate to break it to you, but you're doing you and your family a disservice. It's certainly better than ordering takeout and I'm proud of you for cooking! But chances are, you're paying way too much for groceries, which doesn't do anyone (except the store) any favors. Plus, you could save upwards of HALF on your grocery bill by changing a few simple things!
*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
Due to all the grocery shopping questions lately, I decided it was time to go over how to store those precious groceries. Make your food stretch by storing it the proper way and you'll be amazed at how much longer your grocery budget will last. Not only will I go over how I grocery shop to make sure I'm getting the products that will last the longest, but I'll also cover how to reuse leftovers, how to make lettuce last, how to freeze fruit and veggies, and way more!
Trust me, it's good.
FIRST – subscribe to my YouTube channel and turn on my notifications, since the time of day that I post changes regularly. (#LazyBloggerProbs)
NEXT – see what the hype is all about! Watch this week's video online or click and watch below to see how to store groceries the right way:
So good, right? Now, let's go over a few details to make sure you didn't miss anything on how to store food!
HOW TO STORE YOUR FOOD
We're all about those pantry staples because you can always have what you need that won't go bad, even if the electricity goes out. Plus, they make it crazy easy to shelf cook and save tons of money at the store. Keep it organized, and that food will last you a long time, especially when you keep a kitchen inventory!
HOW TO STORE FRUIT
This is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S! Did you know that you should never store your bananas in the fridge unless you're just asking for them to ripen crazy fast and turn brown and get all gross (banana bread, anyone)? Some fruits, on the other hand, like strawberries and blueberries, have to be stored in the fridge to last any amount of time at all. Shelf Cooking has got your back and is bringing you all the fruit storage tips to make it last longer, which stretches your budget further!
Produce can make you or break you when you go to the grocery store! If you buy the cheap, in-season produce and meal plan to use it up during the week before it goes bad, then it can save you some major dollars. But knowing how to pick out that produce can be tricky! Luckily, I've become the produce-picking Jedi, so come learn from me, young Padawan. You'll get great tips like smelling a pineapple to see if it's ready or looking at an avocado's belly button to see if it's ripe.
HOW TO STORE VEGETABLES
Still piling all your potatoes and onions in a basket together and wondering why your potatoes are going bad so quickly? Onions will make any other veggie they're stored near ripen quicker! Store them separately in the freezer and enjoy how long your veggies will last now. For even more tips, be sure to check this post out about veggie storage!
USE YOUR FREEZER
The freezer should be your best friend in the kitchen! It can take something that's about to go bad, and would otherwise be wasted, and prolong its life until you can use it. And you can freeze almost anything… Milk? Check. Cheese? Check. Lunchmeat? Check. Credit cards? Check, but for a different reason. 😉 You will be amazed at what you can freeze after you take a tour of my freezers (yes, I have multiple!).
HOW TO PREVENT FREEZER BURN
Now that your freezer is your best friend, it's time to learn that air is the enemy when it comes to frozen foods. Be sure to use all the proper food storage products, such as foil, airtight containers, and freezer baggies so you can prevent freezer burn and prolong the life of your food in the freezer!
HOW TO THAW ANYTHING
Freezing so many different types of food means that you'll need to know how to thaw them safely and effectively. Some foods can be cooked without thawing, such as frozen veggies or soup, whereas others need to be thawed in the fridge, microwave, or cold water. Go check out our post on the nitty gritty details for thawing anything and everything!
HOW LONG DOES FOOD LAST?
It can be tricky to know how long food will last in the fridge or freezer. Nobody wants to open up those leftovers from last week to see some lovely green fuzz growing! But you also don't want to be overly cautious and wasteful with your food, throwing it out while it's still perfectly good.
Luckily, I've got some tricks up my sleeve to help you out. For instance, you can try the float test for raw eggs in the shell when you're not sure if they're still good. To find out how this works, along with wayyyy more info, be sure to give this post on how long food lasts a good read!
TIPS TO HELP YOU USE ALL THE FOOD
You know I'm not gonna just leave you hanging! Here are some great meal ideas to put those groceries to good use:
- Breakfast – Cereal is a nice snack, but we don't play around when it comes to breakfast around here! It is the most important meal of the day, after all. We love those hearty meals that will last our ravenous kids until the next meal, and our make-ahead breakfast ideas don't disappoint! They freeze so well, and we are big fans of making freezer breakfasts for the whole month to make those busy mornings easier.
- Lunch – Whether at school, at work, or at home, lunch is a big meal for the whole family! It usually has to be packed or be made pretty quickly, and it's easy to get stuck in the same ol' sandwich rut day in and day out. We've come up with some quick and easy lunch ideas that will help you get out of the lunchtime rut! We're also big fans of freezer sandwiches (both PB&J and meat and cheese) and DIY lunchables.
- Snacks – Can your kids eat you out of house and home when it comes to snacks, or is that just ours?? Regardless, follow our snack time tips and you'll be able to save some money. *Hint, we don't allow our kids to eat anything in a wrapper if they're at home… Those are saved for school lunches or when we're out of the house only! Just doing that will help you pay for your kids to go to college. 😉
- Dinner – Here's the big kahuna! Dinner is wonderful for the family to gather around the table and enjoy that time spent together. But coming up with ideas every. single. night… Oy vey! We love you so much that we've compiled the ultimate, greatest, bestest, and longest list of dinner ideas that you may just want to kiss our feet for.
Great, right? I know. 😉 Alright, moving on to…
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVERS
Ahhhh, leftovers. For some, they are life. For others, leftovers are the bane of their existence. They are definitely part of our life! We work at least one weekly leftovers night in when we're meal planning, which means one less night of having to come up with something from scratch. If that's not a #MomWin right there, then I don't know what is!
Sure, I'll agree that leftovers can be gross if you don't heat them up the proper way. Nobody likes a gloopy mess of cheese. But, Freebs, we have become the leftovers masters! As long as you reheat your leftovers the proper way or repurpose them, then you'll love your leftovers as much as we do.
A FEW FOOD HACKS
While we're talking about how to store food and make it stretch, let's go over a few food hacks that will really take your groceries to the next level!
- These 40 food hacks will change. your. world. They'll simplify your life in a BIG way and offer solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had!
- Easily make substitutions like a pro when you run out of something! We have the best ideas for rice, chicken broth, cream, and bread crumbs that will keep you from getting in a bind when you inevitably run out. You're welcome. 😉
- Pre-cook your meat when you bring it home from the store and throw it in the freezer in meal-sized portions! We love doing this with ground beef and chicken.
Pro Tip: Use a hand or stand mixer to shred your chicken easily and quickly! It's probably one of my favorite food hacks, ever.
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR BUDGET
If you liked all of these tips that helped you to stretch your grocery budget, then don't forget about my secret sauce online budgeting program, Budget Boot Camp! It's a super fun video program that makes money and your budget easy to understand. All you need is a screen and you're set!
You'll get wayyyy more tips like these that I just shared with you today! Also, if you don't save at LEAST what you paid for the program, I'll refund every dime. You've got nothing to lose! Use the code FCFBLOG to get an extra 10% off, because I love you 😉
There you go! I hope all those tips help. Now that you know how to store your food, get to gettin'! Make sure everything is stored the right way so it'll last you longer and stretch that grocery budget even further. Have any tips I missed? Let me know in the comments!
Oh, while we're talking all things food… Have you checked out ShelfCooking.com yet? Our brand new site is dedicated to helping you cook delicious, nutritious, and budget-friendly meals for your family without spending too much time in the kitchen!
Basically every parent's dream, right? Join our Shelf Cooking Community today!
Looking for more?
- Start using the simplest budgeting method EVER and get your budget under control!
- With fresh produce come those annoying fruit flies! We've got 2 tried and true, natural ways to help you catch fruit flies!
- A potato bar is the perfect way to feed a crowd while also keeping it under budget… Not to mention delicious!