From keeping apples in the fridge to eggs in the freezer and cucumbers in the cupboard, experts have unveiled a range of unexpected ways to help British families save money during the cost of living crisis.
With supermarket prices up a record 10 percent year-on-year and supermarket commodity prices doubling, many shoppers are now looking for ways to keep costs down.
And consumer champion experts Which? say people can save money and reduce waste simply by storing their foods the right way – like apples in the fridge, which will help them last up to 77 days longer.
Other tips are to put eggs in the freezer for up to six months, but only after they have been cracked and beaten before being stored in a container. If you freeze them in their shells, they will explode.
Bread should go in a bread bin instead of the fridge, which dries out the bread and leaves people with stale slices. It can also be used for breadcrumbs, bread and butter pudding or croutons when it gets old. Plus, experts said you can freeze bread and then toast it straight from the freezer or put it under the broiler.
Mushrooms should also be kept in the refrigerator, but they should be put in a paper bag first to prevent them from becoming slimy – while cucumbers will last longer if kept in a cupboard or placed in a bowl on a counter.
Stoned fruits such as peaches, plums and cherries ripen better outside the refrigerator, allowing the flavors to fully develop. Overripe fruit with no signs of mold can still be used as a topping for porridge or in a crumble.
Once opened, peanut butter keeps well in a cupboard as long as it is tightly sealed and will last for many months, as its high fat content and low moisture content are beneficial. conditions to prevent bacterial growth.
Which one?’s Reena Sewraz said: ‘The cost of living puts a strain on many families, but many people are not aware that simply storing your food in a different way can greatly extend its shelf life, saving you money. In the case of apples, they can last up to almost three months longer if you keep them in the fridge, and simple changes like these can be very helpful if you’re buying in bulk or don’t plan to eat right away.”
Read below which experts at Which? recommended things to do with your food to avoid wasting it:
PRODUCTS TO KEEP IN THE FRIDGE
Although mayonnaise contains vinegar, there isn’t enough to keep the egg-rich spice safe outside of the refrigerator. Dipping cutlery in the jar or bottle can allow bacteria to grow, but this is mitigated by refrigerating it.
Pesto should always be kept in the refrigerator, as the nuts can see mold develop and produce toxic compounds called mycotoxins, including aflatoxin. This is a dangerous bacteria that can cause serious liver damage.
Tartar sauce — which is often served with fish and chips — should be kept in the refrigerator because it contains egg, as well as low acidity and high water content, which help microorganisms grow.
Salad cream should be kept in the refrigerator because of its egg content — although it also contains a preservative called potassium sorbate, along with alcohol vinegar, which can help extend life.
Experts advise that anything with a sugar content greater than 60 percent means the sugar will act as a preservative to prevent microbial breakdown. However, maple syrup shoots just below this level, allowing some mold to grow, so it should be kept in the refrigerator. If it is kept in the cabinet, mold will likely form on the lid.
The high amount of vinegar in ketchup allows it to be stored in the refrigerator or on the shelf even after it has been opened. This is the same for brown sauce and barbecue sauce – but if not used regularly, refrigerate.
The type of mustard is important in determining whether you should keep it in the refrigerator. While French Dijon mustard will keep for a year after opening in the refrigerator, American yellow mustard is fine if kept in a cupboard.
It is best to store horseradish in the refrigerator to preserve its flavor and color by reducing exposure to heat and light. Horseradish root can be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for between one and three months.
Jam can be stored in the cupboard after opening, although most brands advise on the label to keep them in the refrigerator. But experts add that they last much longer when kept cold, so they’re best kept in the refrigerator.
Lettuce can stay crisp longer by washing, spinning dry and then storing in a perforated container in the fridge
Chutney is normally edible for a long time because it is made with sugar and vinegar. Although the texture, color or taste may change, it is still safe to consume if kept continuously in the refrigerator and the jar is undamaged.
Mushrooms should be stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator as they have a high water content. If this evaporates, it can get trapped in plastic and make them slimy – but a paper bag will let them breathe.
The best way to keep lettuce crisp for as long as possible is to copy the method normally used in restaurants, which is to wash it, spin dry it and then store it in a perforated container such as a colander in the refrigerator. .
Research by food waste organization Wrap found that apples last between 69 and 77 days longer when stored in the refrigerator. Therefore, experts advise people to buy a big bag of apples and keep it in the refrigerator to get a better price.
PRODUCTS TO NOT STORE IN THE FRIDGE
Bread will dry out if stored in the refrigerator, as the cool and dry conditions will make it stale. It should instead be kept in a bread bin – but can be used for breadcrumbs, bread and butter pudding or croutons if stale. Experts say freezing a loaf of bread or slices is also fine, and they can then be toasted or grilled straight from the freezer.
While many keep their cucumbers in the refrigerator, doing so can cause the skin to shrivel and the insides to become mushy. It is therefore best to store them in a cupboard or in a bowl on a counter. Those who want to eat a cold are advised to refrigerate it an hour in advance, to avoid the effects of prolonged exposure to the cold.
A ripe tomato will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but low temperatures can alter its texture and stop the activity of enzymes that help give it its flavor. For best results, people are advised to put them in a fruit bowl.
Potatoes are estimated to last an average of 90 days longer in the refrigerator, although the Food Standards Agency says this can also lead to increased levels of the naturally occurring cancer-causing chemical acrylamide, especially if the potatoes are then cooked at very high temperatures. It is therefore best to store them in a cool, dark place.
Stoned fruits such as peaches, plums and cherries ripen much better outside the refrigerator, allowing the flavors to fully develop. However, many people like to eat these when they are refreshingly cold, so they are willing to make compromises. Overripe fruit with no signs of mold can also be used as a topping for porridge or in a crumble.
Bananas should first turn yellow on the counter, as unripe bananas have a hard time ripening in the refrigerator. Experts say brown bananas are good for baking, and one that can replace an egg in cakes and pancakes.
Storing cakes or other baked goods in the refrigerator will make them stale faster than if they were kept at room temperature. Plus, experts say you should avoid throwing out leftover or old cake because you can make brownies out of it.
Potatoes are thought to last 90 days longer in the fridge on average – but it’s recommended to keep them unrefrigerated
Peanut butter can be kept out of the refrigerator for months because it is high in fat and low in moisture, so it can be difficult for bacteria to grow. It can be kept in a cupboard as long as the jar is tightly closed.
Butter can spoil when exposed to oxygen, light and heat – and although it will keep longer in the refrigerator, it can be stored in a bowl with a lid on the counter, as its high fat content makes it difficult for bacteria to penetrate. to grow.
An estimated 13,000 tons of eggs are wasted because they aren’t used on time – but they can be used past the best-before date as long as they’re cooked. They can also be frozen for up to six months, although they must be cracked and beaten first and then frozen in a container. Do not freeze them in their shells or they will explode.
Nutella can be stored at room temperature, which makes it more liquid and spreadable. If kept in the fridge, it will harden and make the texture no longer spreadable – and then it can spoil if you let it come back to room temperature.
When you put honey in the fridge, it hardens to an amber consistency that is impossible to squeeze from a bottle. It is very stable in hives, with honey having even been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs.
Onions and garlic
Onions and garlic should be stored in a well-ventilated place in the dark, as they can become mushy if kept in the refrigerator. They can also be sliced and frozen to prevent spoiling.
Wine and champagne
Prolonged storage of wine or champagne in the refrigerator can negatively affect the taste and quality of the wine, so it’s best to keep it in a cupboard. But keeping opened red wine in the refrigerator can help it last a little longer.