Sick of buying produce only to find that when you get in the fridge it's gone bad? Yeah, I'm sick of that too! I have been so bad about not using my produce fast enough and then I end up throwing most of it away. Thought I'd share a few food saving tips with you that I've learned.
Keep your lettuce fresh for weeks! I learned this tip from my Mom when I was about 18, before I left for college. You just put a paper towel in the bag with your lettuce and it absorbs all the moisture so your salad stays fresh! Make sure to change the towel if you notice it's pretty damp. I remember my roommates thinking I was weird putting a paper towel in with my salad, until they noticed that it lasted a lot longer!
From my experience if I don't plan out my meals, I tend to waste a lot more than just produce. I've had to throw meats away because I forgot I had thawed them out in the fridge (very sad). I use to plan a ton of meals for the month, and then decide what I wanted to make for 2 weeks. I'd make a big trip to Winco for pretty much everything but the produce. Then I'd get all the produce I needed for 1-2 weeks. Saved me tons of money! Since the closest Winco is about 3 hours away, I'm stuck shopping at Walmart or Smiths. Walmart's prices are okay, but I sure do miss my Winco!! Now I just plan out one week at a time. It gets me out of the house more often, which I need.
Here is a meal planning tile my sister-in-law made for me. She is SO talented and crafty. She sent me a picture the other day of her new menu planner which I can't wait to get! I'll post a picture when I get it (along with a few more meal planning tips). In the meantime, check out her blog here for some cute stuff.
A couple other tips I've learned about preserving our food:
- Wrap your celery in aluminum foil to keep it fresh longer. I've haven't tried this yet, but I learned it from The Food Nanny when she came and spoke to us at our church, so it's got to work!
- Cook your ground beef before you freeze it. I learned this trick from one of my roommates when I was in college. If you're like me and HATE to touch raw meat then you'll love this. I have had to throw out a whole package of ground beef in the past because I buy it, put it in the fridge (intending to freeze it the next day), then forget about or procrastinate freezing it, then it's all gone bad! If you cook it then you have minimal touching of the raw meat and it makes it a lot faster to use when dinner time comes. Just make sure you completely drain all the fat off before freezing. Also, if you're using it for burgers, make the patties first, then cook and freeze.
The last tip of today is.....don't let your kids play in the big bag of flour. :) Had to pretty much trash the rest of this bag of flour after my son go into it. Good thing it only cost us about $6! Though it did make for a good flour fight (which I started). So, I guess it's okay to waste some food if it ends up in a fun time :)