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Kitchen Tips and Tricks: The Beginner's Guide To Storing Groceries

Get the most for your money by properly storing all of your groceries.

By: Molly Hall, Editor,
Kitchen Tips and Tricks The Beginners Guide To Storing Groceries

We're all guilty of storing our groceries incorrectly at some point, but probably not on purpose. It's habit to generally put all vegetables into the refrigerator and call it a day. For certain vegetables, storing them in the fridge does more harm than good. Also, many foods have a shorter shelf life than you would think. Keeping your food properly stored is the first step in food safety, so this will also help keep you and your family safe from foodborne illnesses.

A good rule of thumb to follow is "when in doubt, throw it out," because it is always better to be safe than sorry. You won't be sorry after following this guide, Kitchen Tips and Tricks: The Beginner's Guide To Storing Groceries--and you'll get the most of your grocery money! 

How To Store Your Groceries


Meat Drawer
 in the packaging it came in; will keep for 2 days
           Poultry: in the packaging it came in; will keep for 2 days

Cheese Drawer
         Semi-Hard to Hard Cheese: wrapped in parchment and then plastic; will keep for 1-2 weeks
         Fresh Cheese: store in water, change water every 2 days; will keep for 7 days

Crisper Drawer
       Greens: in a large plastic container with dry paper towels; will keep for 10 days
       Green beans: plastic bag with dry paper towel; will keep for 1 week
       Celery: wrapped in foil; will keep for 2 weeks
       Grapes: perforated plastic bag; will keep for 1-2 weeks
       Broccoli: wrapped in plastic; will keep for 5 days
       Cauliflower: wrapped in plastic; will keep for 5 days
       Cabbage: wrapped in plastic; will keep for 2 weeks
       Berries: vented container; will keep for 3-5 days
       Winter Squash (cut): wrapped in foil; will keep for 2-3 weeks
       Apples: unwrapped; will keep for 3 weeks

       Summer Squash: wrapped in plastic; will keep for 5 days
       Fish: sealed bag with no air; will keep for 2 weeks unopened or for 5 days opened
       Mushrooms: paper bag; will keep for 3 days


     Tomatoes: unwrapped; will keep for 5 days
     Bananas: unwrapped; will keep for 3 days (once ripe) 
unwrapped; will keep for 5 days (once ripe)


     Potatoes: brown paper bag; will keep for 1-2 months
     Sweet potatoes: brown paper bag; will keep for 2 weeks
     Winter Squash: unwrapped; will keep for 1 month 
     Garlic: plastic bag with paper towel; will keep 2 weeks
     Onions: unwrapped; will keep 1-2 months

More Helpful Tips

1. Keep your fridge clean. The air in the refrigerator (and any spills) can contribute to cross-contamination and make your food go bad faster. 
2. Keep gas-releasing food away from gas sensitive foods. For example, peaches are gas-releasers and bananas are gas-sensitive, so unless you want your fruits to ripen faster, keep them away from one another. 
3. Make sure your fridge is set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to prevent foodborne illnesses.
4. Be sure to also wash all produce before eating it. 

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Very helpful article! Keeping fresh food fresh is getting harder and harder. Strawberries barely make it home anymore. Great tip about wrapping celery in foil! I always end up with limp celery. I always freeze meat immediately, unless I am planning on cooking it that night. I found out that some grocery stores repackage their meat (take meat with expired dates and repackage it with a new expiration date) and it is older than you think!

This is super helpful! And now I feel a little guilty of not following these rules all the time, haha

I learned about the gas releasing foods the hard way. I bought a bunch of bananas and set them next to peaches I got at the farmer's market and my bananas went bad so much faster than normal and I had no idea why!


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