15 Tricks for Keeping Food Fresh Longer

These helpful hints will help you cut costs at the grocery store by keeping your food fresher longer than ever. Discover more kitchen tricks and shortcuts here.

1. If you're unsure of an egg's freshness, see how it behaves in a cup of water: Fresh eggs sink; bad ones float.

Related: Delicious Ways to Enjoy Eggs

2. Don't throw away sparkling wine or champagne
that's gone flat. Restore the bubble by dropping a raisin or two into the bottle. The natural sugars will work magic.

3. Line the bottom of your refrigerator's crisper drawer with paper towels. They'll absorb the excess moisture that causes veggies to rot.

4. A bay leaf slipped into a container of flour, pasta, or rice will help repel bugs.

Related: Smart Kitchen Storage and Organization Ideas

5. Stop cheese from drying out by spreading butter or margarine on the cut sides to seal in moisture. This is most effective with hard cheeses sealed in wax.

6. When radishes, celery, or carrots have lost their crunch
, simply pop them in a bowl of iced water along with a slice of raw potato and watch the limp vegetables freshen up right before your eyes.

7. Believe it or not, honey is the only nonperishable food substance, so don't get rid of the stuff if it crystallizes or becomes cloudy. Microwave on medium heat, in 30-second increment, to make honey clear again.

Related: The Best Local Honeys

8. In order to make cottage cheese or sour cream last longer, place the container upside down in the fridge. Inverting the tub creates a vacuum that inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes food to spoil.

9. Prevent extra cooked pasta from hardening by stashing it in a sealed plastic bag and refrigerating. When you're ready to serve, throw the pasta in boiling water for a few seconds to heat and restore moisture.

Related: 28 Favorite Italian Recipes

10. You can freeze cheese! After serving, put leftovers back in the original package, wrap tightly in plastic, and freeze. Defrost in the fridge a day before serving. This trick works best for soft cheeses with a high fat content.

Related: Recipes for Mac and Cheese, Cheesecake, and More

11. Prevent mushrooms from getting slimy by wrapping them in paper towels before refrigerating.

12. To revive day-old muffins
, sprinkle them with water, place in a paper bag, and pop in a hot oven for five to 10 minutes. The steam created by the water will restore moisture.

Related: Get the Recipe for Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins

13. Keeping brown sugar in the freezer will stop it from hardening. But if you already have hardened sugar on your shelf, soften it by sealing in a bag with a slice of fresh bread or an apple - or by microwaving on high for 30 seconds.

14. Stock up on butter when it's on sale - you can store it in the freezer for up to six months. Pack the butter in an airtight container, so it doesn't take on the flavor of whatever else you're freezing.

Related: Make Your Own Flavored Butters at Home

15. Avoid separating bananas until you plan to eat them - they spoil less quickly in a bunch.

How do you extend the life of your fresh food? Any clever storage tricks?

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