5 Clever Ways Not to Waste Food

As the mom of four hungry, growing boys, I'm always looking for ways to stretch our food budget. But whether you're anxious about saving dollars or saving the planet - or generally opposed to waste on moral grounds - making the food in your house last longer just makes sense.

I stumbled on some clever tips from Country Living today, and I bet you have more to share. Here, my favorite five from their list:

1. "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." We have this trouble all the time in our house when zip-top bags aren't closed properly. (You know who I'm talking about.)

2. "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." OK, I'm not sure why this works, and I haven't tried it yet. Anyone heard of this before?

3."Avoid separating bananas until you plan to eat them - they spoil less quickly in a bunch." Really? Since my family descends on bananas like wild animals, I may not have a chance to test this one.

4. "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." Sadly I read this too late to save some sad-looking carrots that were dumped in the compost bin this week.

5. "Line the bottom of your refrigerator's crisper drawer with paper towels. They'll absorb the excess moisture that causes veggies to rot." This is interesting, but what I really need is a see-through drawer so I remember what I stashed in there before it starts to ooze.

Now it's your turn. What tricks do you use to keep food fresh longer?

By Joanne Camas


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