According to experts, the average family wastes roughly 15% of all fresh foods purchased each year. Depending on where you live and the time of year, that may add up to a substantial sum. It is critical to find ways to keep fresh food for longer periods of time. Here are seven strategies for doing so.

1. Traditionally, root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, and carrots were stored in a root cellar. They may have also kept home canned items in the root cellar. You may not have a root cellar, but you can apply the same basic concept.

The idea is to keep these vegetables cold and dry, away from direct sunshine. Refrigerating them will actually cause them to spoil faster. Another option is to store root veggies in paper bags in the cabinet. Separate the onions and potatoes or they may deteriorate.

2. Cheese is another food that degrades fast if not consumed. Before storing cheese in the refrigerator, wrap it in wax paper. This allows the cheese to breathe while preventing additional moisture from reaching it. To avoid flavor mingling, keep each type of cheese distinct from the others.

3. Fresh herbs, like cut flowers, require water to stay fresh. Keep herbs like basil, cilantro, and parsley in a glass with about an inch of water on the cabinet. Non-leafy herbs, on the other hand, keep best if stored in a damp paper towel and then placed in a reusable bag. Place the bag in the fridge.

4. Another method for storing fruits and vegetables for a longer period of time is to can them. Home canning is not difficult, and you know exactly what you’ve put into the goods. Store-bought canned products, on the other hand, may contain chemical preservatives to keep them fresh. If properly prepared, jelly, jam, sauces, fruit halves, or vegetables can be preserved for a year or longer.

5. A vacuum sealer is also a fantastic food storage investment. Although this solution is more expensive, vacuum-sealed items can last for months beyond the standard storage time. When you vacuum seal the food and then freeze it, the storage time increases even more. A good vacuum sealer will cost between $100 and $300, but it is well worth the investment when you consider how much food you can preserve.

6. If you have preserved as much food as possible and still have fresh fruits and vegetables that are starting to appear overripe, search for recipes that will utilise the food rather than wasting it. Your family will enjoy a delicious lunch, and you will save money by keeping the food out of the garbage can.

7. Finally, if part of the food is too spoiled to eat, don’t just throw it out. Create a compost pile for any non-protein leftovers or expired foods. Food composting will at the very least give nourishment for the soil in a flower or vegetable garden.

By following these seven tips for storing fresh food longer, you can save money while keeping food out of the garbage and in the bellies of those you care about.