How To Stretch Your Groceries To Last Longer

The current drought and weak rand has shot South African food prices up to epic proportions. It is predicted that this will be happening throughout the year so here are a few suggestions to stretch your groceries and make them last longer.

Food prices, especially staples like maize, have already begun to soar due to the current drought and weakening rand throughout the country. Your monthly groceries are set to continue dwindling as the year goes, so it’s a vital time to start thinking about how you can save food and make it last for longer periods. Here are a few tips:

Store your rooted veggies in pots with clean sand and take them out, wash them as you need.

Vegetables For Soup
Image by Corbis

Store your onions in a pantyhose so that they do not mould and last as long as 8 months.

Image by Corbis

Make sure you dry green onions and freeze them in a plastic bottle.


Chop up your green/yellow/red peppers and freeze them in a plastic container and use them when you need to. You can also pickle most veggies to increase their shelf life.

Variety of fruit and vegetables pickled in jars --- Image by © Gene Koehler/Corbis
Image by Corbis

Get an ethylene gas absorber for your fridge. This will make sure it absorbs all the ethylene gas (necessary plant hormone for fruit and veggies to ripen) emitted by fruits and vegetables.

Image by Pinterest

Adding vinegar to your berries will make them last longer. All you have to do is add one part vinegar and 10 parts water in a bowl, add and rinse your berries in it and then store in your fridge.

22 Apr 2009 --- Wild strawberry vinegar decorated with fresh wild strawberries --- Image by © Strauss, F./the food passionates/Corbis
Image by Corbis

Do not store onions with potatoes as they will spoil faster but do store potatoes with apples to keep them from sprouting.

Root Vegetables, Turnips and Brussels Sprouts
Image by Corbis

Polystyrene prevents vegetables like mushrooms from breathing, which makes them spoil faster. Take food out of the polystyrene and add it onto a container and leave the container open.

Variety of fresh mushrooms
Image by Corbis

Sprinkle some water on vegetables like celery and chopped carrots stored in a container to keep them fresh.

Vegetables For Soup --- Image by © C.Murtin/photocuisine/Corbis
Image by Corbis

Store your herbs in a plastic wrap and use a rubber band to secure before you store them in the fridge, they will last much longer.

Ingredients For Tomato Sauce with Herbs --- Image by © J.Bilic/photocuisine/Corbis
Image by Corbis

Oily herbs like thyme last longer if they are tied together and hung up in the cupboard to get some air.

Bunches of thyme hanging up to dry
Image by Corbis

Check your apples and tomatoes daily to see if any have begun to rot because one rotten apple/tomato spoils the whole bunch.

Image by Corbis
Image by Corbis

Add a bit of butter on the cut side of cheese before you put it back into the fridge to make it last longer. Put cheese in a wrap bag or container and seal to prevent it from hardening, place it in the warmest part of your fridge.

Image by Corbis
Image by Corbis

Wrap bananas before storing them and keep them away from other fruits as they contain a large amount of ethylene gas that makes other fruits spoil faster.

Chiquita Brands entertains another suitor

Use a paper towel on top of lettuce when storing it. It soaks in the moisture and makes sure the lettuce doesn’t get soggy too quickly.


Caxton Reporter

Caxton Local Media’s readership remains the highest in the communities that it serves. The group has 123 newspapers with representation in the majority of provinces across the country and over 60 community news websites.
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