A few weeks ago, I asked for input from my contacts on food storage in limited spaces. The response I received was phenomenal! A very large thank you to everyone who made my life become so much easier.
We live a fair distance from town, which in the past I thought nothing of. Trips to town now are not as easy, carefree, and thoughtless as they used to be.
Every short little errand turns into either a heavy carseat-lugging ordeal or unbuckling the babe and packing her along into Napa Auto Parts for 5 minutes; then buckling her back in for 5 minutes, then repeating the process 6 more times as you visit the post office, grocery store, Kenworth, D & B Supply, etc. Never mind that there are also diaper-changing sessions and feeding stops.
Needless to say, I do a lot more Walmart grocery pickup, calling in orders, and online shopping than I thought possible.
So one day I came upon the bright idea that if I could stock up on things, perhaps the tedious trips to town could be evaded.
But how does a person keep a well-stocked fridge with nutritious variety for weeks?
Following are wonderful ideas. Many I am in the process of trying out for myself.
Potatoes…Keep them in a cool, dark place. If no basement or cellar then under the bed! In a bedroom closet! In a paper bag or box is best for air movement. They don’t need to be refrigerated, but can be if you have the room. Do not keep onions in the same space as potatoes tho, it may cause them to sprout! If you grow your own potatoes, let them lay for a long time before storing! Any dampness, bug spot, or shovel cut tend to rot easily.
Apparently Tupperware FridgeSmarts are a most life-saving product. 85% of the feedback I heard included raving reviews about the glories of these containers and how they keep fruit and veggies fresh for weeks on end. 3 weeks easily. Grapes crisp for a month! Washed and torn lettuce fresh for a week. Carrots, cucumbers, greens, celery, fruit, and more. Yes, they do take up a fair bit of room, but you could always take out your produce drawers and stack these containers in that area instead.
Ever heard of Green Bags? Another reusable option that seems to work well for keeping produce at optimum freshness.
Celery lover? Wrap it in tinfoil.
Speaking of tinfoil, if I have a partially used onion left after cooking lunch, I wrap it tightly in tinfoil and stick it in the fridge. No smell and it lasts a long time this way. One of my friends chops and freezes her onion ahead of time. That way it’s easy to grab out for fried hamburger, any casserole, or omelets. She also does that with bell peppers. Sliced or chopped for fajitas or casseroles.
Hydroponically-grown or quality lettuce and greens from a local greenhouse easily last 2 weeks. We are lucky enough to have a hydroponic greenhouse in our area!
Mexican foodie and need your cilantro to stay fresh? Just put the stems down in a wide mouth jar with water as you would a bouquet of flowers. Cover it with the sack you got it in from the produce section.
Stick a paper towel in the bag of washed lettuce leaves to prolong crisp freshness.
Keep berries fresh for weeks in glass mason jars with lids. You can wash and cut up your strawberries if you like. Raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries…just store unwashed. The blueberry jar for sure will need to be opened periodically as they let off gases and could potentially explode eventually. A big plus of this storage method is how pretty it looks in your fridge.
A garden with fresh grown produce is a great way to stay away from grocery shopping for a couple months in the summer! Much more fun than a cart full of kids in the store!
Produce bought from Waremart seems to last longer than the Walmart stuff.
If all else fails, you could take the advice of one mom and just lower your standards. Fresh grapes and berries can become a treat rather than an everyday staple.
Hope this accumulation of advice is helpful to someone out there! Thanks!