SAN ANTONIO – Fewer trips to the grocery store means figuring out how to make eggs, bread, and other food last longer so you don’t end up wasting it or your money.
Storage matters. For optimum freshness, your refrigerator should be set at 37 degrees and the freezer at zero. And, be sure there is room for cool air to circulate.
If you don’t think you’ll drink milk before it expires, pour part of it into an airtight container and freeze it. It will keep for up to three months.
As for eggs, you can freeze them, too. The USDA says don’t freeze them in the shell, though. To keep the yolks from hardening and becoming unusable, whisk them a little and pour them into an airtight container. They will keep well for about a year in the freezer.
When you freeze or refrigerate foods, wrap them tightly and mark them with the date so you’ll know when to use them.
To keep bread longer, Consumer Reports says don’t keep it in the refrigerator.
“Bread can go stale much faster in the refrigerator than if you store it in a cool, dry place,” said Amy Keating, CR dietitian. “But you can freeze it. Just wrap it tightly and put it in an airtight container or resealable bag."
Strawberries will keep better in the fridge if you remove the stems and lay them separately in a covered container.
When you put groceries in the cupboards, move cans and goods with the oldest “best by" dates to the front. And, don’t take those dates as “throw out” dates.
“'Best By’ dates may mean the food will taste best before this date, but doesn’t mean it’s unsafe to eat,” Keating said. “Examine foods past their dates and if you see signs of spoilage, when in doubt, throw it out.”
Dry goods in your pantry will last longer if you store them in airtight packaging that helps keep bacteria and moisture out.