Storing your food in the best places like the fridge and freezer, or indeed the cupboard, will help your food stay fresher for longer. But how do you know where to store it correctly?
Take a look at our practical A-Z Storage tool to help you discover some simple hacks and tips about a wide range of food. Did you know that you can freeze avocado or eggs? What can you do with your squishy berries?
But first … do you know if your fridge is at the right temperature?
Chilling your fridge out
Only half of us know that our fridge should be below 5°C. If your fridge is too warm then perishable foods like milk will go off much quicker. Did you know that, in the UK, we pour 3.1 million glasses of milk down our kitchen sinks every day? Help your fridge to chill out by using our handy tool to help you reset your fridge temperature.
Top tips for smarter fridges
- Shelf smart - when you get home from the shop, put your newly bought food at the back of the shelf and ensure your older food is brought to the front. This’ll help you to remember to use up your food before it goes off.
- Labelling makes it easy to remember – food goes off quite quickly once the packing is opened so write the date you first opened the pack on a label or straight onto the pack to remind you.
- Eat me first shelf – why not use the top shelf in your fridge to put food that is close to its use by date or food that’s close to going off? Get creative and plan a 'flung together' meal once a week to use up this food. Check the A-Z Storage tool to see if you can freeze any of this food ready to eat at a later date.
Getting freezer savvy
Make friends with your freezer, you’ll be surprise at how many of our food can be frozen. Our A-Z Storage tool will help you understand which foods freeze well, how to best freeze them and use them up when you are ready.
Top tips to keep your freezer ship shape
- Keep a small space free for freezing your leftovers – no one intends to throw food away or cook too much so keeping a small space free in your freezer for your leftovers is a smart move. You then have a ready-made meal for another day and will be saving your food from the bin too. You can learn to be smarter with your serving sizes by checking out our Portion Planner.
- Removing guesswork by adding a label – Food can last for a while in the freezer, however, all food has an optimum time when it’s at its best so adding a label will help you remember when (date) you popped it in the freezer and exactly what (food/meal) it is! Removing the guesswork will make managing your freezer simple and ensure you eat your food when it’s at its best.
- Eat frozen once a week – why not plan one meal a week from the freezer? This will help you use up your frozen food while it’s at its best leaving space for more food to be frozen – perfect food rotation.
- Toasty snacks straight from the freeze – bread is one of our most wasted foods, in fact, we throw away 20 million slices of bread a day in the UK. Astonishing isn’t it? We can all do something about this by freezing your *loaf of bread (or at least one of your loaves) when you get home from the shop. The best thing is that you can toast your bread straight from the freezer – no need to thaw. Check out Make Toast Not Waste for some creative ideas for toast toppers for your tasty snack.
* ensure you slice your loaf if it isn’t already sliced – it’s much easier to take out only what you need from the freezer when it’s sliced.
- Think frozen when shopping – remember to visit the frozen food aisles in store as shopping frozen is a helpful way of ensuring you always have some fresh nutritious food in the house without the worry that it’ll go off within a couple of days.
- Tiny spaces – got a small freezer? Think about how you need to use this space and prioritise the foods that work best for you. Buy a small loaf of bread for the freezer rather than a large one and small bags of veg or other packs of food. This means that you’ll have a few portions of a range of food when you are ready and you can easily replace these during your weekly shop.
Remember to check your cupboards
Many of the same tips above apply to our cupboards. We often to forget about checking the food we put away in our cupboards as they tend to last quite a long time, however, we still need to keep an eye on foods such as flour or long life products.
- Tins are just as nutritious as fresh – if you are running out of fresh vegetables and fruit, especially towards the end of the week, then using tinned vegetables and fruit is just as good and counts towards your 5-a-day.
- Long life need using up eventually – if you've stocked up on long life foods then remember to check the best before dates and use them up while they are still at their best. How about popping a note on your kitchen calendar? It’s very easy to forget they are in your cupboard with dates lasting some time into the future. Once opened, remember to follow the on-pack guidance as they then become perishable foods.