Do you ever buy a bunch of fruit and vegetables and then forget about them until they expire? I know I have. At one point I wasn’t buying much produce because it would always go bad before I got to it, but now I have a system that helps me get to the food in time.
As you know, certain fruits last longer than others, and you can make this work to your advantage. First I decide what kind of fruit I want to eat for that week, determine how long they last, and then after buying them I arrange them in a certain order to make sure I get to the ones that expire first.
Food Saver Method:
Step 1. Make grocery list
Step 2. Determine how long the fruit or vegetable lasts
Step 3. Arrange them accordingly:
-Basically, after knowing how long they last, I put the fruit and vegetables in order from “will expire first” to “will expire last.”
I currently store a list in my phone that I update when I consume the foods listed on it, but you can do this any way you want. You can write out your list on note cards, on a special fridge whiteboard, or on a plain piece of paper you attach to your refrigerator. You just put down the fruit/vegetable on the top row will expire first (listing expiration dates help), then the next one, then the next, until the end of the list when you have the produce that will last the longest.
Some fruit lasts a lot longer in the fridge. For example, you can put a kiwi in the fridge for over a month in a lot of cases. Most citrus fruit will last in the fridge way longer than on the counter. You can make this work your advantage.
So every day I check my system, and see which fruit or vegetable will expire first. I then eat that one or the next one down if it is safe to do so expiring the top fruit or vegetable.
This helps create awareness of what you have, because sometimes we forget what we purchased until it’s too late.
I have created a spreadsheet to assist you with this method. You can use it a couple ways. You can list out what produce you have purchased to help you determine what order to make your list, or you can use the spreadsheet directly (tape it on your fridge or something) and just number the produce in the order you would like it eaten using the left or right hand side.
Here is an example of it in use:
(Need to upload the image here sometime – recovering image post-hacking)
This should greatly help you save your fruits and vegetables so you can enjoy them fresh!
I also do this food saver method with dinners that I have planned for the week. Instead of planning what I have on each day (because for some reason that never seemed to work for me), I put them in the priority of what should be eaten first based on expiration dates. I find it better than actually planning out each day in particular because sometimes I’ll eat out somewhere, dinner plans get changed, or I just didn’t feel like cooking that day. That would throw off the planning and by the end of the week a bunch of food would go bad.
But this method will help prevent that from happening.
Disclaimer: Please use your best judgement when eating food. If you are at all concerned about the quality of your food, if it smells strange or tastes “funny,” don’t hesitate to throw it out. Your health and safety should always come first. I am not a doctor or scientist, but simply someone who is offering information from other sources. Always feel free to do your own research if something doesn’t feel right. Also, if the temperature of your refrigerator or freezer isn’t where it should be, this will drastically affect the expiration date of your food. Be safe!
Anyway, I hope this method is helpful for you. I know coming up with it has helped me, and also had helped save lots of money on groceries.
Have fun list making!