According to an article from the Globe and Mail, Canadians have wasted over $27 billion worth of food after purchasing groceries from the grocery store (e.g. the food never made it into our bellies, where it belongs). In more concrete terms, the average Canadian, according to a Statistics Canada survey, wasted about 122 kilograms of fruits and vegetables, 6 kgs of dairy, 26 kg of poultry and red meat, and over 15kg of oil, fats, sugar, and syrup in 2009 alone.
The amount of garbage Canadians produce is shocking, as we have been notorious for producing the most garbage, using the most electricity compared to even our neighbors to the south. The average Canadian produces 777kg of garbage compared to the 578kg average produced by citizens of sixteen other developed nations in 2009.
Although the cost of groceries has remained stable this year, the inflation of breads, meats, fruits, and vegetables has risen substantially within the past few years. With the cost of groceries continuing to rise, it is important to make sure that we are not letting our food go to waste.
Therefore, here are a few money saving tips to make your groceries last longer and to get most bang for your buck with your grocery money!
Separate your Bananas
Ripe and brown bananas are the bane of my existence, especially in the summer when the fruit flies particularly enjoy them. Bananas produce ethylene gas which causes enzymatic ripening of fruits nearby in addition to the banana itself. Most of the ethylene gas is produced in the stem of the banana. Therefore, according to Life Hacker, if you separate the bananas into individual bananas (rather than leaving them as a bunch) this should help slow down the browning process. In addition, if you want to go a bit further, you can wrap the stems of the individual bananas with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent emission of the ethylene gas. Doing this, you can make your bananas last three to five days longer than they normally would.
Where's the Cheese?
To make your cheese last longer, if you are serious about it (or if it's an expensive piece of cheese), TheKitchn recommends that you buy cheese paper. Alternately, you can freeze your cheese for up to six months, however it might not taste the same as its pre-frozen state. If you do get mold growing on your cheese, it is acceptable to cut the piece of mold off, unlike bread. When handling cheese and cutting it, try your best not to touch the cheese, as the bacteria on your hand may encourage the growth of more bacteria, speeding up the mold growth.
Freeze Your Bread
I hadn't done this until a few years ago, but it works wonders. The cost of bread has increased in the past few years and I can't fathom throwing a loaf of bread away every time I see a bit of mold. Unfortunately, the bacteria has probably made its way to the rest of the loaf, so you can't just throw away that one bad slice. Throwing the loaf of bread into the freezer (this works well for pita breads as well) has helped prevent the wasting of bread. I can now wait until bread is on sale and then throw them in the chest freezer. Yahoo recommends that you keep your bread in the freezer for a maximum of three months, or else the texture of the bread might change and become soggy when you defrost it.
Put Foil On It
Instead of putting a ring on it, put a piece of foil on it. Lauren Conrad (who by the way, has a very pretty website!) suggests that you wrap aluminum foil on your greens like broccoli, celery, and lettuce to make them last longer. Life Hacker states that using this method, celery can last as long as two to three weeks in the fridge. Although I'm not a big fan of celery (unless it is in a Caesar or doused in blue cheese sauce served with wings), this is a great tip to extend the length of green vegetables.
Bargainmoosers, do you have any other tried and true tips to keep your groceries lasting longer?
(banner image credit: polycart)