Storing Fruits and Vegetables to Reduce Food Waste

May 16, 2022 | Jody Gatewood

produce laying on countertop

Last week Katy shared about how she uses canned and frozen fruits and vegetables, along with fresh, in her meals, to help stretch her grocery budget. Today I want to share a few tips and resources on storing produce.  Storing fruits and vegetables properly will help them last longer and taste better. The longer produce lasts, the longer you have to use it before it goes bad and it has to be thrown out. Food wasted is money wasted and we want to limit both of those!

The first tip to storing fruits and vegetables is to develop a system so that you use the oldest produce first; this is called first in first out. For canned, frozen, and dried fruits and vegetables, consider writing the date you purchased the item so you know which items are the oldest. In the cupboard or freezer, keep the oldest items towards the front so they get used first.

For fresh produce, keep the older fruits and vegetables in the front of the refrigerator so they can be used first. Another way to use up older produce is to include it in your meal plan so you have a way to use it up before you start to use any new produce you buy at the store.

Some fresh fruits and vegetables should be refrigerated, while others should be kept at room temperature. Watch our video on How to Store Fruits and Vegetables to learn more about this. For information on how to store, clean, and prepare a specific fruit or vegetable, check out Produce Basics for information on over 30 different types of produce.


Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing meals for her family. She does lots of meal planning to stay organized and feed her family nutritious meals.

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