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37 Resources for Selecting & Storing Your Groceries

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Storing fresh ingredients properly and in the right place extends their lifespan—and helps reduce waste. More often than not, our partner-in-crime is the fridge, and we partnered with KitchenAid to share all our resources for food storage.

It's a little cringe-worthy to think about, but try to recall the produce, fruit, or meat you've tossed in the past few weeks (or months, if you're better at using up the bits and bobs). It's probably more than you, or any of us, would like to admit. A lot more.

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Flush with fresh herbs? Remember to store your bunches straight up (like we're doing here in our FreshSeal™ Herb Storage Container in our new KitchenAid fridge).
Flush with fresh herbs? Remember to store your bunches straight up (like we're doing here in our FreshSeal™ Herb Storage Container in our new KitchenAid fridge). Photo by James Ransom

The USDA states that "in the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40% of the food supply." There are many factors that contribute to this percentage, including retailers' waste and the waste that happens along the production line, but food discarded (for one reason or another) at home is a huge contributor.

 If you can, keep meats extra-cool in a drawer with temperature control (like we're doing here in Full-Extension Custom Temperature-Controlled Pantry Drawer in our KitchenAid fridge).
If you can, keep meats extra-cool in a drawer with temperature control (like we're doing here in Full-Extension Custom Temperature-Controlled Pantry Drawer in our KitchenAid fridge). Photo by James Ransom

In light of this overwhelming number, I'm constantly trying to find better, more consistent ways to keep what's in my fridge and pantry fresh, so I eat more of it (instead of sadly tossing the questionably-dated eggs or weird, old flour). Here, all in one place, are little, easy-to-do everyday steps I consult regularly on how to select and store food effectively, from all the nooks and crannies of the Food52 archives.

A Good Place to Start

Steal This Tip for Reducing Food Waste from Restaurants
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Steal This Tip for Reducing Food Waste from Restaurants

Also, take a gander here for lots of good nuggets on storing produce so it lasts longer.

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Fish & Meat

When it comes to fish and meat, the fridge (and freezer) is your friend. Unless you're using fresh fish the day you buy it, stick it in the freezer—it'll keep longer, and with more flavor intact. Fresh meat is a little more forgiving—you'll get a few days out of it stored in the fridge—but if you want to freeze it, you can keep it for a couple months.

One good rule to always follow is as simple as can be: If it smells bad, don't buy—or eat—it. More tips on how to pack it, where to put it in the fridge, and defrosting below:

Our Every Question On Freezing (and Fridging) Steaks, Burgers & More, Answered
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Our Every Question On Freezing (and Fridging) Steaks, Burgers & More, Answered
6 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Fishmonger

6 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Fishmonger by Caroline Lange

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How to Choose the Freshest Fish

How to Choose the Freshest Fish by Catherine Lamb

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Mario Batali's Guide to 10 Italian Cured Meats
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Mario Batali's Guide to 10 Italian Cured Meats

All the Produce

With all the different types of produce and fruit out there, it can be mind-boggling trying to figure out how to store each to maximize their freshness: Should citrus be stored in the fridge? How long should onions be kept? Will berries thrive on the counter? What's the best way to store fresh herbs?

Here's a short, visual guide to use when storing your produce and deciding what to eat first.

But if you want more details, it's all here—plus, some ways to use up what's going bad:

A Handy Chart for How Long Fresh Produce Will Last
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A Handy Chart for How Long Fresh Produce Will Last
The Best Ways to Store Fresh Herbs

The Best Ways to Store Fresh Herbs by Lisa Kolb

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How to Salvage Salad Greens—By Way of Soup

How to Salvage Salad Greens—By Way of Soup by Annie Crabill

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The Surprising Way You Should Be Storing Celery

The Surprising Way You Should Be Storing Celery by Lindsay-Jean Hard

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The Best Way to Store Potatoes

The Best Way to Store Potatoes by Lindsay-Jean Hard

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The Surprising Way You Should Be Storing Onions
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The Surprising Way You Should Be Storing Onions
The Best Ways to Store a Cut Tomato

The Best Ways to Store a Cut Tomato by Taylor Schwartz

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The Best Way To Store Lettuces & Other Greens (A Controversial Method)

The Best Way To Store Lettuces & Other Greens (A Controve... by Kristen Miglore

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What to Do with an Overload of Eggplant
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What to Do with an Overload of Eggplant
How to Keep Berries Fresh for Longer

How to Keep Berries Fresh for Longer by Sarah Jampel

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The Best Ways to Find, Store, and Use Apricots

The Best Ways to Find, Store, and Use Apricots by Lindsay-Jean Hard

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The Best Way to Stop Your Avocado from Browning: Do Nothing
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The Best Way to Stop Your Avocado from Browning: Do Nothing
Should You Refrigerate Citrus Fruits?
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Should You Refrigerate Citrus Fruits?

Dairy Diaries

While the code to storing dairy isn't so hard to crack (fridge it!), it can sometimes be difficult to identify the freshest stuff, like eggs or milk, so you get as much time out of them as possible. Don't think you can store butter after you've browned it? Think again.

How to Buy the Freshest Eggs Possible

How to Buy the Freshest Eggs Possible by Mei Chin

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5 Ways to Turn Plain Yogurt into Dessert

5 Ways to Turn Plain Yogurt into Dessert by Alice Medrich

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Make-Ahead Brown Butter is Better
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Make-Ahead Brown Butter is Better

Cheese Gets its own Section

So how do you store cheese without it getting hard around the edges, or flat in taste? What to do with all the nubs and bits hanging around in the back of the drawer instead of tossing them in the trash? Most of the time, for me, it's a "just stuff it in your face" kind of thing, without thinking about texture, or grate it onto whatever pasta dish is happening that night. But there is always a better way, like below:

How to Store Cheese
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How to Store Cheese
10 Ways to Use Parmesan Cheese

10 Ways to Use Parmesan Cheese by Marian Bull

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The Cheese Question the Experts Can't Agree On

The Cheese Question the Experts Can't Agree On by Sarah Jampel

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Notes from the Bar

It's pretty predictable that in every movie or TV show you've watched, all the alcohol is stored in a fancy cupboard or out to show what's available. Half-filled bottles of vermouth, amaro, and more litter the bar—but is that really the right way to store leftover or half-finished bottles of booze? (In short: More of it actually needs to go in the fridge than you think).

Which Alcohols Should Be Refrigerated (& Why)?

Which Alcohols Should Be Refrigerated (& Why)? by fiveandspice

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Saving Leftover Wine

Saving Leftover Wine by Kristy Mucci

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Bits and Bobs, Mostly in the Pantry

If you haven't rooted around in your pantry for a while, it can be a mildly scary place to think about diving into. (How many boxes of old baking soda will there be? Will the beans still be good? How will I know?) However, if you know how to properly store your flour, nuts, olive oil, sugar, and so on, I can bet you know what'll happen: They'll last longer, and taste better at that. Each type of pantry item takes a bit of reading up on to understand what it responds best to, so do your research here:

It's Time to Replace the Bag of Beans in Your Pantry: Here's Why
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It's Time to Replace the Bag of Beans in Your Pantry: Here's Why
The Best Ways to Choose, Store, and Use Olive Oil

The Best Ways to Choose, Store, and Use Olive Oil by Brette Warshaw

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Why You Should Be Treating Your Tofu Like a Bouquet of Flowers

Why You Should Be Treating Your Tofu Like a Bouquet of Fl... by Sarah Jampel

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A Handy (but Hands-Off) Trick for Storing Natural, Oil-Topped Peanut Butter
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A Handy (but Hands-Off) Trick for Storing Natural, Oil-Topped Peanut Butter
The Best Way to Store All Sorts of Flours

The Best Way to Store All Sorts of Flours by Alice Medrich

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How to Store Nuts and Seeds

How to Store Nuts and Seeds by Sheela Prakash

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How to Store Brown Sugar

How to Store Brown Sugar by Emma Wartzman

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How to Store Fresh Bread

How to Store Fresh Bread by Marian Bull

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All About Miso
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All About Miso

If you're a food storage whiz or a produce whisperer, please share your storage tips in the comments below!

KitchenAid®'s Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator has a roomy interior, adjustable, slide-away shelves, and under-shelf storage, which makes storing all sorts of fresh ingredients a cinch. KitchenAid is our new Test Kitchen partner, so you'll be seeing them around these parts more often.

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