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New ways to save money: Smart storage

Simply getting better at pantry and fridge/freezer storage can make a substantial difference to the amount you save.

  • Store fruit separately: If some fruit is ripening faster than others, store it separately. Fruit gives off ethylene as it ripens, which affects surrounding fruit.
  • Remove fridge drawers: Change them for airtight plastic containers and your salad ingredients will stay fresh for days longer.
  • Learn your labels: ‘Use by’ foods should never be eaten past the listed date, but the ‘best before’ label refers to food quality, meaning the food is still usually safe to eat, but it may no longer be at its best.
  • Freeze your yoghurt: Not only will it last longer, it’ll provide you with a cheaper, healthier alternative to ice cream. Add over-ripe fruit before you freeze.
  • Keep produce ‘intact’: Half a capsicum, for example, remains fresher for longer when stored with the stem, seeds and membrane.

Reader tips:

  • “I’ve found that Tupperware containers are an extreme saver – their vege containers really keep produce fresh. Honest!” – Dee
  • “Get a chest freezer. This has helped us maintain our budget by buying meat, bread, frozen veges and seasonal fruit when on special. Think you can’t afford one? Buy second-hand. It’s like making an investment which will pay $20 back a week and allow you to buy a few treats when they’re on special, too.” – Chloe
  • “Grate cheese and freeze it. Grated means you use less, and storing frozen cheese means you won’t be tempted to treat it as a snack.” –Delwyn
First published: Feb 2009



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