Nick Drewe, Savings Expert at WeThrift, weighed in on the matter:
“A recent study showed that 4.5 million tonnes of fruit and vegetables were wasted every year in the UK alone. With fruits like raspberries and strawberries only lasting up to 2-5 days, it is no wonder that so much is being thrown away. After all, nobody wants to eat fruit or veg that has started to go overly soft or furry.
“Thankfully, there are many accounts on several social media platforms that are dedicated to seeking out new and exciting methods to keep perishables fresh and firm – and they don’t have to break the bank, either. From swaddling, to freezing, to specialised tubs – being a storage enthusiast has never been so useful!”
After trawling the internet, including TikTok, for the quickest and easiest hacks, the team has compiled a fool-proof list of tips to help your food shop go further.
1. Let’s wrap this up
First up, we have the lesser-known method of herb swaddling. This involves removing any rubber bands or plastic ties holding the herbs together, then cleansing them in a salad spinner or under the cold tap.
Next, place them in a clean tea towel to dry. Once they are dry, wrap them up in a damp paper towel, then place the herbs safely inside a reusable plastic bag or an airtight plastic box – voila! Your herbs should stay fresh and tasty for longer.
2. Vinegar’s luck
Straight from the weird and wonderful world of TikTok comes @westwing’s viral video on how to keep berries fresher for longer. The tutorial, which has over 31.4K views, demonstrates how washing berries in vinegar that has been diluted with water can extend their life to up to two weeks. Say goodbye to mushy, fluffy strawberries forever.
3. Put the crunch back into lunch
Fed up with your celery and carrots going bad after just a couple of days? Introducing water storage: an older technique that has been reintroduced by the TikTok masses. @westwing, the queen of storage hacks, revealed that putting unwashed veggies straight into the fridge is a recipe for disaster.
To maintain a satisfying crunch and avoid the dreaded grey flesh of an expired avocado, you should cleanse the veg, dry it, then add it to airtight containers with water in them. This allows celery to last a very impressive two weeks, and celery up to a month.
4. Hey, pesto!
One of the hardest herbs to care for has to be basil. It never seems to be happy, wherever it is placed. Put it in front of the window for sunlight? It shrivels before your eyes. Thankfully, @neat.caroline has answered all of our basil-related prayers and revealed that it actually thrives the most simply placed on a counter – like a bunch of flowers. Basil plants love water, so ensure that you water them deeply once a week and avoid letting the soil dry out.
5. Chilling potato storage
If your potatoes have been growing more tentacles than a villain from a 70s horror film, then this TikTok hack is the one for you. The video, by @thismumcooks, received 13.4K likes and shows how easy it is to create your very own homemade oven chips.
Simply peel the potatoes, then boil as usual. After this, cut into chips or halves for roast dinners, then pop into a ziplock bag and freeze. When you fancy some fries or roasties, just take them out and pop them into the oven – it’s that easy.
6. The apple-pealingly easy fruit spray hack
For apples that taste as crisp and juicy as the day you bought them, why not try a homemade fruit spray? @refinedliving explained that combining water, vinegar and a dash of lemon oil was the secret behind maintaining the freshest fruit. Simply mix 230ml of vinegar with the same amount of water, then finish with 5 drops of lemon juice.
7. Get bread-y for fresher biscuits
Last but not least, we have possibly the most unusual hack of the list: storing a slice of bread in your biscuit jar to keep them fresh and soft. @lifetipsing highlights how biscuits kept in decorative jars can go hard and stale very quickly, but not anymore!
The biscuits will draw moisture from the bread, allowing them to maintain their deliciously doughy texture.