The pantry, cabinets, and the fridge all offer places to conveniently store food. If you aren’t careful, though, you could end up with a mess of half-empty snack boxes, forgotten ingredients, and items stored in duplicate and triplicate. But stale and expired food could be the least of your worries if you don’t make proper food storage a priority. Ants, mice, and other pests may find their way into your home, feasting on all your foodstuffs.
Not to fear! A handful of helpful suggestions on storing food can make all the difference in your home. Check out these tricks and tricks to help you make the most of your food storage space.
Cold Food Storage
Perishable foods tend to require more specialized care than many dry options. Use these tips to make the most of your refrigerated and frozen foods.
- Note the Date – Use dry erase markers or small stickers on your glass leftover food containers to safely shed some light on their shelf life. You can also jot down the main meals you had in your planner or on your calendar for easy reference.
- Store Liquid-Based Food in Jars – Soups and sauces look lovely in mason jars lining your fridge. Choose plastic screw-top containers for those you plan to freeze.
- Choose like Containers – Make your life easier with containers that easily stack when full and nest when not in use.
- Save Butter Wrappers – Fold up your empty butter wrappers and tuck them inside a plastic zipper-seal baggie. Stash it in a corner of a freezer until the next time you need to grease a cookie sheet. This is an instant game changer!
- Shoo the Flies – If your fruit bowl is getting to the point where you’re worried about attracting too many fruit flies, get creative. You can refrigerate some of the fruit or freeze it for later use in smoothies and other treats. If your fruit starts to show its age, it’s time to make some scones or muffins. Bonus tip: Stick a small glass of wine on a corner of your counter to attract and trap said fruit flies.
- Make your own Marinades – Keep special savory cooking liquids in food storage bottles so you can whip up family favorites at a moment’s notice.
- Repurpose as Appropriate – That minifridge you had in college becomes a pretty bitchin beer fridge until you get your dream bar in place in your basement. If you’ve already moved on from college-sized appliances, be sure you keep enough space aside for your favorite brews.
Dry Food Storage
Bread and fruit can become a bit unwieldy when you’re pretty well stocked, not to mention the army-caliber stores in your pantry. Try these tips for successful home food storage.
- Rely on a Breadbox – It may seem a bit old school at first, but just think of how nice a clutter-free counter will look in your kitchen. Moreover, breadboxes keep your baked goods safe from pests like flies and help extend their shelf life by preventing mold.
- Keep a Cookie Jar – There’s nothing like the joy your family members will derive from enjoying fresh-baked cookies straight out of the cookie jar. Switch out your cookie jars with the seasons, paying particular attention to the upcoming holidays. Once the holidays pass, put your cookie jar back into storage.
- Stock up on Food Storage Containers – Match different containers to certain food types. Fill food canister sets with baking ingredients like flour and sugar. Use glass food containers like Pyrex and other baking dishes for advance food preparation and storage.
- Store Candy Smartly – Keep your family’s favorites close at hand in a cute candy dish. Save the refills in pop-top airtight storage containers to better preserve the quality.
- Outfit your Pantry with Containers – Keep rice, pasta, dried beans, and other staples handy and accessible in airtight food storage containers. Tape cooking instructions to the bottom of the container for effortless preparation.
These are just a few ideas for easier food storage in your home. Please share your favorite tips in the comments!