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12 Kitchen Tips That Will Preserve, Stretch, and Extend The Shelf Life of Foods

Updated on September 9, 2013
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.


I like to make my foods stretch.

At least once a week I find myself throwing out food because I've had it for some time or I stored it improperly. I am not a real "Kitchen Mechanic" so I need to use recipes, and the Internet is my friend when it comes to finding ways to preserve, stretch, and extend the shelf life of my foods.

I have found some very simple kitchen tips to help me out; so here they are.

  1. When you purchase bananas and get them home, take them apart; separate them from the stem. If you leave them at the stem, they ripen faster.
  2. I love cheese, so I've learned to store my open chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. The cheese will stay fresh much longer and not mold.
  3. Did you know that peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating? Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
  4. Ground beef is not my favorite to cook because it sticks to the pan, but adding a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
  5. If you want to stretch your scrambled eggs or omelets and want them rich too, add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and beat them up. YUM!
  6. I like to spice up my brownies by melting Andes mints in a double broiler and pouring the melted Andes mints over my warm brownies. I let the brownies set for a while. YUM! YUM!
  7. I like pizza, but warming it up and keeping the crust from softening up is a challenge. So, heat up leftover pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove, set heat medium to low and heat until warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy pizza crust. This was on a cooking channel and it works.
  8. To make the clean up of deviled eggs easy, do this. Put cooked egg yokes in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash until they are all broken up, then add the remaining ingredients, reseal the zip lock bag, continue to mash and mix thoroughly, then cut a tip of the zip lock bag, squeeze mixture into eggs. Just throw away bag when done. No mess.
  9. When you purchase a container of frosting from the grocery store it sure is thick. To make it stretch further whip it with your mixer for a few minutes doubling it in size. You get to frost more cake or cupcakes with the same amount.
  10. Reheating refrigerated bread - To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
  11. Measuring Cups - Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry the measuring cup. Next, add your ingredient, like peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.
  12. Say goodbye to Fruit Flies. To get rid of Fruit Flies take a small glass, fill it 1/2 inch with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You'll find the Fruit Flies drawn to the glass and gone forever.


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    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Lene Lynn,thanks for another cheese storage tip.

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks Nse Topper

    • profile image

      Lene Lynn 6 years ago

      Great article! My boyfriend is from England and he LOVES chunk cheese. He said in England, they FREEZE their cheese, which makes it last a lot longer. The only thing is that when it's thawed, it gets crumbly, but he loves it that way...just thought I would mention another way to make cheese last longer! Thanks for sharing your tips!

      You have a new follower!

    • profile image

      Nse Topper 6 years ago

      Good Post.

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hello Just Ask Susan and RealHousewife, thank you. I can use all the cooking tips I can get.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Great tips! Thank you very much! I didn't know about any of these - sweet!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Excellent tips here. Thank you so much especially the fruit fly one. I have put out beer, vinegar, pressed garlic, and apple cider vinegar and I would get some fruit flies but will try the apple cider vinegar with dish soap this summer. For cheese you can also put it into the freezer which is what I do with Parmesan, but all the other cheeses get eaten too fast to go moldy :).

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi zanin, thanks. I normally don't us aluminum foil to store food, but for my cheese which doesn't last long because I eat it so quickly.

    • zanin profile image

      zanin 6 years ago from London, England

      I did not know about the bananas - will try that , as simple to do. With regards to aluminium foil - be careful, because it has been shown that small amounts of aluminium do migrate into food = when the food is stored in it. Fab. hub. Thanks Nina.