(Family Features) A little extra time in the kitchen before you put groceries away can save a ton of time over the course of a week. Research has shown that shoppers who meal plan and prep have lower grocery bills and make fewer shopping trips, resulting in less wasted food.
Taking small steps like these let you prep and protect the food you buy to save money, time and the environment.
Store food in plain sight. It can be easy to overlook newly purchased foods or leftovers when you can’t see them. Use clear containers in the refrigerator so you can easily identify the items you need when you need them.
Keep leafy produce fresh longer. Don't rinse or remove the stem from leafy produce like kale before storing. Wrap leaves in dry paper towels and seal in a Glad Bag, squeezing out as much air as possible when sealing. Store cut kale in a sealed container in the coldest part of the refrigerator, and keep items like whole Brussels sprouts in a bowl covered with ClingWrap with air holes.
Make ahead and freeze. Many foods hold quite well when frozen. You can prepare and even cook many perishable items ahead of time then freeze them for use at a later time. This approach works well for individual ingredients, complete meals like casseroles and seasoned meats.
Repurpose foods that are fading. Remember that many foods are still quite useful past their prime. A brown banana may not make for an appetizing snack, but it’s perfect for a batch of muffins.
Make salads and sides ahead of time. When you arrive home from the store, whip up some of the dishes you’re planning for the week to ensure the ingredients are fresh and you don’t run out of time later. An option like this Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad is sturdy enough to hold in a tightly sealed Glad container, dressed, for at least a day without getting soggy.
Find more tips to help keep your food fresh for days and reduce waste at Glad.com.