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Smart Storage for Fresher Food

Smart storage can keep your food fresher for longer and give you greater flexibility when it comes to cooking and eating it.

Instead of just chucking food into the pantry when you get back from the supermarket, take the time to put it in the right place.

Practise FIFO - First in First out

When unpacking groceries, move all of the older products in your fridge, pantry or freezer to the front. Put all of the new products in the back. Doing this means that you are more likely to use up the older foods before they expire.

Keep an eye on what you are throwing away on a semi regulr basis. You could even keep a diary for a week and write down everything you throw out. Perhaps there is a different way you could store it to make it last longer.

Lable things eat me first if it has an approaching expiry date. Use your meal planning to use up these products to prevent them from being biffed.

You may not even know what is actually in your freezer so it may be a good idea to sit down one day and make a list of what is in there so you know and can then plan to use it up. 

The golden rules of storage

You may be surprised but the siple loaf of bread is the most wasted food in New Zealand, with Kiwis throwing out 20 million loaves a year! Our humid climate means that bread doesn't last very long at all in the pantry. You can store bread sucesfully in the fridge, but the ideal place for it is in the freezer.

Beware: Once you see the first sign of mould on a slice of bread you will need to throw out the entire loaf. Mould on bread is dangerous and even if it is only visible on one slice, it is likely the spores will have already spread throughout the whole loaf.

Meat should always be kept cold. To ensure your meat doesn't go off , and unless you are using it that night, put it straight into the freezer when you get home from shopping. Defrost in the fridge and use within 24 hours.

Cheese try beeswax wraps which prevent your cheese from drying out and prevent mould from forming on the cheese. Alternatively, wrap the cheese in plastic and pop it the fridge.

A simple supermarket shopping bag wrapped around your block of cheese will work - you'll be amazed at how much longer it lasts.

Root Vegetables

It may be convenient, but potatoes and onions shouldn't be kept in the same place as they produce gases which spoil each other. Both should be stored separately in cool, dry, dark places.


Most fruits should be stored in the fridge with the exceptions of bananas and pineapples. Bananas should be stored out of the fridge and away from other fruit. Ethylene gas released by foods such as apples and pears cause bananas to ripen faster.

Once bananas are ripe they produce ethylene gas which ripens other fruit. 

Check out the A - Z of food waste under our FOOD TIPS page for more storage and use it up ideas. 

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