Maximizing Freshness of Bulk Products
Choosing the right containers can keep your food fresh and organized.
When it comes to saving money on groceries, making the decision to shop in the bulk aisle is half of the money-saving battle. But what do you do with your bulk goods once you get them home? Having a plan for food storage is just as important as assuring your foods are fresh when you buy them. Here are some simple tips for keeping your food fresh without spending a fortune.
Air tight plastic containers may be the most useful storage option for bulk groceries. The containers come in different sizes, can be washed thoroughly and are easy to store between uses. You can even use recyclables for storage, such as empty yogurt containers or gallon ice cream containers. These containers have easy-to-open lids, making them perfect for storing products such as snack mixes, crackers and pretzels for easy access.
Plastic bags with locking seals, like Ziploc® bags, are also available in many sizes and usage capacities.
Burlap bags are great for storing items such as coffee, tea, pasta and beans. Other bags, such as Kootsac bags, are made out of nylon, silk or cotton. These bags are light weight, washable and reusable and are perfect for storing nuts, dried fruit, herbs and spices.
The temperature of the place you choose to store your products is also an important factor in keeping your foods fresh. Most dry products maintain their maximum freshness when stored in cool, dry places. Many pantries and cupboards are suitable for most items. Be careful if you’re storing things directly on your countertop in a canister set. Make sure these items are kept in a spot that doesn’t receive direct sunlight to keep contents from heating during the day.
Once your products have been portioned into your storage method of choice, where will you store them? If they’re going in the pantry, be sure to store the older items in front of the fresh ones you just purchased. Doing this will ensure that the old items won’t be forgotten and left to spoil. The same idea goes for items in the refrigerator. Use up the existing items before moving on to your new purchases to ensure no food (and money!) is lost to spoilage.
Whether you’re already putting these tips to use or you’re just getting started, it won’t take long to realize that proper storage is an important step to keeping your groceries fresh. Developing a simple, easy-to-repeat plan will help to save you money and time.