22 Ingenious Hacks to Make Food Last Longer

Sarah Davis
By Sarah Davis April 15, 2016 07:56

22 Ingenious Hacks to Make Food Last Longer

If you, too, have some food reserves set aside, then you probably already understand the value of food. And if you’re like me, then you probably hate yourself every time you waste your food.  Being a prepper has a lot to do with canned goods, but it also has a lot to do with learning how to save space and extend your food’s shelf life.

So if you’re a prepper too or just a concerned citizen who is tortured by the limited shelf life of fresh foods, these tips are for you:

 #22 Bananas

By wrapping the stems of the bananas in plastic wrap, they’ll brown much more slowly.


#21 Herbs

When you want to pick your herbs, you just need a little olive oil in which to freeze them in. Then they last for ages.

freeze fresh herbs

#20 Mushrooms

Keep mushrooms in a paper bag, not a plastic bag. A plastic bag will trap moisture and cause them to mildew. Put them in a paper bag in the fridge or in a cool, dry place.


#19 Delicate Herbs

Store delicate herbs like flowers; then cover with plastic, secure with a rubber band, and refrigerate. This is the best way to keep delicate herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and chives fresh for the longest period of time.

herb storage best method

#18 Onions

Tie a knot between every onion with a pair of nylon stockings. By doing so, the onions will last up to 8 months because they’re in fresh air and not squashed against each other.


#17 Potatoes, Onions, and Apples 

These should always be stored separately from one another. When stored together, their shelf-life is reduced. A system like this, for example, will help. The potatoes are stored in the dark so that they don’t produce germs or toxic solanine.


#16 Keep Guacamole Green

Spray leftover guacamole with cooking spray before putting it back in the fridge. There are a number of ways to keep avocado green, and oil is one of them. You should also keep the pit in the guacamole.

cooking spray guacamole

#15 Eggs

Eggs can be frozen of course. Simply crack them into an ice-cube container, add a little salt or sugar (that prevents them from becoming grainy), and use as needed.


#14 Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce can also be put in a freezer bag and then frozen. After an hour, it should be frozen enough so that you can use the blunt edge of a knife to separate the mass into individual portions. Use the knife to push the sauce back and forth.


#13 Celery and Broccoli

These vegetables last much longer and remain crunchy if stored in the fridge wrapped in aluminium foil.


#12 Vegetables

Vegetables should be frozen after being lightly blanched. This gives them a longer freezer-life. To blanch your vegetables, briefly boil them, and then plunge them into ice water.

boiled carrots

#11 Lettuce

Lettuce lasts longer when wrapped in a paper towel because the extra moisture is soaked up by the paper towel.


#10 Apples

Apples can last for a long time when stored properly. In the fridge, they can last up to six months. You just need to keep an eye out for that famous rotten apple and get rid of it. Otherwise, it’ll spoil the rest.


#9 Mince

With the same method used for the tomato sauce, you can freeze and portion the leftover ground meat. Then just thaw and use as required.


#8 Cheese in Buckets

Cheese in buckets lasts twice as long when it’s stored upside down!


#7 Instead of Tupperware 

Instead of plastic containers, store your food in glass jars. It lasts much longer.

no plastic

#6 Cheese

Store your cheese in special grease-proof paper. It lasts longer and doesn’t taste like plastic.

cheese in paper

#5 Pineapple

Remove the crown, and stand the pineapple on its head. It’ll make the pineapple enjoyable for much longer.


#4 Spring Onions

Leave spring onions to grow by placing them in water. When you need them, they’ll be fresh and crisp. With the bulb, you can even grow completely new onions.

Green Onion

#3 Cake

Cake will last much longer when protected by pieces of white bread. They remove the moisture from the surrounding air, and it prevents the cake from drying out where it has been cut.


#2 Carrots

Carrots will last forever if stored in sand.


#1 Berries

When you buy fresh berries, place them straight into a bowl with water and vinegar (ratio 10:1). After five minutes, drain them in a sieve, and let them dry. This kills off the small micro-organisms and makes the berries last longer.


I have something you need to watch. It’s much better than I am at explaining this. Watch it to learn why you need your own sustainable food source and how you can get information to build your own aquaponics system.


You may also like:

20 Foods that Will Outlast You

24 Lost Survival Tips from 100 Years Ago – with Illustrations

How to Prepare For the Coming Food Crisis

12 Potentially Life-Threatening Errors You’re Making in Food Preparedness and Survival Strategies

Sarah Davis
By Sarah Davis April 15, 2016 07:56
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  1. Linda S April 16, 13:58

    Good article! I didn’t know the trick about berries in vinegar.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Steamboat April 18, 15:02

    The items on long term preservation of food are really informative. Myself I want to be a prepper ( as hardcore as possible) my problem is none of my family see the need. I am totally concerned about our country’s future especially after the 2016 election.I cannot do this by myself, too old.(68) I can hunt and fish but living in Nebraska, in an area, governed by a home owners association, I cannot have a substantial garden, hardly
    any at all. Being disabled (partially) available hunting areas are limited.

    Reply to this comment
    • Melmerprice April 19, 20:31

      Look in to a tower garden you can make them out of 55 gal plastic drums they don’t take up to much space too

      Reply to this comment
    • Lola Z. September 5, 20:59

      If you can’t get family on board, and want to find like minded folks near you… offer a “survival” class at your local senior center or community college. I am in my 40’s & folks like us love to glean valuable info from folks like you. 🙂 Through classes, you would be able to create a friendship community where younger folks might have labor/yard space for growing in exchange for meat/fish you gather.

      Reply to this comment
    • Kathy January 24, 02:29

      I’m not a proper but if you watch something cool bottle gardening or tower planting , if you have a little balcony or terrace you might be able to plant some things that you can eat . Try it out all you need is 2 L soda bottles . Good luck

      Reply to this comment
    • Nubmaeme January 30, 20:30

      Do you have a farmers’ market near you? If you do, buy vegetables, and sometimes meats, in bulk and learn to can, freeze and dehydrate. That way you can store extra food without a garden. If you have a glass-top stove though, canning is out. They can’t take the heat of canning without cracking.

      Getting people on board with you can be very difficult and it usually takes some kind of problem like a blizzard or a tornado to wake them up and you’re in a good area for both. Being without power, water, etc for a while is a very good eye-opener. Prepping is for more than civil unrest, major disasters, etc. Non-preppers don’t understand that. Don’t try to force the issue with them or they’ll resist even more. I’ve been down that road with a now ex-husband. He would rummage through the house when I was working looking for anything I had stored then throw it away or give it away.

      Good luck.

      Reply to this comment
      • MysTerryfromCO April 5, 05:57

        Yikes, I’m glad you got away from him, speaking of things to throw away. . . those kind of actions can be very hurtful. I hope you’re okay!?

        What’s wrong with having a few extra of everything, I ask you? It’s not like hoarding as long as you pay attention to your “best by: dates” and rotate stock. My soups need to be gone through again…sigh. ( I like the poster who mentioned hanging fruit at the ceiling to dry, a little humor doesn’t hurt. If you missed it, it’s a few posts down from yours.)

        Reply to this comment
        • Nubmaeme April 6, 04:01

          Yeah, I’m OK. After I got my freedom (divorce) papers, my son and I moved cross country and started over.

          My ex was definitely a product of his upbringing. His mother and his oldest sister (who raised him) wouldn’t keep extras on hand either. They thought I was stupid and lazy for doing it and frequently told me so. In fact, they thought I was stupid and lazy in everything I did just because I would try to find a quicker and better way of doing things.

          I was raised with the belief that “it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”. My parents grew up during the Depression and knew what is was like to be without needed items. When they started their own home during WWII, they always made sure there was extra food and supplies on hand. Even with rationing, they somehow managed. They continued storing items until shortly before their deaths. Mom left two freezers full of food plus a full walk-in pantry and some basement storage. All that has really benefited my brother who had been their caregiver. Since he isn’t able to work, he hasn’t had to worry about food except for things like bread, milk and eggs. And Mom left enough toilet paper for an army!

          Reply to this comment
          • Teddy December 18, 07:11

            Nubmaeme, so sorry to hear about your ‘starter husband. His loss, your gain. Had one like that, decided to throw out all the mustards in the fridge because they were ‘old’. They all were fine, the mustard and other spices preserved them. So, I went out and repurchased! You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. Agree with you and your folks about better to have and not need. Many times that item I stashed has come in handy, and I didn’t have to buy it. Much good luck to you and your son!

            Reply to this comment
    • Farmer Phyl June 1, 05:47

      Look into websites or books about Foodscaping or Edible Landscaping. Basically grow veggies in your ornamental beds with flowers and ornamental shrubs. Cabbage, kale, mustard greens, lettuce, eggplant, peppers, bush beans, beets, carrots mixed in with flowers are as attractive as any other plant. Rhubarb looks like a tropical plant and blueberries are as attractive as any shrub. Dwarf tomatoes (not bush types) are hard to find but they are very attractive, compact, bushy and upright, needing almost no staking or caging. As long as it’s not a square patch of land with soldier straight rows, and a lot of weeds your homeowners association will never complain because they won’t know the difference. Trust me, most people can’t identify plants. They don’t know the difference between kale and hostas, or okra and hibiscus. People knock on my front door and ask what kind of plant has “those beautiful purple seed pods”. Turns out it was my eggplant. The big trick is…never plant them in a straight row!

      Reply to this comment
  3. Ardie April 18, 15:10

    A tip from a local apple grower: Put the apples in a large ziplock bag in the produce drawer of your refrigerator. Keep the bag closed. They stay crisp much longer. He’s right!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Deutisa April 19, 23:56

    Lots of things need a freezer, if there is no electric then what?? which is exactly what will happen. Is there any practical tips on drying a lot of these things?

    Reply to this comment
    • Rick April 21, 08:33

      Was curious about tin type pictures of cabin interiors of about 1850. What were the strings of little things going horizontally above head high inside the tiny living quarters?
      Found out they were all sorts of fruit, meat and veg, sliced 1/4 inch thin to dry. No refers back then out West on the homestead. So I did the same thing in the empty family room with nylon 1/16 inch string pulled really tight on a 20 foot span and chunks cut 3/4 through to hang over the string without falling off. Put them up in a normal heated and vented room and forget them till you need them to eat. They get dusty but still taste good when you are hungry. Toss out any individuals chunks that have bad looking mold and slice thinner in the future.
      Side benefit is few venture to swipe what you know is food up there on the strings.
      Done it,

      Reply to this comment
      • Teddy December 18, 07:15

        Great idea! In the past, and even today, foods such as onions and chilies were braided and string from the ceiling to dry and for storage. Herbs were hung upside down in bunches, too. Cuphooks could work to hang them from the ceiling. I don’t have exposed beams to habf things from. Can also carefully wave your vacuum wand near them the help remove dust.

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        • Homesteader December 18, 14:58

          Teddy, we use Command Strips hooks to hang our herbs on to dry. They don’t damage the walls at all and are easy to remove if need be. They make one that is clear and small for hanging things like Christmas lights that works great for herbs, and they can be left up since they are hard to see. We’ve not tried to hang onions or anything heavier than herbs but Command Strips makes hooks and hangers for things up to about 10 to 15 pounds that might work.

          Reply to this comment
          • Teddy December 19, 05:03

            Honesteader, thank you for your great idea! I guess I accidentally got stuck on strings to hang things from the ceiling. There’s not a lot of wall space here, but I am looking around to see what may work. Thank you for your reminder to think outside the box. Our forebears didn’t have Command hooks.

            Reply to this comment
            • Homesteader December 19, 05:35

              That’s what we’re here for. What one doesn’t think of, another one will. Some ideas work. Some don’t. You might try hanging some herbs from the door frame of a room that isn’t used very much. Also, a retractable clothes drying rack or line works well too and can be folded up when not in use.

              Reply to this comment
  5. ilse April 21, 02:53

    Apples keep great in a large cooler, or styrofoam box, should you have one, also pears, just check from time to I’m for that one rotten apple,
    Carrots, turnips in sand, yes, but make sure it’s clean sand

    Reply to this comment
  6. Jr July 9, 14:05

    I am very glad that I have found this website because it gives me excellent ways to preserve my food better

    Reply to this comment
  7. Teddy December 18, 07:17

    Wonderful article and comments! I learned some things! Thanks to all!

    Reply to this comment
  8. Fritz October 3, 16:05

    I heard that oil, I’m not sure what type, presumably cooking oil, will make eggs last for a lot longer. Who knows about this?

    Reply to this comment
  9. Omega 13 the Guacamole King October 15, 21:16

    Of note: The pit in the guacamole does nothing at all. It is an old wive’s tale. Adding lime juice helps, along with the cooking spray, then cover tightly with plastic wrap, pressing down on the guac to remove as much air as possible. Some salt will also slow the browning.

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