Taking 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.
The following small steps allow you to prep and protect the food you buy to help save money, time and the environment:
1. 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.
2. 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 plastic zip top food storage 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 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.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad
*Recipe by Ayesha Curry courtesy of Glad
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- small GladWare container
- kosher salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, outer leaves removed and sliced thin
- 1 head Lacinato kale, tough ribs removed and sliced thin
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped, roasted, salted almonds
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- sealable GladWare container
To make dressing: Place lemon juice, mustard, syrup and olive oil in small container or jar and shake vigorously. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and shake again.
To make salad: In mixing bowl, toss Brussels sprouts, kale, almonds and cherries together. Mix in dressing and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately.
If making ahead, store dressed salad in sealed container for up to 24 hours.
Photographs by Shutterstock - Source and salad recipe photo courtesy of Glad
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