10 food storage hacks you need to know

Lemons in a jar | Food storage hacks | Tesco Living

Interiors expert Alice Humphrys provides some clever food storage ideas to reduce food waste and keep your kitchen clutter-free

1. How to store lemons

Lemons stored on a kitchen worktop will only last a week before drying out. Keep them fresh and juicier for longer by storing in water in sealed glass jars, which seals the lemon peel and stops them drying out. Store the jars in the fridge for up to a month.

2. Keep bread fresher for longer

Preserve your loaf’s freshness by storing it at room temperature. Keeping bread in the fridge will certainly delay it going mouldy and keep it edible for longer, but it’ll go stale faster.

The best option to reduce waste is to keep half a sliced loaf out and pop the other half in the freezer – you can toast it straight from frozen.

3. How to store root vegetables

Cut the tops off root veg to make them last longer (think carrots, parsnips, radishes, swede – but not beetroot as it will ‘bleed’ easily).

The roots draw moisture from the vegetable, which is why they dry out so quickly, making them lose flavour. And don’t wash vegetables until you’re ready to eat them otherwise the moisture will make them spoil faster.

4. Upcycle glass jars

Banish messy plastic packaging and organise dry pantry staples using Mason jars for storage or washed-out jam jars. Don’t restrict yourself to one size, a mixture can be useful and will look stylish stored together.

Clean and thoroughly dry the jars first, as even the tiniest bit of moisture can ruin dried food. And label each jar so you can easily pick out your quinoa from your couscous.

Mason jars filled with dried food in a cupboard | Kitchen storage hacks | Tesco Living

5. Label everything

It’s easy to forget when you bought the food if you store it in another container or bottle, so include the use-by-date on labels to be extra safe. Check out our storage ideas for spices and download our herb and spice labels.

6. How to store potatoes

Keep potatoes away from onions as they both produce gases that will cause the other to spoil quickly. Spuds should also be kept in a cool, dry place – don’t put them in the fridge with the other veg – store them in a basket or brown paper bag instead.

7. Fridge temperature

Fridges should run at 5°C or below, according to the Food Standards Agency. Use a fridge thermometer to check the temperature, as the built-in dial may not be spot-on.

8. Fill fridge drawers correctly

Put fruit and vegetables into separate drawers. Some fruits – such as apples, pears, peaches, blueberries and grapes – produce ethylene, which ripens other produce quickly.

Remove veg from plastic bags and packaging to reduce condensation and keep your food fresher for longer.

9. Use the right food storage containers

You’re better off using a quality plastic food storage container with a sealed lid to keep your leftover meals fresher for longer. Washed-out takeaway boxes can be handy, but they’re not water-tight.

Food containers appearing on shelves | Food storage hacks | Tesco Living

10. Freeze flat

If you’re freezing cooked foods like stew or soup, store the freezer bags flat and stacked so they take up less space and don’t get stuck together.Find foods you didn't know you could freeze.

More handy storage tips