Waste Less Food

by Stephanie Berenbaum – updated August 21, 2013

Answers to Your Kitchen Questions

As Fab & Fru as I am, I have a confession: I throw out more food than I would like to admit.  Often it’s simply because I am just not sure about expiration dates and food safety rules.  Thankfully, I came across “The Kitchen Answer Book” by Hank Rubin – the perfect antidote to my wasteful ways!  It turns out a little knowledge about food safety can save you a lot of dough…

Preserve Your Parmigiano  

Fresh Parmesan cheese is delicious – and expensive.  Apparently wrapping it in plastic wrap isn’t enough – Rubin says to use a fresh wrap after each use.  He also recommends storing it in the warmest part of your fridge (40 degrees) – who knew?


If I see even a hint of mold on cheese, I toss the whole thing out.  Apparently, not necessary!  All you have to do is cut about a half inch off the surface from the affected side, and use the remainder within a week.  A definite money saver!

Egg-celent Advice  

The best way to store eggs?  In a closed carton – NOT in that cute little egg holder tray in the door! Door slamming combined with the repeated temperature fluctuations can deteriorate the egg quality.

Stamp of Approval

Ever bought a piece of meat just to realize there is some of that purple USDA inspection stamp still on it?  Well I have and it creeps me out to see dye on the meat.  But, not to worry – you don’t need to cut off the meat where they stamp it – apparently it is just harmless vegetable dye.

Steak Out? 

Steak is of course a pricey proposition, so I really wanted to know how long you can keep it in the freezer before using it.  The answer is that while they can keep for many months if wrapped well, it is best to use a frozen steak within a month for the best taste and quality.


I can’t tell you how many times I have bought fresh, packaged poultry, just to forget about it and wonder if it is still good to use later in the week.  Well, the recommendation is to use your fresh chicky within 2 days – which is sooner than I thought!  Otherwise, wrap it well and freeze the package right away…

Prepare to Save! 

A little knowledge can go a long way towards saving you food and money.  We’d love to hear what your favorite tips are for extending the life of your groceries!

Check out these Related Articles!

Freeze Your Way Into Savings

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4 Responses to “Waste Less Food”

  1. Sharon Savage says:

    Great infromation and thanks for helping your readers save money.

  2. Jane says:

    I have been buying a lot of vegtables for juicing and I have found that keeping them in good plastic containers rather than zip lock bags, greatly extends their life. Thanks for the great tips!

  3. louie says:

    recently purchase the 4 sided snap lock lid set of Plastic food containers which was well worth the money spent. They have a silicon seal that really works. Keeps veggi’s at least a week longer fresh than old style push on lids.

  4. Amanda M says:

    I purchased a food saver last year (the mini food saver, only uses 8″ bags, and cost about $70 less) and I’ve started immediately taking half of almost any fresh meat (chicken especially) and freezing it the day I buy it. I also do this with cheese from Sam’s club (the best place to get cheese other than American where I am). It has worked really well, especially when I can choose a very small bag for the cheese and break it into 3-4 bags, each one lasts about 2 weeks (which is my personal limit for the possibility of mold growth).

Any Thoughts?