Store Food to Stay Fresh Longer

Photo of berries in containers

Taking a little extra time to store food to last longer can save you money since you won’t need to buy as much food. There are lots of easy ways to help food last longer.

  • Store fruits and vegetables away from each other. Fruits make vegetables go bad faster. Vegetables need moisture, so store them in the high-humidity drawer in your fridge. Fruits need air, so store them in the low-humidity drawer.
  • Ripe bananas give off a gas that makes the fruit around them ripen faster—store them away from other fruit.
  • Remove rubber bands and twist ties from vegetables and herbs before storing.
  • Keep onions stored away from potatoes—they make them sprout faster.
  • Store milk, eggs, and butter in the back of the fridge where it’s coldest—the fridge door is too warm for them.
  • Keep bread in the freezer for longer storage—putting bread in the fridge makes it stale faster.

Download our Food storage guide (pdf) for more tips on where and how to store food to stay fresh longer. For a more detailed guide to food storage, visit

Freeze food you can’t finish

Using your freezer is a great way to reduce food waste. It’s also a great time saver since you’ll have food already prepped for when you’re in a hurry.

Tips to keep in mind when freezing food:

  • Keep your freezer temperature at 0°F or lower.
  • Freeze food in meal-sized portions.
  • Prevent freezer burn by keeping air away from food.
  • Label the packaging with the date and contents.
  • Thaw only as much food as you plan to use at one time.

Visit the USDA web site for information on freezing and food safety.

Download our Freezer storage guide (pdf) to learn how to freeze fruits, vegetables, herbs, meat, poultry, fish, bread, and leftovers.