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15 ways to keep your food fresher

Combat food waste without wasting time.

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Alina Bradford
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
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1 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

You can avoid food waste just by storing your food properly. Here is how to store some of the most common grocery items to keep them fresher, longer.

Mushrooms, for example, last longer if you store them in a paper bag or their original cardboard container in the refrigerator.

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2 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Meat

Freezer burn is the biggest enemy of meat. It makes it dry and flavorless. Here's how to make sure your food never gets freezer burn again.

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3 of 15 Patrick Holland/CNET

Avocados

I have a big problem with my avocados going bad before I can put them on toast or a sandwich. Taylor Martin suggests putting avocados in the fridge once they are ripe to keep them from getting mushy. 

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Berries

The key to keeping berries fresh is fighting mold. Wash all of your berries in a solution of 3 cups cold water and 1 cup white vinegar and rinse with cool water. The vinegar mixture will fend off mold growth. 

Dry the berries using paper towels or a salad spinner, then put them in a basket lined with paper towels on the counter. If you want to put them in the fridge, store them in the crisper with the humidity switch turned all the way down  .

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5 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Bell pepper

Like berries, peppers are best stored in a basket on the counter. The less humidity they come in contact with, the better.

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Tomatoes

Storing tomatoes in the fridge can make them taste funny and rot faster. Put them in a bowl lined with napkins or paper towels and place them on the counter for a longer life.

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Milk

If your milk is getting uncomfortably close to its use-by date, you can freeze it. Just leave it in its original container and stick it right in the freezer, according to the Dairy Council of California. It will last in there 3 to 6 months. Defrost the milk by putting it back in the fridge.

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Milk placement

If your milk doesn't ever seem to make it to its use-by date, you may be storing it wrong. Keep it out of the door and put it on the top or very bottom shelf of the fridge toward the back. Temperatures stays colder and more stable there, keeping milk fresher.

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Eggs

Like milk, eggs shouldn't be stored in the door of the fridge. Instead, put them on the top shelf.

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Onions

Put onions in a mesh bag (pantyhose works, too!) in a dark, cool, dry place, like in the back of your pantry. No need to keep them in the fridge.

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11 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Cheese

Store your cheese in the vegetable drawer and keep stinky items -- like onions -- far away, since cheese can absorb odors. 

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Yeast

Old yeast makes for flat bread. Keep your unopened packets and jars of yeast in the fridge to make them last longer.

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13 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Herbs

Herbs are basically like cut flowers. Put them in a vase with cool water and a teaspoon of sugar, then put them on a window ledge. 

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Lettuce

You should store lettuce a lot like you do herbs. Take them out of the bag and set the bottom into a shallow bowl of cool water. Instead of putting it in a window, though, put it in your vegetable crisper and turn the humidity setting all the way up.

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Bread

Bread stays fresh longer when it is at room temperature in a sealed plastic bag. Putting it in the fridge speeds up the dehydration process and makes it go stale faster.

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