Everyday Living, Money Saving Strategies

How to store vegetables without growing science experiments in the refrigerator

Moonlight wondered how much $5 would buy in fresh vegetables. In the dead of winter … not much. 🙂

This week I’m going to make a concerted effort to try and eat fresher foods try to lose some of my winter hibernation weight, so I found myself paying attention Saturday when I was at my local Hyvee.

One of the recipes I’m going to make this week involves oven-roasted vegetables. Five bucks didn’t get me very far – a (rather smallish) head of cabbage was $3.99; the brussel sprouts were $1.99 per pound and even though green peppers were 59 cents each, they look like green peppers do in winter – less than appetizing. The red peppers and the yellow ones looked much better, but they were over $1 a piece.

Although carrots and celery aren’t the sexiest vegetables in the world (although I do have a sick love for cooked carrots), they are reliably cheap and carrots have amazing lasting power when stored in the fridge. I bought a 3-lb bag of carrots last night for 99 cents last night. The celery was about $1.25 for a healthy sized bag.

I also needed an onion for future culinary efforts – the anemic yellow onion I picked out was cheaper than the white and red varieties, but it was still more than a buck per pound.

So I spent a little bit more than five bucks on veg, but what am I going to get, exactly, for my efforts?

Like I said – carrots have wonderful lasting power and will be making a guest appearance, along with the celery, in a soup that I’m making tonight for Sunday dinner with some friends. I’ll only be using 1-2 carrots and a couple stalks of celery, so I have more than enough for future meals.

The cauliflower and the brussel sprouts are going into my oven-roasted vegetable dish and I expect that will last me about 2-3 meals (I’m not sure if Future Husband is a brussel spouts person …). I’ve never stored or cooked either vegetable before, so I’m going to try to do that yet this afternoon so I don’t ruin the poor veg before they get roasted in my oven.

Am I the only person in the world who has vegetables go to waste in their crisper drawer? I doubt it. It maddens me though when my celery goes from sturdy to bendy in the course of a couple days though. I found this trick from a stupid email forward that compared Martha Stewart to Maxine the cartoon character … wrap the top end of the package with a bit of tinfoil before you put it in the fridge and the celery will last a bit longer. It actually works.

I’m also a big fan of frozen vegetables – especially peas and corn. It seems like every week, the store brands are on sale at the various stores in my area. This week, the store brand at Cub Foods is only 68 cents. I picked up a bag of frozen peas last night at Hyvee and that was 79 cents.

Moral of story: You can eat healthy on a relatively decent budget. The trick though is to get to said fresh vegetables before they turn into science experiments in your crisper drawer.

I’d post pictures, but Future Husband probably wouldn’t forgive me. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “How to store vegetables without growing science experiments in the refrigerator

  1. Through trial and much error, I’ve arrived at a workable solution to extend the life of vegetables in the refrigerator. I’ve saved pieces of old cotton sheets that were once used to dry dishes; therefore, this is the third use for them. Rinse celery or lettuce in cold water. Cut off the stem end to fresh end. Wrap in the damp cotton cloth. For the celery, I also put it back in the plastic to retain the moisture. I haven’t yet tried those green bags from TV ads. I wonder if they work?

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