What's The Deal: Hacks to help keep your food fresh for longer

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Even if you think of yourself as a smart food shopper, many of us wind up throwing away food we don't eat.

But you don't have to.

Our friends at MoneyTalksNews have some expert tricks to extend the life of your groceries.

Victoria Ligon is a Consumer Sciences researcher at the University of Arizona. Her research suggests something unappetizing: the average American household is throwing away $1,000 worth of food a year, often without realizing it.

"People tend to leave food in the refrigerator until they just absolutely have to clean the whole thing out and throw out lots of food out at once. People really just don't realize what they actually throw away in their households," says Ligon.

Fortunately, there are some expert hacks to make sure you're getting the most of out of your food and cutting down on waste.

First up produce. If you put plastic wrap around the crown of your bananas, they'll last longer.

Also wrap lettuce, broccoli, and celery tightly in tin foil to keep them crispy and fresh in the fridge for weeks.

To preserve your tomatoes, store them stem side down, at room temperature.

You can keep your brown sugar from becoming a rock with a couple of marshmallows.

Too late? Put it in a bowl, cover it with a wet paper towel, and microwave it for 20 seconds.

That also works for stale bread.

Just wrap it in a damp paper towel, nuke it for 10 seconds, and it's good as new.

Want to keep your cookies fresh longer?

Put them in tupperware with a slice of apple.

To keep guacamole from going brown, pour a thin layer of water on top, and tightly seal the container.

Just pour the water off, when you're ready to eat it.

If you have a bag of something you need to keep, simply cut the top off a water bottle, pull the bag through, and screw on the top.

Another tip? Harness technology.

There are several free apps that can help you keep track of your groceries and even suggest recipes to use what you already have before it goes bad.
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