Here are some ways to extend the life of your food (and also help to reduce food waste).

Tips for storing fresh food

How do you store your food? In the fridge, a fruit bowl, the pantry or the freezer? There are different ways to store food to help make it last longer. Try these helpful tips.

  • Lemon and limes last about a week at room temperature but can be stored in the fridge for up to four weeks.
  • Avocados will ripen slower if they are stored in the fridge.
  • Bananas can last in the cupboard for seven days if green or between two-four if ripe. It's best not to refrigerate bananas but they can be peeled and stored in the freezer for smoothies or a frozen snack.
  • Pumpkins will last weeks in a cool dry place if they're kept whole or you can store cut pumpkin in the fridge with the seeds removed to increase shelf life.
  • Tomatoes will ripen at room temperature. It's best to store tomatoes in the fridge once ripe.
  • Potatoes and onions can last for several months stored separately in the cupboard. Try to store them separately so they last longer. 
  • If you store veggies in the fridge in plastic, put holes in the bag for oxygen and make sure they are dry. 

Remember to follow proper food safety measures to make sure you’re storing food safely.

Long lasting fresh fruits and vegetables

Try to use up fresh ingredients with a shorter shelf life first. Prioritise fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products and keep your canned and dried food for when you need it. If you can’t use it, try freezing it.

These fruits and veggies can be stored for weeks in the fridge, so consider including them in your shopping list.


  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Onions and garlic
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini


  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Rockmelon
  • Oranges

Canned food

Some canned ingredients are not only nutritious but can be stored for a long time (try to look for salt-reduced varieties). You may already have some of these at home! Some healthy canned food options include:

  • kidney beans, black beans, butter beans, borlotti beans
  • chickpeas, lentils
  • oily fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon
  • tuna in spring water
  • canned soup
  • tinned tomatoes
  • corn
  • beetroot
  • peas, green beans, and broad beans.

Dried food

Dried goods like grains and pulses are usually affordable, can be stored for a long time and are nutritious. If these are available to you, some good options for dried food include:

  • beans
  • lentils
  • split peas
  • couscous
  • quinoa
  • buckwheat
  • rice
  • rolled oats
  • dried herbs.

Beans, lentils and split peas can be soaked in water overnight in the fridge to reduce cooking time.

Freezing fresh food

Freezing is a great way to preserve the nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables and make meat products last longer. Frozen fruit and vegetables are a great option and just as nutritious as fresh. You can buy frozen varieties or follow these tips to freeze your own.

Most fruit will freeze well. To make it easier, chop the fruit into smaller pieces and peel fruits with thick skins before freezing (like bananas and mangoes). You can freeze pieces on a tray first to avoid the fruit clumping together.


  • Corn, peas, carrots, green beans
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Onion and capsicum (no need to blanch these)
  • Root vegetables like potatoes and pumpkin
  • Greens such as spinach and kale (these don't need to be blanched first but you should wash the leaves and dry thoroughly before freezing)


  • Minced meat can last two-three months
  • Steaks can last up to six months
  • Chops will last up to four months
  • Chicken breast can last between three and six months
  • Fish, including salmon, will last up to three- four months

Check out some handy ways to bulk up home-cooked meals and make them last longer.

 Follow our tips to brush up on the basics of healthy eating