Fresh Fruit & Veggie Season Approaching – How to Make Them Last

There are some areas of the country where the weather is known for changing rapidly. You’ll hear people say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”

Something similar can be said for fruit and vegetables. When fresh, they look, feel, smell, and taste great. But if you wait too long before eating them, it’s a different story.

Fresh fruit and vegetable season is rapidly approaching in many parts of the country. Folks are looking forward to enjoying them. Knowing how good they are for us adds another positive dimension to eating them.

But with the high prices for produce these days, it’s more important than ever not to waste it. It also helps to learn how to make them last as long as possible.

Today I want to provide you with tips on preserving your fruit and veggies. That way they’ll stay good until you’re ready to eat them.

Let lettuce leaves go AWOL

If you buy bagged salad at the grocery store, you know how great it looks when you place it in your refrigerator. But after it’s opened and you use some of it, watch out. The lettuce will start wilting quickly.

A good way to avoid this is by removing the lettuce leaves from the rest of the salad items. Wash them off and place them in an airtight, zippered bag.

If instead you purchase a head of lettuce, remove the individual leaves. Soak them in a bowl of cold water for a couple of hours.

Rinse them off and put them in an airtight, zippered bag. Then place the bag into the fridge. Your lettuce leaves will stay crisp and fresh much longer this way.

Onions, asparagus & herbs

Onions are another item that can go bad. Sometimes even before you use them. To avoid this, chop them up when you get home from the store. Put them in a resealable bag and place them in the freezer.

Remove the bag and grab what you need next time you’re preparing a salad. Then return the bag to the freezer.

One of the reasons other vegetables such as asparagus start wilting too soon is because they lack hydration. To offset this, store them upright in a glass with about an inch of water in it. Or, wrap a damp paper towel around the base of the asparagus.

You can do the same thing with herbs. Including parsley, basil, coriander, dill, mint, and others. If you want to be frugal, store leftover herbs in an ice tray in your freezer and pour water over them. Other herbs such as rosemary and thyme can go in an airtight bag in the fridge.

Fruitful strategies

You might want items such as tomatoes, apples, pears, melons, avocados, and mangoes to ripen. Mainly because you want to use them in the next day or so. Leave them in a bowl on a countertop where you’ll see them and not forget about them.

But items such as grapes, berries, and citrus should be refrigerated. That’s so they don’t deteriorate too quickly.

If you cut fruit and only use some of it for a meal, protect the remainder from softening too quickly with an airtight seal.

Then place that bag or container in the fridge. This will help your fruit last much longer.   

Bacteria-fighting vinegar

Here’s one thing to keep in mind when ensuring that fruits and vegetables last longer. Don’t store them together in the same bag or container.

Some fruit produces ethylene gas. It can make vegetables (and other fruit, for that matter) ripen too quickly.

When you get berries and other fruits back to your home from the store – or from picking them outdoors – wash them in a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 ratio of water to vinegar. The vinegar will help kill any bacteria found on fruits.

Let them dry on parchment paper, then store them in a container with the paper. But leave the lid slightly open to give moisture a chance to escape.

A few more tricks

  • For fruit that has not ripened yet – such as apples and peaches – put them in a paper bag and place it on a windowsill.
  • You don’t need to wait until you’re ready to eat your fruits and vegetables to wash them off. Do it as soon as you return from the store or your garden. That way they’ll be ready to eat as soon as you want them.
  • Most fruits and veggies will last longer in a fridge than in a bowl on a table or countertop. Including apples, berries, grapes and apricots. As well as pears, peaches, nectarines, and cherries. Plus celery, carrots, and avocados. Place them in a mason jar with water.
  • But some fruits will do better at room temperature. Such as bananas, oranges, and grapefruit. As well as cantaloupe, watermelon, lemons, and limes.
  • If you wait a little too long to eat fruit and you’re still not ready to eat it, chop it up, place it in airtight bags, and toss it in the freezer. You’ll want to use it later for smoothies. 

Utilizing these tips and tricks to making fruits and vegetables last longer will reduce food waste and help you save money by preserving precious resources.


  • Sandy Ball - April 02, 2024

    If you buy celery, take it out of the bag and wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerate it; it will last for about a month and you can wash it and use it as you need it.

  • Terri Barbee - March 28, 2024

    Aporecuate the great info to save money!
    Thank you!

  • Sharie Forde - March 28, 2024

    Thanks for the info. I already do some of these tricks but learned a couple new one. Again, thanks for sharing!

  • Darrell Rockwell - March 28, 2024

    Great tips! Thanks groceries are expensive

  • Barbara Hale - March 28, 2024

    To make mushrooms last longer always put in a brown paper bag.

  • Linda Marcom - March 28, 2024

    Thank you for the tips and tricks for making fruits and vegetables last longer. I will definitely be using them.

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