Fruits and Vegetables – to Refrigerate or Not?

The next time you are putting your produce away, consider these tips for which fruits and vegetables to refrigerate and which not to refrigerate.

Nothing is more frustrating than buying fresh fruits and vegetables only to have them go bad after a few days. It is a waste of food and feels like a terrible waste of money. In most cases, improperly storing the produce is the issue, but the good news is this is a preventable problem.

Storing your produce properly is the best way to make it last and prevent premature rotting, so you get your money’s worth out of the product and nothing gets wasted. If you are unsure of which produce items you should refrigerate and which you shouldn’t, wonder no more.

Take a look below at some helpful information on which produce items should find a home in your refrigerator and which ones are nice and cozy on your counter tops. Knowing this information could save you tons of produce and money.

1. Tomatoes

The verdict: Do not refrigerate

Refrigeration can make tomatoes soft and affect their flavor. Instead, store tomatoes on an open counter where they are allowed to breathe. Do not keep them in a bag, which can cause them to ripen quickly and turn to mush.

2. Onions

The verdict: Do not refrigerate

Onions don’t do well when refrigerated as they can soften quickly. They love fresh air, so keep them in the mesh bag they came in and store them in a dry place such as the pantry.

3. Potatoes

The verdict: Do not refrigerate

Potatoes don’t like to be refrigerated because the cool temps can make them soft and affect the taste. It is also not wise to store them with other produce items on the counter or in a pantry as they give off gases that can make produce around them go bad quickly. Instead, store them in paper bags in a cabinet by themselves.

4. Grapes

The verdict: Do refrigerate

Grapes thrive on cool temperatures and must be kept in the refrigerator at all times. Leaving them out of the refrigerator will make them become soft and in a few hours they will start to wrinkle. Instead, place the bag in the refrigerator away from other produce items that could speed up their ripening.

5. Cucumbers

The verdict: Do not refrigerate

Cucumbers are quite sensitive. Cool temps can make cucumbers get soft and slimy quickly. Instead, keep them at room temp and away from other produce items because they are sensitive to the gases other fruits and vegetables give off.

6. Avocado

The verdict: Do refrigerate

This one may surprise people since most people keep avocado out on their counter tops until they need them. While this can speed up ripening, you want to refrigerate the avocado as soon as it has reached the perfect ripeness. This will help slow down the ripening so it stays fresh and ready for use for a good 3 – 4 days.

7. Leafy Greens

The verdict: Do refrigerate

You want to keep leafy greens cold, as this keeps them fresh and crispy! Storing them in a paper bag can help absorb moisture and keep the greens nice and fresh.

8. Green Peppers

The verdict: Do refrigerate

Peppers are quite durable and do well when kept refrigerated. In fact, a green pepper that is kept free from moisture can last a good 10 days in the refrigerator. This is true for most other varieties of peppers as well.

9. Bananas

The verdict: Do not refrigerate

Don’t even think about putting those bananas in the fridge. Instead, keep them on a counter top away from other produce items that can speed up the ripening process and make them go bad…fast!

10. Carrots and Celery

The verdict: Do refrigerate

Both of these items do well when stored in the refrigerator and the cool temps can help extend their life by days. Cut and wash both celery and carrots, and store them in a container or covered bowl until needed.

The next time you are putting your produce away, consider these tips for which fruits and vegetables to refrigerate and which not to refrigerate. It can help you make the most of your produce!

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Make Over Your Evenings Course Launch – Great Price!

Are you overwhelmed when you wake up in the morning by everything you need to do? Do you work all day long, yet often get to the end of the day feeling exhausted and discouraged? Do you wish you had more energy and focus throughout the day? If this describes you, please know – you’re not alone!

Help is on the way!

Make Over Your Evenings is a brand-new 14 day course that provides a step by step system to help you to stop feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and out of energy!

Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com has created a brand-new 14 day course that provides a step by step system to help you to stop feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and out of energy!  Her Make Over Your Evenings course is a simple, effective 14-day course designed to help you stop sleep-walking through life and start making the most of your days…and your nights!

In just 15 minutes a day over two weeks you’ll learn how to:

  • Establish a Realistic Evening Routine that works — and that sets you up for amazing success!
  • Design a Prioritized To Do List for each day — one that you’re actually excited to wake up and tackle!
  • Create a Best Stuff List of the most important activities and commitments you should be invested your time, life, and energy into right now.
  • Eliminate calendar conflicts once and for all — and how to do so without guilt or frustration.
  • Nourish your body, nurture your soul, and no longer put your health on the back burner — even in the middle of a busy and full life.
  • Assemble a wardrobe of simple outfits you love and that make you feel great — so you can finally, as Dear Abby Leigh says, “Dress for the day you want to have, instead of the one that’s trying to have you”!
  • Develop a contagious, positive attitude — so you can experience and express more joy in your everyday life.
  • And more…

This course launches tomorrow, April 21, 2016 at 12:00 a.m. The regular price will be just $17, but you can get an even greater deal by purchasing early. And the earlier the better! Some of these prices are the lowest that will ever be offered for this course.

The Crazy-Can’t-Miss-Low-Low-Low Launch Sale Prices:

  • 12 a.m. to 7 a.m. ET on April 21st – just $5!!! (This is worth getting up early for!)
  • 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. – just $7!
  • 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. – only $10!
  • 5 p.m. – 12 a.m. – only $13!

Remember, a successful day begins the night before! Head on over to MakeOverYourEvenings.com to learn more and get in on the rock-bottom price for this fabulous course!

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Spring Cleaning List

This Spring Cleaning List will help you cover the cleaning tasks that need to be done in each room of your house.

Spring is here, and it’s a great time to open your windows and do some spring cleaning! Remember to get your kids involved. You might be surprised by how much they enjoy it. This Spring Cleaning List will help you cover the cleaning tasks that need to be done in each room of your house.

You don’t need to buy expensive, chemical based cleaners to do a great job of cleaning. Try using vinegar or baking soda. And since it’s always nice to find an easier way to clean, here are some tips:

Click the image to download and print the Spring Cleaning List

This Spring Cleaning List will help you cover the cleaning tasks that need to be done in each room of your house.

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Find a Cleaning Schedule That Works for You

Having shared some of the messy spots in my house last month, it probably won’t come as a shock when I admit that I have struggled with cleaning my home for my entire adult life.  One of my biggest stumbling blocks, which may also plague you, was that I just couldn’t find the right system for keeping my house clean.

If you struggle with keeping your house clean it could be that you need to try a different cleaning schedule. There isn't a one size fits all approach to cleaning, so here are some ideas so you can figure out what works best for you.

I think, however, I have finally figured out this house cleaning stuff, and I’ll share some tips with those of you that also struggle with keeping your home clean.

My Most Important Discovery

I have tried many systems (too many!) for housekeeping.  From ones that made me put on shoes in the morning to ones with lots of check boxes, from special apps for my iPhone to free downloads from sites — you name it, I may have tried it.  Each would go fine for a while, and then I’d fall off the wagon.  I couldn’t understand why I was always failing.

Then, I finally figured out that I couldn’t use a schedule that somebody else has written. I needed to take the time to write out my schedule, with a mind toward tasks that were applicable to our household, as well as to the general schedule of our days.

This is not to say that you can’t get inspiration from the schedules of others, but you will probably be best off to create your own after you’ve gathered the inspiration.  I have set up a Cleaning Schedules board on Pinterest, which I will keep adding to, that you can browse for inspiration.

Establish a Schedule (or Routine)

House cleaning is best kept up with when you are following some type of routine or schedule.  It’s not be chance that homemakers used to have tasks assigned to certain days, such as washing day.  In general, we tend to work best with routines.  If you can get into the habit of each Monday being the day you clean the bathrooms, then you will have more of a tendency to keep those bathrooms clean.

When I was recently trying to come up with a cleaning routine, this is what worked for me:

1. Write out a complete list of household tasks that must be done each week. Don’t get caught up in things that need to be done less often at this point.

2. Write down obligations that you typically have throughout the week that are reoccurring.

3. Assign your household tasks to specific days, taking care to put more time consuming items on days when you have less reoccurring obligations.  For instance, in our household, we have our homeschool co-op and ballet lessons on the same day.  This is a day, then, when I purposefully have assigned myself fewer household tasks.

Keep in mind: Some tasks may have to happen every single day or multiple times in a week.  On my schedule, I have loading/unloading the dishwasher listed each day.

Find a Way to Display Your Schedule

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that if you struggle with housekeeping, you’re also the kind of person who benefits from visual aids.  So, your next step is going to be to find a way to display your weekly schedule.

Examples of Ways to Display Your Schedule:

1. Laminate papers with your schedule on them so you will be able to cross items off with a dry erase marker.  (I used my personal laminator for this, that way if I make changes later, it will be easy to just laminate a new page.)  I have a separate sheet for each day of the week, because I also have school and work tasks on each page.

2. Frame your schedule and use a dry erase marker right on the glass.

3. Create your own printable daily or weekly schedule, and just print a new one up each day/week.

4. Write out tasks on index cards and set out the appropriate index card(s) prior to going to bed the night before.

Follow Your Schedule

Now that you have a schedule, it’s time to start following it!  Be gentle with yourself, and allow yourself some time to ease into it, especially if you haven’t been regularly following a cleaning schedule.

Remember, also, that this is your schedule.  Do you know what that means?  Amongst other things, it means that you don’t have to be beholden to it.  You are its creator.  If something isn’t working, just know that you can change the schedule instead of abandoning it.

What are things that you do to help you with your cleaning routine?  Which tasks are typically included in your routine?

Angie, a contributing writer at The Happy Housewife, is a homeschooling mom to three children and writes about everything that happens in their lives between all the loads of laundry at Many Little Blessings. She is also the founder of The Homeschool Classroom, Catholic Mothers Online, Tiny Owl Designs, and Just a Tiny Owl {Etsy shop}.

photo credit

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