When you go to the grocery store, you know that you are going to be in for a hectic shopping trip – especially when it comes to food. There are so many different types of food to choose from that you really should have some tricks up your sleeve in order to make the process of choosing the right foods a little easier. You know how important it is to be able to identify the items that you need and then find a way to store them in a way that they will remain fresh and organized for a longer period of time. With these helpful tips, you can make this task a little easier.

Know what you are going to store. This includes the types of food items that you buy regularly. It could be that you are a meat-and-potatoes type of person, or you could just be a food junkie who likes to buy everything in one place and putting it in a jar. Either way, you need to have an idea about how much food you are planning to keep in your pantry before you begin shopping.

Get the right storage containers for the food you buy. These may include large plastic bags, Tupperware boxes, or individual serving containers from brands like Rice Cooker or Ziploc. If you are going to store a lot of canned goods, you might want to invest in a set of revolving bins that keep the canisters from getting too full and out of date.

Make sure that you are using the right storage technique for your food. For example, plastic jars with lids work well for frozen and canned goods. The lids seal in the foods’ flavors and don’t permit elements from the outside to mix in. These can range from the salt and vinegar to the air so the food stays tasting fresh for a longer period of time. However, plastic jars are not as effective if you want to store marinated foods, raw meat or produce.

Consider how you’re going to store your grains, fish, meats, and other items. Do you need refrigeration or will you seal in the foods in the freezer? Seal them in the freezer to keep them fresh for a few days. If you decide to seal them, then you should wash the containers in hot soapy water before storing. Do not use anything that will damage the containers, such as bleach or metal objects. This could spoil the items and make them all unusable.

Stock up on bulk items. This includes meat, fish, grains, fruits and vegetables – just make sure you keep them away from the damp area of the refrigerator. Clean out the shelves regularly and be ready to toss out expired items that have gone bad. When the foods get old and bad, they won’t taste right.

Be selective about what you buy and where you buy it. For example, you may have a perfectly good bread basket at home but you may not have any fresh nuts. You can easily buy the nuts at the grocery store, but you might have to go through the hassle of loading up the truck with lots of bread. Consider buying the nuts in smaller quantities and frozen. If you do this periodically – every six months or so – then you’ll have them when you need them.

Don’t forget to stock up on plenty of healthy fats and oils, such as olives, canola oil, olive oil, and canola seeds. Some of these foods taste great. Others need to be used sparingly because they spoil quickly. One jar of beans could last you for a few weeks. Stock up on plenty of these items.

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