Extending the Life of Foods From A to Z: Letter O

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food life

Letter O

We are continuing with our series on how to save on groceries — even if you don’t have a coupon!   These items below are things we need, and we purchase, even if we don’t have a coupon or one is never available.  Here are a few food items, beginning with the letter “O” which you can purchase in bulk when you find a great deal!

Whether it is oranges or orange juice, you want to literally squeeze every penny you can out of your purchase!

  • Frozen concentrate can be frozen for up to a year after purchase.  Once mixed, it is usually good for only a week or so.
  • Orange juice sold in bottles or cans can be kept in the pantry for up to 18 months!  This makes for a great stock up product.
  • If you free juice sold in bottles, make sure that you remove about 1/2″ of liquid from the top to allow room for expansion (do not freeze cans).  Frozen juice is usually good anywhere from 8 – 12 months.
  • Fresh oranges can last up to a week in your pantry.  If you store them in the refrigerator, they can last up to 3 weeks.
  • If you wish to freeze fresh oranges,  slice and remove all food membranes and seeds.  Make a solution of 2 3/4 cups sugar and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Cool and pour over the oranges.  Place them into air tight bags or containers and freeze. They can be good for up to 12 months frozen.

>Olives are pretty pricey, so make sure that you stock up on them when you find a good deal:

  • Olives sold in cans or bottles are good for up to one year after opened – just make sure to store them in the refrigerator.
  • Unopened canned or bottled olives are good for up to 3 years in your pantry!
  • If you purchase ripe olives form your deli counter, they are good for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.  Just make sure that you keep them covered in a glass or plastic container.
  • The canned products usually go on sale around the holidays, so look for the deals then so you can stock up and save!

Onions are used in so many recipes. Here are some ideas to help you get the most out of your stockpile:

  • Save time when you buy them by chopping up the entire bag.  Split into 1/2 cup measures and put into plastic baggies.  Lie them flat in your freezer.  Then, when you need them, they are already cut and you just have to thaw and dump them into your dish!  They are god for up to a year.
  • You can store whole onions for 2 – 3 months in your pantry or refrigerator, as long as they are not cut up.
  • Tip – do NOT store onions next to potatoes – they give off a chemical reaction which causes both to spoil more quickly!!
  • Vadalia or other sweet onions are different.  They usually last up to 2 months in your pantry or refrigerator.
Oil is a staple used in all sorts of baking.  Here are some types of oil and how to get the most out of them (never freeze your oil though):
  • Vegetable Oil unopened is good for up to 2 years!  Once opened you will want to try to use it within a year.
  • Olive Oil may be stored in your refrigerator or pantry.  When not yet opened, it has a shelf life of around 2 years.  Once opened, it is also good for about a year.
  • Corn Oil is also good for 2 years when not yet opened.  And like the others, is good for about 1 year once you’ve cracked the seal.

Make sure you check out ALL of the tips we’ve shared – just click the letter for the food you want to know more about!!

A        B        C        D         E        F       G        H        I      J     K         M     N