Q. I only have time to grocery shop once every seven to ten days. How can I include plenty of vegetables and fruits without losing lots of them to spoilage by the end of a week?
A. Each time you shop, buy a range of vegetables and fruits that includes some you can count on to last longer. Then make sure to use the choices that go bad more quickly in the first few days, followed by the others in an order based on their storage qualities.
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Limit your purchases of more perishable vegetables and fruits to only as much as you're likely to use in the first few days. This includes artichokes, fresh asparagus, ripe avocados, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, watercress, and mustard greens and other fresh greens. Get another few days' worth of produce for use after that, such as cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, kale, fresh spinach, lettuce and fruits such as grapes, plums and fresh pineapple. Produce for the end of the week can include cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, and fruits such as oranges and grapefruit.
Some vegetables can easily survive a week to ten days if stored correctly, so save those for last: carrots, celery, beets, sweet potatoes and winter squash, as well as fruits like apples. Buy choices like bananas, avocados and pears that ripen after purchase in several stages of ripeness to become ready at different times when you are ready for them.
It also pays to pick up a few frozen vegetables and fruits, dried fruit, canned tomatoes and other canned vegetables and fruits (with no added salt or sugar) for use after you've gone through your fresh produce.
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