What are some good ways to stretch the life of perishable foods?
I found this article 27 Ways To Make Your Groceries Last As Long As Possible and thought perhaps some of you might have other tips to add. I especially like their tip about freezing herbs in olive oil.
I use a kitchen cloth in my lettuce (in a reusable covered container) instead of a paper towel with plastic wrap over it. I also don't tear the lettuce until just before it's going to be eaten. The cloth absorbs excess moisture but then keeps the humidity in the container high. Keeping the leaves intact for as long as possible reduces the "injured" areas of the leaves that more quickly turn brown and decompose.
I also love these Debbie Meyer Green Bags storage bags for extending the life of produce. They work surprisingly well, and can be rinsed or washed and reused many times. For easy bag drying, something like this rack (or its much cheaper cousin) is a helpful thing to have, though I have friends who have simply mounted a nice, whittled-down branch on the wall for drying multiple bags at once.
I love my freezer. It's a modern convenience I'd hate to do without. I freeze leftovers and have "perpetual" containers in my fridge where I store odd scraps of veggies forvmaking stock, putting directly in soup, "spicy rice," and also a jar of odd bits for sweet baked goods (nut crumbs, random raisins, etc). If I open a jar of something and only need half, I am likely to freeze the rest so it doesn't spoil before I can figure out what to do with it.
I also have a "cold pantry" -- an unheated mudroom that ideally would not freeze in winter (I am working on that part as it currently does go below freezing sometimes). It's right off the kitchen and can be used for cool storage for much of the year, for things that don't necessarily need or want to be in the fridge.
Got any other great ideas for stretching the life of perishable foods?