Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Grocery question: how long do you keep your stored food in the fridge?

02-07-2009, 02:50 PM
Does anyone know how long you can keep a salad fresh in the fridge before it starts to go bad? I wanna stock up on premixed salad and buy some of those grilled chicken strips, but I don't want to waste food. Any suggestions?

Also, this may be a question I can answer buy going to the grocery store, but is there such a thing as a healthy pickle? :lol: I absolutely love them, but they are so high in sodium! And this may be a myth, but I hear the juice is actually good for you because it helps with muscle cramps. My grandfather used to drink pickle juice everyday when he got home from playing golf, and that man never had a single cramp! I found that interesting.

Opinions? Suggestions? Let me know what you think, guys. Thanks.

02-07-2009, 02:59 PM
most bagged lettuce has an expiration date on it. Usually it starts to turn brown a day or two after the expiration date, that's what I throw it out. I find that heads of lettuce last much longer. I just go by looks... if it's turning brown throw it out!

As far as healthier pickles, I'd check with small grocery stores. We have a mom and pop type grocery store near my house and they make homemade pickles. They are delicious and not so processed!

02-07-2009, 03:13 PM
For me, once the lettuce is home and in the fridge, it usually lasts about 2 to 3 days. Depends, though. I really can't stand lettuce that's anything but super fresh, even slight wiltyness bothers me.

02-07-2009, 05:18 PM
you can also try those new green ziploc bags they have, they are supposed to keep fruit and veggies fresh for a lot longer. i bought some on Thursday when i went healthy shopping and my head of lettuce is still very crisp so far. I cant stand wilted lettuce either.

02-08-2009, 01:08 AM
Haha I just realized my thread was moved. I had no idea there was a forum strickly for food stuff! I guess that should be obvious when we are trying to lose/maintain weight by eating healthier. :lol:

Wolf Goddess
02-08-2009, 05:18 PM
Just go by looks; it it starts to rust, pick out the rusty bits, or toss. I've found that a Tupperware salad saver keeps lettuce fresher than the bags they come in.

02-08-2009, 08:10 PM
Look at the expiration dates. Spinach seems to last longer than other greens and arugula has a very short shelf life. It gets slimy quickly. Heads of lettuce will last the longest, but if you must buy pre-washed buy it in the containers versus bags. They seem to keep better.

02-08-2009, 08:33 PM
My Mom swears by the green bags, so I've got to try them. I love getting the organic baby spring mix from Sams club because it is under $4 for a large box, and I never can use it all before it spoils - but I still buy it because it's so much cheaper than the grocery store brand. Sometimes it lasts 3 days after it's opened, sometimes almost 7. Usually when it is starting to go, some of the more delicate greens are getting slimy. I've even sat at the table picking out the "still good" greens that I know cook well, like the baby spinach and I'll rinse them and saute them or put them in a soup.

Sodium isn't a problem for everybody, and can largely be counteracted with extra water. Even though I have moderate high blood pressure, but my blood sodium levels are normally low, and occasionally too low, then my doctor will tell me I actually need to eat a little more salty food (I've had several doctors joke that they don't get to tell too many patients this - but seriously I have to have my sodium levels checked before any surgery because it would be dangerous to my heart if they operated when sodium levels were low).

But back on topic, pickles aren't health foods, but they're not terrible either - even with the sodium. I love Klausen (the refrigerated pickles in the grocery). I love sweet and bread and butter pickles too, but you've got to pay attention to portions with those because of the sugar and calories. I love pickled peppers too. In the winter, I buy store brands, but in the summer I go to farmers' markets. There are folks selling pickles there, and I will also buy vegetables to make pickles. I am not Sally-Homemaker, so I don't actually can pickles, I make refrigerator and/or freezer pickles - there are tons of recipes online. Refrigerator and freezer pickles aren't any harder than making a salad. I use Glad freezer containers, make the pickle recipe and usually they're ready to eat either immediately or in a few days. Some refrigerator pickles really need to sit in the fridge a week to taste like pickles and not just cucumbers, but they're safe in the fridge for several weeks at least (they never last long enough in our house to go bad).

02-08-2009, 10:32 PM
A storage tip for those plastic containers of spring greens is to open them right away and gently pick out any slimy characters. Then slip a paper towel under them and over them. It helps pick up excess moisture that leads to the dreaded "slime"

02-09-2009, 01:14 AM
Thanks, I'll try that (even getting a couple more days out of it would be awesome).

02-09-2009, 09:01 PM
I have given up on the spring greens. If they aren't spoiled when I get them, they are in a couple of days. I have tried all your methods...Love them when they aren't slimy!

What I do for a quick salad: Romaine, romaine, romaine! I buy a couple of six packs at costco. I take out one head, peel off any bad leaves and slice it in half vertically. Then I slice or shred one half of it horizonatally for my salad. If it is a work day, I do both my lunch and my supper salad at the same time, using an entire head. I find the romaine to be esthetically more satisfying than iceberg, and it keeps well and can stand up to ahead of time preparation. Romaine can even withstand the occasional unexplained temperature drops in my refrigerator. Sometimes after a Costco run, my fridge is too full for all that lettuce, so I put it in a stryrofoam cooler with some ice. Anyway, I always have fresh salad, and my method only taks seconds longer than having bagged salad.

I also cook my own chicken breast. I poach it, slice it, and freeze it in individual pieces. I just stick however much I want in with the salad, and by the time I want to eat it, the chicken has defrosted.

02-09-2009, 09:47 PM
I agree that romaine lettuce (even the bagged stuff) lasts WAY longer than other greens. I grow lettuce on my patio in a "lettuce bowl" in the spring and summer, that gives me fresh greens whenever I want.

Pickle juice can be used as a sports drink! That's probably why your grandpa didn't get cramps.

02-09-2009, 09:52 PM
I haven't tried the green bags, sounds useful though. I agree that Romaine lasts a long time - over a week or more. Other veggies last no more than a week. Fruits the same. I routinely cycle and clean out my fridge (I have teenagers that leave stuff all over).


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