Keeping Produce Fresh

I completely stumbled upon this surprise discovery a few years back and I've used it ever since. I was looking for an inexpensive way to store my crafting items, and while in the Dollar Tree, I saw one of those plastic shoe boxes with the lid. I have purchased these before for storage but I paid almost $4.00 a piece for them. I had no idea that I could go to a store across the street and get them for almost nothing.


Anyhow, I love salads and roasted vegetables, but I can't seem to use them all before they start going bad. I had to go out of town once and I had just purchased my groceries - mainly produce, of course. I have an older model Hotpoint refrigerator, and because I don't enjoy cleaning the produce drawers, I thought I'd just throw as much of the produce as I could fit in the shoe box figuring that it's all going to spoil anyhow. That produce was still good after a month and I couldn't believe it!

Now, I just sit the plastic shoe box on the top shelf. I don't even have to bend all the way down, (although I should bend every chance I get) to those deep, no joy to clean drawers at the bottom of the fridge. I buy my produce and I can get everything used up instead of having to pitch it after a week or so. Who'd a thought that a dollar item could save me so much money these past few years.

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November 6, 2009

If you have 99 Cents Only Stores in your area, they have Brawny produce bags, look just like the expensive ones. I am trying them now but always wrap my celery in foil, it keeps for weeks.

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Whenever I buy grapes, I always wash them right away for an easy snack to grab. To ensure they stay fresh as long as possible. I always stick a couple folded up paper towels in the bottom of the bowl or zip-lock bag.

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Many of us have a habit of washing produce before putting it in the refrigerator after we buy it and get ready to store it. I was surprised to hear that what I thought was a good habit in doing so is actually not a good idea. Wet produce can harbor a lot of bacteria, because it is wet.

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July 1, 2004

Instead of buying high priced produce keeper bags to keep my lettuce fresh, I make my own. I cut out the hard center of the lettuce and discard outer leaves.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Has anyone tried green bags for produce?

By Sharon Trent from Bellingham, WA


August 24, 20090 found this helpful

Consumer Report tested the green bags a few months ago. From there testing the results were forget about the green bags. Regular bags worked better than green bags except for bananas,they appeared to stay fresh longer.

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August 24, 20090 found this helpful

This brings up another question: do you find Consumer Reports to be helpful? I've found their research to be too narrow to be useful to me, in that they test a narrow range of appliance models, non-national brands, and priorities which may not be mine.

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August 24, 20090 found this helpful

Debbie Meyer Green Bags: Does it Work?
By: Lauren Keith

The Debbie Meyer Green Bags are one of the most highly requested items I've received from Heartland News viewers this year. The specially-designed bags promise to keep produce fresh for up to 30 days.

"If it does work, that'd be great. I'd be very excited to keep my fruits and veggies for more than a week," says Kelley Snider.
Kelley Snider is one of dozens of Heartland News viewers who emailed asking me to try the new Debbie Meyer Green Bags.

These bags supposedly remove ethylene gas that apparently causes fruits and vegetables to rot. At first glance, it looks like a regular ole' plastic bag to me, but I hope it works!

"The vegetables and fruit need to be dry when going in to the bags," reads Kelley.
That's one of very few instructions given. Also, you can't use twisty ties to secure the bags, and you can't mix and match. In other words, don't put the peppers in with the strawberries.

So, Kelley and I place half of the strawberries and peppers in the bags. The rest go into the refrigerator crisper as normal. Then we take one banana out and leave it on the counter; the rest go into the Green Bag. We'll see if there's really any difference with the Green Bags and without.

"Today's the first of October, and in 30 days, we'll see what happens," says Kelley.
Here's your 5-second warning....exactly 30 days later, I return to Kelley's home. If you watch the video test on this Web site, you might want to stop eating while doing so. What I found was pretty gross!

"It's a bad science experiment!" laughs Kelley as she pulls out all of the produce from the fridge and off the counter.

"Oh, that is disgusting!" I gasp after seeing very rotten strawberries, bananas, and green peppers.

Thirty days later, all of the bananas drew bugs, the peppers have holes and mold both inside the Green Bag and out, and I can't even describe what happened to the strawberries!
Plus, there's really not much difference between the produce we kept out of the Green Bags and those that went inside.

"There's no way you'd want to eat any of that," says Kelley.

In fact, she says even just after one week, the strawberries and bananas inside the Green Bags started going bad. The peppers lasted a little longer, but again, not much difference between those in the Green bags and those not.

"I kind of suspected this would happen. It's almost an outlandish claim that produce can still be fresh up to 30 days. I think it's a waste of money. I'd give it an 'F'," she says.
The video speaks volumes---I'm baggin' Debbie Meyer's Green Bags. The only thing fresh about this $10 product a whopping 'F' on this Does it Work test.

I called the company. An operator says several people have complained their Green Bags also did not work, but she also says several people swear by them. She also says they work better on produce picked right off the vine. So, if you have an apple or peach tree in your yard, maybe these bags will work for you. I buy most of my produce at the grocery store, so I will not be purchasing the Green Bags.

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August 26, 20090 found this helpful

Wow. I've purchased the "green bags", but not the Debbie Meyer brand. I purchased an "off" brand for only $5. I got six large and six small in one box for that price. I thought they worked quite well. I use them for celery and lettuces.

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August 26, 20091 found this helpful

Tried 'em and not impressed. Also, the interior is coated with a substance called zeolite ( Google this) that acts an absorbent for the gases that naturally occur when produce begins to rot.

Zeolite is mainly used industrially, in things like detergents and cat litter, even has nuclear applications.

Don't know about anyone else, but I feel like I'm getting enough chemical overload already and don't want any more of it :)

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August 26, 20090 found this helpful

They're okay. They seemed to work well for soft fruits and veggies (watermelon, summer squash). I got mine because I needed to get something else for a free shipping offer on Amazon. I don't think I'd bother buying them again though because they are a royal pain to wash and , especially, dry. Also the box said you could reuse them for a month and I just don't feel like buying them every month.

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August 29, 20090 found this helpful

I've never tried them, but I own lock & lock containers that work quite well in keeping veggies and fruit fresh longer. They do not work for bananas, however, if they do go too the freezer they go and I'll use them to make bread and pancakes.

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August 23, 2010

I was wanting to know how long can you use or keep Fruit Fresh Produce Protector and it will still be good for freezing? I have some that expired in 2008, is it still good?



August 25, 20100 found this helpful

When canning or freezing remember the the old rule. When in doubt Throw it out. Also little lemon juice on the fruit will keep it from turning brown and keep the fruit fresh. The same as Fruit Fresh which is Ascorbic Acid. Lemon juice is also Ascorbic Acid, and is much cheaper. I use the Minute Maid brand in the frozen counter with the frozen fruit juices at supermarket. I have been doing this for years. You can not taste the lemon juice after it been frozen. My preference is that the fruit better with the lemon juice than the Ascorbic Acid.

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August 25, 20100 found this helpful

Fruit fresh & lemon juice are really only to keep your fruit from going black or discoloring, fruit should not be frozen for longer than probably two months and should be thoroughly defrosted of all the water before using them again put them in a colander in the sink for a while and just let them drain for about an hour until the ice has melted and the ice water has drained do not wash them again then use like fresh, good luck.

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May 22, 2018

Some prepared vegetables can be stored in cold water to maintain their freshness. This is a page about keep celery and carrots fresh for weeks.

A canning jar with cut up carrots and celery with a lid.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 23, 2009

Has anyone used those green plastic bags for storing produce? Do you keep the bags of fruit and such in the fridge or on the counter?

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September 29, 2009

This is an answer to the keeping celery fresh inquiry, but it will work for MOST produce. I sold produce for over four years I was called the Produce Queen, so I know what I'm talkin' about

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