Student Survival Guide: 12 must-know food storage hacks to avoid waste

Here’s the ultimate Student Survival Guide to good food storage hacks and avoiding waste.

Students waste nearly 800g of food a week. A lot of that will have been good food that could have been used. In London alone, we throw out an average of 2.5 slices every day. 1 in 4 apples bought in London are never eaten and thrown away. In fact, you could fill 43,000 London buses with the amount of good food we discard every year.

Possibly due a skills gap in the kitchen, it is the under 24s living, working or studying in the capital who throw away more food than any other age group. By each of us making small changes in the kitchen, we can make a big collective difference on London’s food waste issue.

Mastering the art of food storage requires some research, as different rules apply to different foods. Love Food Hate Waste is a campaign aimed at helping combat this waste and is a great resource for students to get through university eating well and within budget. Find out how to make simple yet tasty meals, prepare the right portion sizes, keep food fresher for longer and ultimately save money.

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Know your onions

Chop up your spring onions just the way you like them, and pop them into an empty container (Parmesan cheese, spice shakers or mineral water bottles are all good) and sprinkle them on your food as needed. Perfect for pizzas and salads. You can freeze them this way, too!

Banana peel

Bananas make the perfect on-the-go snack for when you’re sprinting to class. The problem is that they ripen very fast and go all soft and brown. Peel them right down to their birthday suits and freeze them in a container. That way they last for ages and are always smoothie-ready. Also, store them separately from any other fruit or veg as they tend to make their neighbours ripen faster

Leftover tinned tuna

Tuna is so versatile. Great for pasta, sarnies, pizzas, omelettes, you name it. The best part is that it’s equally versatile when it comes to storing the bits leftover. Throw the tin out, and spoon the rest of the tuna into an airtight container like an empty jar and pop in the fridge. Or freeze it in a zip lock bag

Say cheese!

Cheese is pretty much every student’s must-have fridge friend. Don’t let it suffocate in a plastic container or dry out in open packaging. Wrap it in baking paper to let it breathe just the right amount

99 problems but milk ain’t one

If you still have milk in the fridge but the use-by date is fast approaching, fear not. There’s no need to guzzle it down, eat cereal all day or bring all your mates over for coffee. Simply pour it into ice cube trays and freeze for another time. You can then pop them straight into your cuppa whenever you fancy

You say potato… I say apple

It turns out an apple a day will keep more than the doctor away. It will keep your potatoes from sprouting and help them last longer. It’s all down to the gas produced by apples. So store some apples with your potatoes to keep them happier, firmer and fresher

Sugar buddy

Only royals have lumps of sugar. When it comes to storing your sugar, it’s all about the company you keep. Place in an airtight plastic container and pop in moist buddies like a couple of marshmallows, a slice of bread, or even apple slices. Your sugar will soak up the moisture and stay soft

Honey, I shrunk the crystals

It’s a kitchen staple for students, so honey simply has to stay fresh. If you like crystals, look away now. Honey does not go in the fridge or it will crystallise. Honey can last forever even once opened, so store in a cupboard. How is that possible you ask? Let’s just say it involves bee’s stomachs and bacteria fighting enzymes. A top tip to revive crystallised honey is to place the jar in a frying pan with simmering water, and stir the honey until the crystals dissolve. Sorted

Crack those eggs

There are two types of people, those who keep their eggs in the fridge and those who think room temperature is best. We’d recommend storing them in the fridge to help them last longer, but not in the door. Constant changes in temperature can make them go off quicker so keep them nearer the back of the fridge, where the eggs can just, well, chill

Marvelous mayonnaise

The ultimate student survival essential. Keep mayonnaise fresher for longer by storing it in the fridge door. The inner part of the fridge is too cold for the precious one, which can cause it to separate and leave oil at the top of the jar. If kept in the door area, it will last two to three months past the purchase date

Bread winner

Keep fresh bread at room temperature which should be around 20ºC. Keep out of direct sunlight in a cool and dry place, like your cupboard or bread box. After 2 – 3 days, keep any leftover bread in the freezer to avoid getting any more moisture. Then take out a slice or two and pop in the toaster whenever you want


Avocados are for students what saffron is for our mums. So they must get the loving care they need and deserve. Store your open avocado with the stone left in, spritz it with some lemon juice or olive oil, cover with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge. Hasta la vista, brown avos


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