You all know that I participate in Menu Plan Monday. Even before I started blogging, I always planned out my meals for the week. By planning meals ahead of time, we end up saving money because we’re wasting less food. Food spoilage is like throwing money away! But doing a weekly meal plan involves more than just putting together a few recipes and calling it a day. If you want to eat fresh produce throughout the week and do it with only one trip to the grocery store, you need to know which fruits and veggies go bad quickly and which ones will last longer.
Below is the list I use to plan my meals each week. Right after you go grocery shopping, make meals with the fruits and vegetables that spoil most quickly. As you reach the end of your shopping cycle, make meals with cabbage, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and other produce that lasts longer. If you use this list and plan your meals accordingly, you can eat fresh produce all week long without having to go to the supermarket more than once.
Fruits and Vegetables That Spoil Quickly (1-2 days)
Fruits and Vegetables That Last Longer (3-5 days)
Bananas (although it depends on what color they are when you buy them)
Fruits and Vegetables That Last All Week (6-7 days)
Jalapenos and other hot peppers
Fruits and Vegetables That Last More Than a Week
Onions (sweet onions have a shorter shelf-life than other varieties)
And, just a quick disclaimer: This list started as a small sidebar I cut from Vegetarian Times and over the years, I’ve added a lot to it and rearranged things based on my own experience, so your mileage may vary. Use common sense when you’re cooking–even if something is supposed to last a full week, if it doesn’t smell or look right, toss it!