12 foods that last longer if you keep them in the fridge

ShutterstockSome foods fare better in the fridge.
  • Many foods last longer sitting in your fridge than on your countertop.
  • Limes and lemons will stay juicy for longer in the fridge while avocados will ripen slower.
  • Maple syrup and soy sauce are best stored in the fridge.

No one likes throwing out unused food that’s gone bad before its time. Knowing how to properly store your groceries can help you cut down on food bills and waste at the same time. Though many food items will do just fine at room temperature for a while, keeping them cool can help prolong their lifespan.

Here are a few foods that you can make last longer in the refrigerator.


Keep lemons and limes juicy for months in the fridge.

Citrus fruit like lemons and limes quickly lose their moisture and flavour when left on the counter for more than a week or so. To keep your citrus juicy, opt for stashing lemons and limes inside sealed plastic bags in the fridge.

When stored this way, these fruits will stay juicy for up to three whole months.


Ketchup should be kept cool.

Adam Berry/GettyOrganic ketchup, especially, should be kept in the fridge.

Though store-bought ketchup can last a few weeks at room temperature without going bad, it will eventually fall victim to bacterial growth and begin to go rancid.

If you don’t typically through a bottle in a month, Good Housekeeping recommended stowing your ketchup in the fridge to keep it fresh and safe to eat. This is especially important for organic ketchup that doesn’t contain preservatives.


Organic peanut butter will last much longer in the fridge.

Flickr / AnnaTo extend the life of you peanut butter for up to six months, keep it in the fridge.

Have you ever splurged on a jar of organic peanut or nut butter only to have it go rancid in your cupboard? Unlike more processed spreads, organic and natural nut butters don’t include preservatives and are usually prone to separation.

According to the National Peanut Board, an open jar of peanut butter will usually last two to three months on the shelf. However, natural nut butters may only last a few weeks without refrigeration.


Fresh corn tastes way better if it’s stored in the fridge before eating.

Wikimedia Commons/Sam FentressIf you don’t think you’ll eat the corn within a day or two, you can switch it to the freezer.

As soon as an ear of corn leaves the stalk, it starts to lose its sweet taste. To lock in as much of that flavour as possible, Epicurious recommended sealing the corn in a plastic bag and keeping it in the fridge until needed.


Cakes will be yummy for longer in the fridge.

Kelly vanDellen/ShutterstockCakes made with cream need to be refridgerated.

If you have leftover birthday treats or are baking something special for an event, storing cake in the fridge is a great way to make sure it doesn’t dry out and go stale. As The Kitchn explained, frosted cakes should be stored in the refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed against the cut section to seal in moisture. Uncut and unfrosted cakes should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap before storage. Though most cakes will be fine on the counter in a cool kitchen for a few days, cakes made with whipped cream or fresh fruit should go straight into the fridge after serving.


Stop avocados from ripening early by putting them in the refrigerator.

Kevin Midigo/GettyWant to save your avocados from going bad? Put them in the fridge.

Buying avocados can sometimes feel like signing up for a babysitting job – there’s only a narrow window of time when the fruit is just ripe enough without being mushy.

To help solve this problem, The Kitchn recommended placing your avocados in the fridge in order to slow the ripening process. Fresh avocados will keep for much longer in the fridge and can be taken out to finish ripening on the counter when you’re ready to eat them.


Move that soy sauce from your pantry to your fridge.

Palindrome6996/FlickrSoy sauce will taste best when refridgerated.

Soy sauce is another condiment that technically doesn’t need to be kept cool. Due to its high sodium content, it won’t spoil at room temperature.

However, if you’re a soy sauce aficionado and want to keep your condiment tasting its best, you should know that unrefrigerated soy sauce will begin to lose its flavour after a month or two. According to Eat By Date, you can slow this oxidation process and keep the flavour at its peak by storing soy sauce in the refrigerator.


Sliced tomatoes shouldn’t be left at room temperature.

Jessica Spengler/FlickrStore tomatoes in the fridge if they have already been sliced.

There’s nothing worse than trying to assemble a sandwich with soggy, tasteless tomato slices. According to The Kitchn, the best way to store sliced tomatoes is in the fridge. Even though you may have heard that whole tomatoes should be kept on the counter to preserve flavour – and that’s true – cut tomatoes fare best when kept cool.

For the best results, store them in the fridge with the cut portions resting against dry paper towels.


Pure maple syrup should be kept in the fridge.

iStockPure maple syrup can also be kept in the freezer indefinitely.

Pure maple syrup often doesn’t have any additives or preservatives to keep bacteria and mould at bay. Though unopened maple syrup will last basically forever at room temperature,syrup needs to be refrigerated once opened to keep flavour intact and bacteria out, according to the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association.


Keep jam tucked away in the fridge.

Wikimedia CommonsLooking to keep your homemade jam fresh for a long time? You can freeze fresh jam or jelly of up to a year.

Jelly isn’t as perishable as fresh fruit, but it can still develop mould. Keeping any open containers of jelly or jam in the fridge will help you extend the life of your fruit spreads, according to Ball.

If you haven’t yet opened your jam, it’s fine to keep it in the cupboard at room temperature.


Mustard and horseradish will be more flavorful in the fridge.

Wikimedia CommonsIf you want your mustard to stay spicy for longer, toss it in the fridge.

Though there isn’t anything in most mustards that will spoil, this condiment will eventually lose its sharp flavour if kept at room temperature. Dijon and horseradish mustards are especially susceptible to this, according to The Spruce Eats.


Chocolate syrup should move to the fridge after being opened.

Flickr/photogmateoYou might not think of chocolate syrup as being perishable, but this gooey treat should be kept in the refrigerator after opening.

According to Eat By Date, sealed bottles can safely remain in the pantry for two to three years, but open containers will eventually develop mould or separation if they’re not kept cool. If you want to keep your opened syrup tasty for up to a year, store it in the fridge.

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