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Here’s How Long Your Fresh Produce Will Reliably Last

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One of the roughest things about being an adult and buying your own food and stuff is having to figure out what to buy when, how long something will reliably last, and having to throw things in the trash that cost you some of your hard-earned money.

Fresh produce is the most likely culprit here, because we forget about it, we don’t use as much as we think we will, or we change our mind about what’s for dinner (usually trading the good-for-us stuff for ordering pizza or Chipotle).

So, how long will that lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, or melon last in your fridge? On the counter?

If you’re curious, don’t worry – we’ve got your back.

#20. Onions

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How long they last: 2-3 months at room temperature

When to toss them: Moisture and soft spots can be a sign it’s gone bad.

#19. Apples

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How long they last: 4-8 weeks in the fridge

When to toss them: If it looks wrinkled or feels mushy, it’s time to toss.

#18. Oranges

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How long they last: 3-4 weeks in the fridge

When to toss them: Check to see that there are no soft spots – they’ll also be dry on the inside instead of juicy.

#17. Avocado

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How long they last: 4-7 days at room temperature

When to toss them: If it’s brown and reduced to mush, you’ve missed your window.

#16. Peaches

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How long they last: 1-3 days at room temperature

When to toss them:  If they’re very wrinkly or start to smell boozy, it’s time to let them go.

#15. Bananas

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How long they last: 2-5 days at room temperature

When to toss them: If they’re tough to peel, give under your fingers, or are brown all over, you can lie to yourself about how they’re going to be banana bread.

#14. Potatoes

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How long they last: 3-5 weeks in the pantry

When to toss them: It’s OK if it has small sprouts, but if the sprouts are longer than a few centimeters, your potato may have gone bad. If it’s gone VERY bad, there will be no mistaking it.

#13. Blueberries

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How long they last: 1-2 weeks in the fridge

When to toss them: If they start to feel moist or look moldy, it’s time to toss.

#12. Strawberries

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How long they last:  3-7 days in the fridge

When to toss them: If they are too soft, have dark spots, or are showing mold, show them the trash.

#11. Broccoli

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How long they last: 7-14 days in the fridge

When to toss them: Once it starts to go limp, all is lost.

#10. String Beans

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How long they last: 3-5 days in the fridge

When to toss them: You’ll know they’ve gone bad if they’ve turned limp or moist.

#9. Carrots

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How long they last: 3-4 weeks in the fridge

When to toss them: Carrots are past their prime when they feel limp or have developed a white, grainy look.

#8. Tomatoes

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How long they last: 1 week at room temperature

When to toss them: Bad tomatoes will have rotten spots, and they’ll be mushy rather than firm.

#7. Cucumbers

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How long they last: 1 week in the fridge

When to toss them: Discard if it has any sunken areas, is yellow or has wrinkly skin.

#6. Watermelon

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How long they last: 7 to 10 days at room temperature

When to toss them: Melons have a peculiar, too-sweet smell that’s sickly rather than enticing.

#5. Garlic

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How long they last: 3-6 months at room temperature

When to toss them: If it’s grown any sprouts, peel them away before cooking. Pass up garlic that has turned tan or looks wrinkly.

#4. Mushrooms

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How long they last: 7-10 days in the fridge

When to toss them: If the mushroom feels sticky or slimy, it’s bad. Whole mushrooms will keep longer than sliced mushrooms.

#3. Lettuce

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How long they last: 7-10 days in the fridge

When to toss them: If your greens look discolored, feel soggy or have a rotten smell, it’s time to discard.

#2. Zucchini

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How long they last: 4-5 days in the fridge

When to toss them: If the zucchini looks gray, or the skin is dull rather than shiny, it may be overly ripe.

#1. Lemons

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How long they last: 3-4 weeks in the fridge

When to toss them: It’s overripe if it has soft spots, dark blotches or is oozing juice.

This is super helpful information, though I usually just figure mine has gone bad once it’s reduced to wet mush in the bottom of my vegetable drawer.

Don’t judge. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

Cheers to healthier eating in the future!