How long do vegetables last?

When you are just cooking for one this becomes an important question. You certainly don’t want to eat the same vegetable every day just to avoid having to throw any away. Even if you start off liking something you’ll hate it after a week. Of course one answer is to buy smaller quantities of loose vegetables but they don’t comes with any “use buy” date. Even when you buy packed vegetables their dates tend to err on the side of caution.

How to throw away less vegetables

As a novice cook I wanted some more specific guidance on how long different vegetables typically lasted. After researching quite a few different sources I created a set of the most common “up to” times recommended for my frequently used vegetables and fruit.  What I do now is to put a yellow Post-it note on the front of the vegetable drawer and write on the date bought for any vegetable or fruit when I put in the fridge. This way I’m reminded about it every time I open the fridge.  It may not look pretty but I throw away much less vegetables now.

Recommended “up to” dates

Apples
Fridge: 3 weeks

Asparagus
Fridge: 3 days

Bananas
Work top: 5 days (keep away from any other fruit)

Bell peppers
Fridge: 5 days (red, yellow, and orange). One week for Green.

Broccoli
Fridge: 1 week

Carrots
Fridge: 2 weeks

Celery
Fridge: 2 weeks

Ginger
Fridge: 3 weeks

Herbs, leafy or soft such as Basil, Coriander and Tarragon
Fridge: 3 days  (I always have jars of theses too.)

Herbs, woody or hard such as Rosemary, Oregano and Thyme
Fridge: 2 weeks

Leeks
Fridge: 1 week

Lemons
Fridge: 3 weeks

Mushrooms
Fridge: 1 week (in a paper bag)

Onions
Pantry: 2 months, Fridge top shelf: 2 weeks
Fridge: 4 days (cut)

Oranges
Worktop: 3 days
Fridge: 2 weeks

Parsnips
Fridge: 1 month

Potatoes
Pantry: 3 weeks, Fridge two weeks (wrapped in brown bags)

Tomatoes
Worktop: 3 days

The overriding rule of course is that if things don’t look right or smell right throw them out. You are allowed to throw away unused vegetables too if you are really bored them but don’t admit to it.