Created on: February 11, 2013
Fresh herbs add fantastic flavors to your cooking, and when used as a garnish, they look great too. However, it can be off-putting when you are constantly buying fresh herbs from the supermarket, only to find that they have wilted before you’ve had the chance to use them all. Fortunately, there are a few tips that can help you save money on fresh herbs and cut down on waste at the same time.
Grow your own
The most obvious way of saving money on fresh herbs is to grow your own. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a garden; you can grow them on the window sill if necessary. Before planting an herb garden, you may want to consider whether you are going to grow annual or perennial herbs, or a mixture of the two.Annual herbs include basil, cilantro and dill and need replanting or growing from seed every year.
Perennials include chives, mint and rosemary, and will continue to grow year after year, but they need a certain amount of care — for example, pruning and training to grow in a relatively confined area so that they don’t take over the entire garden. Once you have your garden however, you will have access to fresh herbs whenever you want, at very little cost (and provided that they are in season).
Share with neighbors
One reason for spending too much money on fresh herbs is if you live alone and don’t need to use more than a few sprigs at a time. Unfortunately, most retailers sell more than is necessary. To avoid overbuying, you can get together with friends and neighbors to share in the purchase of fresh herbs. That way, you can try out a variety of herbs and a selection of new recipes without having to worry about the waste.
Keep them moist
The Huffington Post has a couple of good suggestions for prolonging the life of herbs you have bought from the supermarket by as much as two weeks. First, put the herbs in a container of water just as you would a bunch of flowers. Check on the water levels on a daily basis. If you cover the herbs with a plastic bag and keep them in the fridge, they should last even longer. This works particularly well with cilantro and parsley, which prefer cooler temperatures. Mint and basil are usually fine kept at room temperature.
Another way to
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