Grocery shopping is expensive — and according to a report by UNEP and the World Resources Institute (WRI), the amount of food wasted and lost every year is equal to more than half of the world's annual cereals crops.

One of the easiest ways to save money and eat healthier is to begin planning your meals, and shopping for ingredients; and luckily there are plenty of brilliant food storage hacks that will help ensure your food keeps as long as possible.

Here are 9 simple food storage hacks to help maximize your items shelf-lives: 

Store dairy products — like yogurts, cottage cheese, and sour cream — upside down

Flipping over your container of dairy creates a vacuum that repels mold and bacteria from growing; therefore, you can enjoy your favorite dairy products for longer.

Also carbonated drinks

They won’t go flat nearly as quickly!

Also tomatoes

Storing your tomatoes stem-down will help maintain freshness, and keep them from rotting.

Wrap your leafy greens in a paper towel

Nothing convinces me to ditch the greens faster than the sight of wilted lettuce in the fridge. It smells bad, tastes awful, and the slimy texture just bums me out. 

Avoid this by rinsing off your leafy greens in cold water, and then wrapping them in a paper towel before storing in your fridge. The paper towel will absorb any excess moisture, and keep your greens crisp and fresh.

Speed up/slow down your avocado’s ripening process

Growing up, I was always told to keep my avocados out of the fridge. As it turns out, the refrigerator actually significantly slows down the ripening process of an avocado; if you want to avoid over-ripening your avocado, keep it in the fridge.

If you find yourself with an unripe avocado that you want to use, however, place your avocado in a brown paper bag with a banana. The avocado and banana will release a large amount of ethylene gas, which will speed up the ripening process.

Freeze your herbs like ice cubes

Fresh herbs are great, but often you have to purchase an entire bunch at the grocery store, rather than just enough for a recipe. The Kitchn recommends storing them for later by chopping them up and freezing them in ice cubes made of water and olive oil. They can last in your freezer this way for months.

Sprinkle lemon wedges with salt to keep them fresh

Don’t throw away your remaining lemon-halves; simply sprinkle them with a pinch of salt to help preserve their freshness, and break them out later.

Revitalize your apples with water

If you notice they’re looking less-than-perfect, steep them in a pot of boiling water for about a minute.

Store potatoes and onions in cool, dry places — but not together

When stored next to each other, potatoes and onions create a chemical reaction that makes them both sprout faster. Store them separately, but cook together at your leisure.

Sources: WRIThe Kitchn / Photo credits: Authority Nutrition (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7), The Kitchn, Lehmans, NY Senate