The best way to store fruit and save money

According to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water, food waste costs Australian households up to $2,500 a year - and fruit is one of the five most wasted food groups. Here’s how you can store it to make it last longer.

April 4, 2024

You get home from doing your weekly shop and put all the fruit you have bought into the fruit bowl, only to discover a couple of days later that some of it is overripe and can't be eaten. Sound familiar?

Here are some storage tips to help.


To keep your apples fresh and crisp, skip the fruit bowl and store them in the bottom of your fridge. This keeps apples juicy, crisp and fresher for longer.


Oranges don't continue to ripen after they've been picked. Store them in the fruit bowl if you plan on eating them within the week or put them in the fridge near the front if not and they will last for 2-3 weeks.


Choose strawberries that are bright red in colour with fresh looking, green leaves. Store them in a container lined with paper towel in the fridge - or in a paper bag. Don't wash before storing - do this just before you are going to eat them, or they could go soggy.


For ripe avocados, store them in your fridge for 2-3 days to keep them fresh. If your avocado isn't quite ripe, leave it out on your countertop and it will continue to ripen over the next 4-5 days. Then store in the fridge if you're not eating it straight away.


Store grapes in the bottom of your fridge where they will last for 2-8 weeks.

You can also freeze them and add them to drinks instead of ice!

Melon (apart from watermelon)

Store them out of the fridge for a few days, if they are not quite ripe - then put them in the fridge. They will last for about another 10 days.


Uncut melons stored in the fridge will deteriorate more quickly than those stored at room temperature. Out of the fridge, they can be stored for up to two weeks. Cut watermelon should be covered in plastic wrap and will keep for about 3 days in the fridge. It can also be eaten frozen.


Bananas produce ethylene and continue to ripen after they've been picked, so putting them in the fridge will make them less yummy and change their texture. Store them out of the fridge until fully ripe - after that you can refrigerate them to extend their life. Overripe bananas can also be frozen for baking.


Store pears out of the fridge if they are ripe and you plan to eat them within a week. If they are not quite ripe, leave them out for a couple of days to ripen and then you can store them for several weeks in the fridge.


Once they are ripe, store mangoes in the fridge and they will last for a few more days. If your mangoes aren't ripe enough, store them at room temperature for a few days.


These are most flavoursome when they are ripe and kept at room temperature. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay on the counter for up to two weeks. To speed up ripening, place the tomatoes in a paper bag with an apple.

To stop fruit from becoming overripe too soon, keep ethylene producing and ethylene sensitive fruit away from each other.

Ethylene producing foods

Apples, apricots, avocados, bananas (ripe), blueberries, cantaloupe, figs, guavas, grapes, stone fruit, honeydew, kiwifruit, mangoes, papayas, passion fruit, peaches, pears, persimmons, plums.

Ethylene sensitive foods

Bananas (unripe), blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon.

Ripe bananas and apples are massive ethylene producers which is why you can put them in a paper bag with anything you want to ripen.

General tips

  • Breathing room: Packing fruits tightly together in the fridge can mean moisture build-up and mould. Give your fruits some personal space by not overcrowding them.

  • Wash wisely: While it's tempting to wash all your fruit as soon as you get home, wait to wash until right before you're ready to eat them. Water can encourage bacteria growth and speed up spoilage. However, for berries, a quick vinegar bath (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) can kill off surface bacteria and mould spores, extending their freshness. Just make sure to dry them thoroughly.

  • To cut or not to cut? Cutting fruit can also speed up spoilage due to increased exposure to air and bacteria. It's best to cut your fruit when you plan to eat it. However, if you must cut in advance, store it in an airtight container in the fridge to keep it fresh longer.

  • When in doubt, freeze! Got too much fruit on your hands? Freeze it! Most fruits freeze well and can be a great addition to smoothies or baking. Just make sure to prep them correctly (peeling, slicing, and using an airtight container) to preserve their quality.

This is some text inside of a div block.
No items found.