Questions about grocery store food, food storage

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standingroomonly
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Questions about grocery store food, food storage

Post by standingroomonly » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 4:02 am

Some food questions...

With the high humidity and chance for food to go bad much faster, do you tend to use more Tupperware/air tight containers to put your food in? Has this worked well to keep food longer? Any particular brand you can recommend?

Are there food staples that you had back home (pre-Singapore) that you used to eat all the time, which you virtually never eat now? I imagine cereal and cheese...maybe wine...are there others I'm not thinking of because it just isn't available or the high cost?

Thanks!

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Post by nutnut » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 8:10 am

I keep a lot more stuff (bread, sweets of any kind, eggs etc) in the fridge, therefore, for me a larger fridge is important, but yes, things like flour, and sugar are kept in an air tight container. You can buy Tupperware here (there is a shop on Lorong 5 Toa Payoh that runs the parties, they will order it from there if you go and see them) or we started using Lock and Lock stuff and find them excellent, they are widely available, but they have an excellent selection in Carrefour at Suntec.

I eat less bread and drink less milk as it's not as nice, also we hardly eat any chocolate any more. Cheese we still eat, but it's just bloody expensive to get decent stuff.
nutnut

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 4:28 pm

Lock & Lock is good buy pricey. You can get similar (though much smaller range)) unbranded and way cheaper from the local equivalent of dollar shops... in my case the one in the Toa Payoh MRT pedestrian exit-way, opposite the entrance to NTUC. I have L&L and unbranded and they both seem to function the same.

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Post by nuff » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 5:15 pm

A big fridge is a must.

I've started using those airtight glass containers for a lot of things and I try to buy only what is needed for the meal so that leftovers aren't a problem. But i'm a bit greedy so they were much of a problem before :wink:

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Post by BigSis » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 7:35 pm

I like lock'n'lock - I've bought some cheaper versions and found that they didn't last as long, but it might depend which cheap versions you get.

A tip I was given was to avoid round containers as they don't stack in the fridge or freezer as well.

We don't have as much bread here because a lot of it isn't that nice and the nicer stuff tends to be fairly expensive. If I do buy fresh bread I usually freeze it the same day because the ants (of which we can never get rid!) seem to like it and if you put it in the fridge it goes hard so I prefer to freeze and defrost as needed.

Things we don't have - Easter Eggs - but that's a cost thing. I refused to buy my kids eggs this year because they are so expensive. We're moving back to the UK soon - I told them they could go crazy with Easter eggs next year to compensate!

But really there's not much that we haven't either been able to get here or have found a good substitute for. I prefer UK Cadbury's chocolate but I still eat the NZ version. I love Otago Gold mayo (the Korean one in the squeezy bottle with a yellow lid) - I will miss that when we move.

As mentioned above, a big fridge is a must and we also have a drinks fridge as we drink more cold drinks here. I keep all sorts of things in the fridge here that I wouldn't feel the need for back home - flour, rice, spice powder (they have been known to get mold on them), lentils, jam, noodles. Things like rice, flour and noodles get weevils in them if you don't use them up fairly quickly - that's why I keep them in the fridge.

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Post by standingroomonly » Tue, 24 Apr 2012 4:23 am

Thank you for the tips! Very helpful. We have the lock'n'lock type containers already so I'll be sure and have them packed.

Interesting tip on bread not being very good--maybe worth it for us to rent/buy a bread maker. And freezing bread--I'll keep that in mind.

A big fridge--didn't think of that one as so important, so on the list of things to look for when looking at places.

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Post by the lynx » Tue, 24 Apr 2012 9:12 am

BigSis wrote:Things like rice, flour and noodles get weevils in them if you don't use them up fairly quickly - that's why I keep them in the fridge.
Actually you don't really need to use them up quickly or to keep them in fridge. You just need to keep them in airtight containers immediately after opening the packaging to prevent the weevils from gaining foothold in those food.

The idea is to seal up all food items to prevent mould or storage pest insects. Hence airtight containers are a must. To freeze or not to freeze is another matter; it is more on preserving the freshness of the food.

Sometimes I have issues of freezing bread because I like them soft and they just don't taste the same after you reheat them after taking out from the fridge.

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Post by Makingthemove » Wed, 25 Apr 2012 1:29 am

I've been reading lots of posts about the heat and humidity affecting things, not just food but papers, books etc. We are still in UK, moving out between June-Aug and facing the prospect of moving x2 hoarders' useless stuff overseas. Husband says: take it all, we'll have aircon to protect everything. But I worry about transporting books, papers, artwork, precious stuff that perhaps should remain in storage here until we know where we're ending up in the world.

I think my other half's idea is that our aircon will be on constantly, hence not worrying about destruction of things, but a point that I wanted clarifying (and forgive me for sounding thick, it's a tiny point) is: I'm guessing there will be times - when we're away or simply out - when we might switch the system off to avoid sky-high bills, and this is when the damage is done. Is this the case for most? Might help make the storage option a bit more encouraging if this was a point to present...?

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 25 Apr 2012 2:01 am

The humidity is going to kill a lot of stuff. I threw out countless clothes due to mold, an entire king size timber bed and mattress (2 years old), and heavens knows what else. Japanese woodblock prints got mold-spots, and even then I'd specifically only chosen pictures to bring from Europe to hang that I thought wouldn't suffer. Remember the UV will zap delicate stuff too.

Running air-con is like making a home a fridge. A room is a huge fridge, a whole home is a huge fridge and it costs a heck of a lot of money! :)

Most people (that I know) try to do without air-con at all, or use it here and there for just a few hours. So... I'd leave all the delicate and vulnerable stuff back home if I were you, as binning it gets to be very soul-destroying.

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Post by Makingthemove » Wed, 25 Apr 2012 2:12 am

Thanks JR8, that explains a lot. It's also saved 4 years' worth of art school prints and sketches from demise, not to mention all my fave old paperbacks.

Let the sorting commence.

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 25 Apr 2012 2:24 am

Strangely enough paperbacks seem to fare well, maybe because of the typically acidic paper?

Prints and sketches. I'd suggest only bringing those you won't miss later binning. Or, getting the good ones somehow hermetically framed and sealed (and then don't hang them near windows).

The climate is pretty damned punishing, on possessions as well as people.

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Post by Splatted » Wed, 25 Apr 2012 2:54 am

nutnut wrote:
I eat less bread and drink less milk as it's not as nice, also we hardly eat any chocolate any more.
Have to agree about the popular brands of milk.

Luckily they also sell Pura brand, which is an aussie brand - the only one I can drink here. Very expensive compared to Australian price for a litre.

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Post by Makingthemove » Wed, 25 Apr 2012 2:58 am

On the flip-side, finally a reason to stop eating bread and drinking milk, wedged firmly into my diet up to now.

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Post by Splatted » Wed, 25 Apr 2012 3:01 am

JR8 wrote:
Running air-con is like making a home a fridge. A room is a huge fridge, a whole home is a huge fridge and it costs a heck of a lot of money! :)
Personally, it adds on average S$150/ room/month .. for only 8-12 hours usage each night, to the bill.

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Post by Makingthemove » Wed, 25 Apr 2012 3:05 am

Righto. Time to lean how to live minimally, as well as healthily. Sheesh...

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