Mum's 'very clever' hack to revive old veggies amid produce price hikes

A Queensland mum has shared a surprisingly simple trick to rejuvenate floppy vegetables as families struggle to afford soaring produce prices.

Caroline Quinn revealed she was forced to "reassess" her outlook on food when her fortnightly grocery bill started to skyrocket.

"Our grocery bill went up to around $600 plus per fortnight, from $400," she told Yahoo Lifestyle.

The Toowoomba woman decided to take matters into her own hands and try an old kitchen tip she had read about years ago from former senator Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen, who was arguably more famous for her pumpkin scones than her political career.

Instead of throwing out an "extremely floppy" cauliflower that had been sitting in her second fridge for two weeks, the thrifty mother-of-one tried soaking it in water overnight.

A cauliflower that has been soaked in water overnight to make it fresh again
A Queensland mother has revealed how she revived a two-week old cauliflower. Source: Facebook/Caroline Quinn/Simple Savers

"I just thought I had nothing to lose," she said, explaining to Yahoo Lifestyle that the vegetable was as "firm as the day she bought it" when she checked the next morning.

"I was thrilled that I didn't have to put it in the compost and I roasted it last night without any issues," she said.

Caroline shared her success with the popular Facebook group Simple Savers.

"Last night I found an extremely floppy cauli in our second fridge (two weeks old) and I remember reading a tip from Flo Bjelke-Petersen to soak vegetables in water overnight to refresh them so I gave it a go and this morning it's like a fresh cauli," she posted alongside a photo of the rejuvenated cauliflower.

"So give it a go, if you find a vegetable that looks like it's past using, soak it in water."

Left: A photo of Facebook user Caroline Quinn holding her daughter when she was a baby. Right: A Facebook post she wrote on the public group Simple Savers about soaking vegetables in water
Caroline Quinn took to Facebook to share her success with soaking old vegetables in water overnight. Source: Facebook/Caroline Quinn/Simple Savers

More helpful hacks revealed

The post was swiftly shared across Facebook as users praised the technique.

"That's very clever. They're too dear to waste and I think with more flooding fresh fruit and veg prices might get worse again," one person wrote.

Some suggested soaking other types of vegetables as well.

"Works well for floppy celery too. Just cut the bottom ends off 1cm and stand in cold water for a few hours, like a bunch of flowers, and they are nice and crisp again."

One person even claimed soaking herbs can work wonders: "Works for floppy coriander you get for 50c on markdown... boom fresh as!"

Others offered their own helpful hacks, such as storing lettuce with paper towel and wrapping vegetables in foil.

"My daughter swears by strawberries and tomatoes in a jar," another woman added.


New food approach amid soaring prices

Floods across Australia's east coast and a recent cold snap have left ongoing gaps in the supply chain and resulted in rising grocery prices.

Caroline told Yahoo News she could no longer afford to waste food because her 14-month-old girl Layla "absolutely loves fresh produce more than anything".

"I also have started storing half eaten apples from my one-year-old and avocados in water as it helps stop them from going brown," she explained.

"I have only just started to do this with the rising price of produce."

Left: Hand placing a red capsicum into a trolley at a supermarket. Right: Caroline Quinn
Caroline Quinn has started shopping at Aldi and has plans to start growing her own vegetables to combat soaring prices. Source: Getty/Supplied

The price hikes have also converted her into an Aldi shopper.

Caroline said she saved $73 on her first shop at the discount chain compared to other supermarkets.

She also divulged plans to start her own vegetable garden.

"The food shortages have made us reassess where we're getting our vegetables and fruit from, and we want to be able to go out into our yard and harvest our own.

"I used to be a lot more wasteful with fresh food, however the good thing to come from this is a new outlook on minimal wastage of food."

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