A few years ago, a friend gave me an onion saver as a birthday present. He said, "I saw it and thought of you." I still don't know if that was an insult, a compliment, or truly the most beautiful gesture, but it did help me discover one of my favorite kitchen tools. Now, I'm here to share that with you.
This onion saver has helped me save lots of money in the years since I received it. Most folks tend to store remaining onion halves in a zip-top bag. I did, too. That's fine if you'll be using that onion right away, as in within 24 hours. But if your onions will sit until the next recipe or you'll be using bits of an onion over a few days, you need to consider a different storage option.
You need an onion saver. They're designed for optimal air flow around the onion. They help prevent moisture build-up, a problem that happens with zip-top bags that do not breathe well. This can lead to rapid rotting, bacteria growth, and sprouted ends.
What's more, the twist-and-lock mechanism of the two halves helps seal in onion odors. Or, more importantly, it helps prevent other odors in your fridge from seeping into the onion. A cut onion is a sponge for funky odors, so an onion saver will stop the two-way exchange of scents.
The onion saver also works nicely as a presentation piece. I can thinly slice an onion and place the rings in the onion saver. People can grab what they want, and when the meal is over, the top goes back on, and the onion saver goes right back into the fridge.
The two halves are dishwasher safe, and by the time I unload the dishwasher with the freshly cleaned saver, I'm usually ready to use it again. But if not, I can store them nested in the cabinet.
Having an onion on hand that stays fresh longer and doesn't turn to mushy bits has saved me a lot of money. As I cook for one person, I go a few days between recipes, so I need those leftover onions to last a bit longer. Sure, onions aren't the most expensive thing on my grocery list, but seeing as I buy one nearly every time I'm at the grocery store, the cost of chunking half an onion every week can really add up.
And while I only own the onion saver, the company has a wide variety of savers, including green peppers and red peppers. All have the same benefits — keeping the food fresher longer and preventing odors from seeping out into the fridge — but they also help you reduce the amount of plastic baggies you're wasting, which is another important way to save money.
This story originally appeared on Allrecipes.