Storage Tips To Prolong the Shelf Life of Potatoes

In this article: Storage tips from around the web and our frugal readers for keeping potatoes fresher longer.

DIY Landscaping for Less photo

Potatoes are one of those produce items that can be much cheaper when bought in bulk, such as a 5 lb. or 10 lb. bag, especially when on sale. However, you’ll only really save if you can use them all up before they go bad.

According to, potatoes can stay fresh for months if stored properly. So, what constitutes proper potato storage?

Read on for tips from around the web and from our frugal readers that can help prolong the shelf life of potatoes.

Prolong the Life of Potatoes With These Potato Storage Tips

We did some online research and asked our frugal readers to share their favorite potato storage tips and tricks. Borrow one of these ideas to prolong the shelf life of your potatoes.

Rules of Proper Potato Storage

Most cooking sites agree that potatoes should be stored in a cool, dry place. The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond recommends storing potatoes at 45 to 50 degrees, but not in the fridge. The best place to store potatoes is in a cool garage or basement. However, depending on where you live, this may not be practical or possible. If you must store potatoes in the pantry or kitchen cabinet, make sure they are away from the oven and stove and other heat sources. also recommends storing potatoes in a dark place to prevent them from turning green.

Potatoes need ventilation, so storing them in a paper bag, open bowl or a box is best. A lack of ventilation can lead to mold.

Sign Up for Savings

Subscribe to get money-saving content by email that can help you stretch your dollars further.

Twice each week, you'll receive articles and tips that can help you free up and keep more of your hard-earned money, even on the tightest of budgets.

We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

Potato Storage Tips From Our Readers

Store Potatoes in Doubled Paper Grocery Bags

Here’s how I store potatoes for a few weeks without them sprouting.

As soon as I get them home from the store, I take them out of the original packaging and put them in a doubled paper grocery bag. Then, fold the top down several times and clip it shut with two clothespins. Works great for me!
Lala in Ocala, FL

Try Potato Storage Bags

I live in Florida and we don’t really have a cool cellar or pantry ideal for potatoes. However, I use a few sets of Miles Kimball potato storage bags (they are also for onions) that I got on Amazon. They seem to do the job, as I haven’t lost any potatoes — although these bags don’t offer much ventilation, which I have read that potatoes need.

Store Potatoes With an Apple

Place any kind of apple in with your potatoes in a cool dark place. This will keep them from sprouting.

If you have a large quantity of potatoes, two apples may work better.

Keep Potatoes From Heat and Humidity

I like storing potatoes in my pantry. I live in Florida. I place them in a metal pan and spread them out with space around them, keeping them low to the floor so they stay cooler. In the north, I would store the same way in a cool basement.

Keep them away from heat and humidity. Make sure you smell them before purchasing, as a smelly bag will mean spoilage very soon. Do not store potatoes in the fridge.

How the Irish Store Potatoes

I am of Irish descent and potatoes were a way of life for us growing up. Here is what I’ve learned about storing potatoes and my potatoes last a long time.

  • First, take care in selecting potatoes at the store. Make sure that there is no moisture. Check the eyes for beginning sprouts. And make sure that there are absolutely no soft or damaged spots. Also, make sure there is no green tint, as that means too much sun exposure, which produces a harmful substance that can be toxic.
  • Always take the potatoes out of the plastic bag. Plastic keeps moisture in, which promotes mold. If possible, I keep them on a shelf in a cool, dark place with a tiny amount of space between each potato. Therefore, if one starts to go bad, it doesn’t spoil the others. If space is at a minimum, then a wire basket will do. It allows the circulation of air.
  • A basement or cellar is best if the temperature stays a consistent 55 degrees.
  • Never store near or beside onions, as they have significant moisture. Potatoes need to be stored in a dry atmosphere.

Now, bake, stuff, mash, fry or scallop and enjoy your potatoes anytime!

Tips Food eBook Ad photo

Store Potatoes in Layers

Potatoes are affected by too hot or too cold household temperatures. Therefore, in the summer, I may have to put them in the lower level/basement.

I have found that I can store ten pounds underneath my kitchen sink by layering them with newspaper in a rectangular plastic cleaning bucket or wastebasket. I start the first layer by talking two full sheets of newspaper, opening them up, and pressing down into the bucket so that it covers the bottom and extends up both sides. I place a single layer of potatoes on the paper. Then both sides are folded over the potatoes as insulation. Then I do another layer with two more sheets of newspaper, encasing the potatoes. A third layer is the last for the size of my container. I check each potato for sprouts before they go in and, of course, for any that might have bad spots that would spoil. Each time I need potatoes, I lift out what I need and also lift the next two layers quickly, checking to be sure none are starting to spoil. The newspaper seems to keep out any excess moisture, which makes them go bad. By checking, I can quickly remove any that are going bad before the entire layer is affected.

And, I go one step further by also using that container to store my three-pound bag of onions. Each onion is wrapped in a sheet of newspaper and placed on top of the potato layers.

If I have red, white, and yellow onions, I mark the red with a black pen so I know what I’m getting without unwrapping all of the onions. I’ve read you shouldn’t store potatoes and onions together, but isolating one from the other with newspaper seems to take care of any mingling problems. Now I rarely have more than one or two vegetables go bad.

For the Forgotten Potato…

Store potatoes in a cool, dry place away from the light. I have a bin in a cupboard that’s away from the dishwasher, as the dishwasher puts out a lot of heat. Line the bottom of the bin with newspaper or old paper bags to reduce moisture buildup. Don’t put raw potatoes in the fridge, as they go slimy quicker. Try not to buy too many, though it’s tempting to stock up.

One time, I had a shriveled potato that had grown shoots, so I cut it into pieces (one shoot per piece) and planted them in the garden, as it was late spring. By September, I was able to dig up the resulting plants. Each piece produced a meal’s worth of new potatoes for our family of three (about 10-12 little potatoes on each plant), so save this idea for spring if you happen to find a forgotten potato at the bottom of the bin!

Reviewed September 2023

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This