The average family of four wastes about $600 a year by throwing away spoiled fruits and vegetables. One of the reasons that celery, apples and lettuce go bad is that they ripen too quickly in the refrigerator. Produce gives off something called ethylene gas; when fruits and veggies are packed together, they create a large amount of the gas, which speeds the ripening process. One way to prevent this is to invest in ethylene gas absorbers. Simply put the small discs in the refrigerator, and they absorb the gas like a sponge. You can find these absorbers at any home improvement store.