To store: Grate or chop fresh peeled ginger, then store in the freezer in a zippered bag. It freezes beautifully! You can also peel your fresh ginger and keep in the freezer whole; when needed grating is much easier.
To remove from soups and stews: drop a lettuce leaf in the cooking pot and let it absorb the grease. Discard leaf. Another option: Put an ice cube in the soup or stew and the ice will attract the grease.
When shopping for anything that is perishable, always take the item from the back. Food stores always display the older expiration dates out front, so you can usually get something with a longer shelf life.