Grocery shopping can be exhausting, and when I get home and haul everything to the kitchen to be unpacked, I’m pooped. I’m totally guilty of throwing everything in the fridge however it will fit.
But there’s actually a way to organize the fridge’s contents in order to optimally preserve your food. Check out these tips to coordinate your fridge to reduce waste and save money:
Temperature is key. Door bins and upper shelves are the warmest spots, and the bottom of the fridge holds the coldest spots. The back of the fridge is also usually cooler than the front.
What to put where
(according to consumerreports.org):
Door bins: butter, condiments, juice
Top shelf: jams, leftovers, hummus, yogurt, berries, deli meat, herbs, cheese
Lower shelf: eggs, milk, and raw meat, fish and poultry. Ideally, you want the raw meat to be the lowest so that it can’t contaminate anything under it. If that’s not really going to work for your fridge, make sure to put trays underneath the meat to catch any drippings. Some fridges have a meat drawer, or you can purchase a plastic bin to keep it in.
-Low humidity: to simplify, fruit
-High humidity: to simplify, vegetables
Foods that should not go in the fridge: bananas, bread, coffee, unripened fruit, garlic, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes
A few other tips to reduce food waste:
– Shop your fridge first when you’re planning out your meals for the week. Take inventory of what you have and what needs to be used. Find recipes that will use up those ingredients.
– Post a list of your meals and snacks for the week on the outside of your fridge. Use a whiteboard, chalkboard, calendar, or a scrap piece of paper. You’ll know when you’re supposed to eat what and nothing goes to waste.
– What to do with foods that are about to spoil:
- Vegetables: egg bake, soup, vegetable stock, stir fry
- Fruit: cut up and freeze for smoothies, banana bread
- Freeze stuff
So there ya have it— an organized fridge, longer lasting food, and some extra cash in your pocket.