Having an organized fridge is a great way to save time & minimize your costs. At any given time, you are aware of what you have, how soon it needs to be used, and what you need to stock up on.
Recently many people in the Mid West to the Mid Atlantic region were left without power for a number of days, and unfortunately had to deal with the discomfort of having no a/c & food spoilage amongst other things.
Being one of the unlucky few who had to throw away food, I figured it would be a good time to sanitize and re-organize the fridge. Now I must confess that prior to the storm, I hadn't been as diligent in maintaining an organized state of affairs, and as a result had to trash quite a bit of stuff!
As consumers, we have the power to curb waste by being more realistic about what we are buying. For instance, if you are a small household, then it probably wouldn't make much sense to buy in bulk since the food may expire before you get to use it. Also paying more attention to proper storage methods of perishable items is another way to do so.
Perhaps you'll be inspired to become more conscientious if you think about how often you have to:
- Throw away spoiled food.
- Clean the resultant mess, not to mention the amount of time you waste each time you do so.
- Replace what you've thrown plus the associated costs eg. having to buy take-out since you can't make a salvage meal.
To get the most bang for your buck, try incorporating the following practices:
Fruits and vegetables should be stored in the crisper drawers
Keep perishables in the cooler areas e.g. store dairy products in the back.
- Store raw meat in the coldest section/on the bottom level above crisper drawers. If you store above this level, you risk contaminating any food that may be below.
Store leftovers properly i.e. put them in appropriate containers(clear preferably), and label each with an appropriate description, including the date the food was packed.
When you add on, make sure you rotate the items so that newer stuff goes behind and the older ones get to be used up in a timely manner.
Avoid keeping the fridge door open so that the internal temperature remains constant.
Keep eggs in their original container - you don't want them picking up any smells that may be wafting around.
Store milk on the door - temperature is much warmer.
Overload the crisper drawers/fridge because items will be forgotten. I prefer to have my produce pre-cut, pre-packaged and organized accordingly (see pic above).
Please note, these are just guidelines. Feel free to organize in a manner that makes sense to you, and that suits your current lifestyle.
How do you keep an organized fridge?