We’ve all been there…the dreaded weekly fridge purge. Here lies all the food that is going bad, items you didn’t even know were there, and a vision of all the money you spent and wasted on food that you weren’t able to get to. We feel your pain and don’t want you to waste another dime on food uneaten, which is why we are sharing some fridge organization hacks to help minimize food waste.
Organizing the refrigerator may seem tedious, but it can help prevent food waste which translates to saving money, and that alone can be worth the extra effort.
1. Group things by zones
Believe it or not, there is an art to fridge organization. Start by creating zones to organize your grocery haul, including produce, dairy, raw meat/poultry/seafood, and leftovers. Once everything has a home, it will be easier to see what you have and monitor what ingredients need to be used before they go bad.
Some zoning hacks:
Produce will stay crisper if it is kept in the drawers, while leftovers should be kept on a higher shelf so that they are easier to spot.
When it comes to dairy, you should be storing it on a shelf rather than in the door, since the door is the warmest part of your fridge.
2. Think front to back
Any time you add something new to your fridge, send it to the back so that the older items get moved forward. This will encourage you to use your older ingredients first, reducing the risk that they go bad before you get to them, ultimately saving you money!
3. Label your leftovers
Anytime you add leftovers to the fridge, label them with the name of the item and the date. This eliminates the guessing game of how long it’s actually been in the fridge and whether or not it’s safe to eat. You can also label open containers of things like pasta sauce. Knowing these dates at a glance will help you reach for the leftovers before they go bad.
4. Make a list
If you tend to do a big grocery shop on a regular basis, it can be difficult to remember what’s in the fridge, but with your new zoning plan, things just became that much easier. Before you shop, make a list of what’s in the fridge based on each zone, making sure nothing gets forgotten. For more tips on how to write the best shopping list to avoid food waste, check out our post, Tips for Writing a Money-Saving Shopping List.
5. Pamper your produce
There are a few simple things you can do to make your produce last longer. Firstly, take your produce out of the bag or container before putting it in the fridge. If you have leafy greens or herbs, try wrapping them in a damp paper towel to help prolong the shelf life. Separating greens and vegetables can also help both last just a bit longer. For more tips on storing your produce, check out our post: Keep Your Produce Fresher for Longer.
6. Organize your condiments
It’s very easy to end up with a lot of open sauces, dressings, and condiments. To help you keep tabs on what’s on the go, store them on the door of your fridge. You can group things, such as all your salad dressings together so that when you go to make a salad you can see all of your options clearly rather than rummaging through the fridge to see what you can find.
Try these hacks today to organize your fridge and minimize food waste. Thanks to Real Simple for the inspiration and don’t forget to use the Flipp app to find the best savings and deals at the stores closest to you.