Thursday, July 18, 2013

10 Steps to an Organized Fridge

Organizing your fridge seems like a daunting task...we've all been there.  But there are a few things you might not know about food storage that can keep any fridge neat.  Knowing how to properly store food is the first step in keeping a tidy fridge and preventing waste.  Check out Lauren Conrad's helpful tips on how to organize your fridge and cut down on your grocery bill here. She's also got a few must know tricks for making your food last longer that you probably didn't learn from your mother. For more clever ways to organize your fridge check out Buzzfeed, they have great ideas for storage, labeling, and mess prevention.  Here are 10 easy steps to keep an organized fridge:

Clean it out!

The first thing you need to do is give your fridge a good cleaning.  This means take everything out, yes
everything.  As you’re doing this it’s a good idea to check the dates of all food items and toss
anything that’s expired.  If you find any spills now’s the time to wipe down the shelves and
drawers to help keep your food at its freshest. 

Check the temp

Did you know your refrigerator should run around 40ºF?  Any higher and harmful bacteria could begin to grow, any lower you run the risk of your food freezing. So do it right from the start and set your fridge right at 40ºf.

Got Milk?

Milk should never be stored in the fridge door.  Since the door is constantly opening and closing temperatures tend to fluctuate.  Milk does best in a stable temp so keep in on a interior shelf towards the middle back where it’s coldest.

Eggs in the middle

Like milk, eggs need a steady temperature.  They should be placed on the middle shelf in their original container or a hard plastic egg holder like this one from SpaceSavers

Don’t Over Do It

Know how much food you actually need and don’t over buy.  This can strain your wallet and actually make your food spoil faster.  In order for cool air to circulate there needs to be a little breathing room.  If you find yourself constantly throwing out spoiled food try making smaller grocery runs. 

Designate Drawers

Those drawers in your fridge are there for a reason, not just to divide up between roommates.  An article by Shine gave us some insight on how to store food properly. Deli meats belong in a shallow meat drawer where it’s typically cooler, if your fridge doesn’t have one try the bottom shelf.  Fruits should be stored in low humidity drawers or a "Crisper" in plastic bags (citrus is fine without bags).  Veggies do best in humidity.  If you have a drawer labeled “Vegetables” or “High Humidity” that’s their place.  You can store them in their original packaging or a plastic bag loosely tied.

Don’t let it Drip

Meat’s tend to drip if not stored properly.  In order to stop contamination securely wrap meats and place them on the bottom self so they can;t drip onto food below.

Whole Foods

Meat, fruit, and veggies last longer when they aren’t cut up.  Keep your foods whole until you’re ready to eat them.

Know what you need

While you’re making your grocery list take a peek at the back of your fridge.  Older items tend to be pushed to the back so it’s always a good idea to know exactly what you have before you spend your money. It’s a good idea to have an “Eat First” basket in your fridge.  Just place the items that are nearing their expiration date in it so you know what needs to go. 

Keep it clean

Don’t let spills sit in your fridge.  The longer you wait the bigger mess there is to clean up.  Keeping a tidy fridge will help your food last longer and save you time in the long run.

Here's a great visual aid form Squawk Fox.

How long does your food last? Image from Daily Savings.

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