Opening your fridge to a mess of moldy fruit and expired milk isn’t an ideal situation. One whiff of that rotten broccoli and you’ll be wishing you had a system of hacks to keep your fridge clean and organized. Instead of spring cleaning once a year, try implementing a few of these changes to make the most of your space and ensure that your produce isn’t wasted. In addition to our ways to organize your fridge and the products to help do so, these six fridge hacks will keep your groceries fresh and make your life a lot easier.
1. Know where to store your items for longevity. Even if you have an egg holder in your refrigerator door, it’s best to store them in the body of the fridge for a uniform cool. The top and middle shelf should consist of ready-to-eat foods, such as dairy, lunch meat, packaged foods, leftovers, and cooked meats. Raw meat, poultry, and fish should be stored in sealed containers on the bottom shelf to keep them from touching or dripping onto other foods.
2. Set up meal zones. If you usually make a salad for lunch, you don’t want to be digging around your fridge for a cucumber every day. Invest in a couple of easy-to-clean plastic baskets and label them as sandwich goodies, salad fixings, or snacks. This way, you can bring the whole basket out and have your meal ready in no time.
3. Make sure you can easily see everything. Instead of piling everything into the crisper when you get home from the grocery store, take the time to separate your fruits from your veggies and make sure they’re clearly visible. If everything is hidden in those green grocery store bags, then it’s likely to be forgotten about, and that means money down the drain.
4. Take pre-packaged goods out of their packaging. Before you stick that La Croix box in the fridge, consider taking the cans out first. They’ll take up a lot less room initially, and as you drink them, you can make more room for other things. The same goes for boxes of yogurt, hummus, and those mini guacamole packs you love.
5. Create an “Eat Me First” basket. When you bring your groceries home, check the expiration dates to see what expires first and what tends to spoil quicker. Arrange those things to the front of the fridge so that you use them first. Give your fridge contents a once-over at the end of the week, and place those items that are coming up on their date in a specially assigned basket.
6. Give your fridge a deep clean once a month. You should be wiping up sticky spots and spills weekly, but once a month you need to do a total overhaul. Take everything out (yes, everything), and give each shelf a good sponge bath with warm soapy water. Give all your labels a check to make sure nothing is expired and toss any spoiled produce or meats. Set a reminder on your phone to do it the same time every month and your fridge is bound to stay spick and span.
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