I’m often tossing out food from the fridge, and it breaks my heart a little. Not only am I wasting money by not consuming what I buy, but I’m also missing out on good food, and usually great leftovers.
Apparently there is a method of smartly storing items in the fridge and being more fridge savvy to avoid wastage of both food and money!
Here are some tips for a spoilage-free fridge:
Avoid storing too much food in the fridge
People get their groceries in several
different ways. They can buy snacks from a convenience store, shop for frozen products online, or even grow their own
produce. Indeed, compared to hundreds of years ago, it’s a lot easier to
acquire food today.
While it’s easy to get food, storing them is another thing Often one opens the fridge door and see packaged foods in disarray, making it harder to locate specific items and making it easier to forget about other foods.
One of the easiest ways to address this issue is also the simplest: avoid putting in too much food. If you don’t need to store it in the fridge, don’t. Some examples are selected fruits and vegetables (i.e. bananas, tomatoes, garlic) and baked goods (i.e. sliced bread, cookies).
Moreover, take the time to remove old
food. Some commonly forgotten foods include bottled condiments (i.e. ketchup,
barbecue sauce), leftovers (usually stored in plastic containers), and rotten
produce (which often got smushed and buried). When you remove these older food items,
you’re making space for new, fresh foods to store and use.
Prepare food for storage
Another bad habit is stuffing the groceries and leftovers inside the fridge without properly preparing them first. Here’s what to do:
Place the food in containers
When it comes to storage, there’s
nothing more versatile than reusable plastic or glass containers. Aside from
effectively holding food, you can also stack them up as well to make the most
of your refrigerator’s available space.
Label the containers for easy access
Save time by labelling the food containers in your fridge. Keep masking tape and a marker nearby in the kitchen for easy access. Make sure to display the label outward so that everyone can easily see what’s available.
Dry fresh produce first before storage
After cutting or peeling fresh produce such as vegetables and berries, make sure to dry them first. Storing them while wet makes them mushy, and the moisture only quickens the spoiling process.
Consider temperature and placement
Unknown to many, different areas in the
refrigerator have varying temperatures. Storing the right foods in the right
area can help minimise food spoilage. Here’s a quick rundown of the different
areas of a fridge and which foods best fit there:
- Top of the fridge: Because of the temperature rising from the fridge, it’s not recommended to store any food or beverage on top of it. Cookbooks and appliances, on the other hand, can be safely placed there.
- Fridge door: This is the ideal place to put the condiments and other food items that don’t perish easily. The door is the least cold part of the fridge because of al the opening and closing.
- Fridge upper shelves: The upper shelves are meant for leftovers, pre-made meals, and beverages. Group them by category to avoid clutter and easy access.
- Fridge lower shelves: These are the cooler parts of the fridge. Store the meats, eggs, milk, and other raw ingredients in this area.
- Crisper drawers: Vegetables and other fresh produce belong in this section. You can use file organisers to help them stand upright and above squishing each other.
- Freezer: If you have any temperature-sensitive foods (i.e. ice cream) or food that you want to keep for a long time, store them here.
Keep this in mind to help you store food
in the most optimal fridge areas and make them last longer.
Take advantage of your freezer
The freezer is one of the most important tools in minimising food spoilage. The cold temperature slows down the breakdown process of foodborne bacteria, thus helping food stay fresh and edible for a longer time.
Here’s what you can do with your freezer:
- Cook a large batch of food, portion them, and then freeze them for a quick meal later
- Take advantage of in-season produce and freeze them for later in the year
- Freeze leftovers you know you won’t eat immediately
To ensure efficient freezing, make sure that your freezer is properly maintained by removing built-up ice and having it checked once in a while. As for the frozen foods, store them first in a cooler so that they don’t thaw too quickly.
For your convenience, consider online grocery shopping to have your food delivered right to your door. These services—such as TheShop.mu delivery service Mauritius-based homeowners can use—ensure the best treatment for your orders, so you can properly store them for an extended period of time.