When it comes to keeping the fridge and freezer organized, it’s more than just for aesthetics and accessibility. It’s also a key way to keep our grocery bill down! It is so frustrating to buy food and have to throw it away because I either forgot we had it or it was lost it in the back of the fridge.
Below are a few of my favorite product must-haves for keeping your fridge and freezer in order, and your grocery-buying in check!
Must Have #1: Shelf Liners
I love shelf liners–I know it sounds crazy, but they totally save my fridge from looking like a total disaster. I use plastic placemats or silicone fridge liners, and both do the trick for keeping my shelves clean and food from sliding all over the fridge.
Must-Have #2: Bins
I have been using bins to store food in the fridge and freezer for a while now. They are really helpful to keep like items together. I use fridge and freezer bins to store yogurt and baking items and use these big bins to store my breads. Frozen meats have a bin in the freezer, too. By using bins to keep foods together, I am able to find foods quicker and not lose a loose apple rolling around the back of the fridge!
Must Have #3: Fridge/Freezer Categorization
I try to keep items on my shelves with similar categories. I have a shelf for drinks; drawers for fruits and veggies; a shelf for baking products and breads; a drawer for dairy; a shelf for left overs and yogurt; and a drawer for meats in the fridge. The doors on our fridge store our condiments. I like keeping some of the condiments the kids like on the bottom so they can grab them if they would like to use them for our meals.
In the freezer, I have a drawer for frozen chicken; a drawer for frozen turkey and other meats; a shelf for frozen foods like waffles and veggie cakes; and a shelf for popsicles and other goodies. Our door shelves hold ice packs and frozen fruits and veggies.
I also use drawers to categorize items. If you don’t have a lot of drawer space, you can add your own, like these!
Must Have #4: Regular Clean Out
I have learned over lots of years that must clean out my fridge every week or things get really bad, really fast. Every Monday night (Tuesday is garbage day) I clean out the fridge. I wipe down the shelves and go through the stored food to check expiration dates or if the product has gone bad. By cleaning out the fridge weekly, it ensures I don’t loose food in the back or waste it because it expired. If I know the chicken is going to expire before I have a chance to cook it (sometimes even the best meal planning can change), I can pop it into the freezer for another week!
Must Have #5: Prioritize Food Prep
Washing, chopping and putting produce in glass containers is what I try to do as soon as I get home from the grocery. I cut the strawberries, wash the blueberries cut and store the watermelon, chop up the cauliflower for cauliflower rice and make zoodles.
While this doesn’t always happen right when I get home from the store, I know it has to be a priority. Getting the food out of the packaging, washed, prepped and into containers has helped immensely by allowing us to use up all of the food that I have purchased. It also makes meal prep much easier as most of the food is ready for me to use when it comes time for cooking meals.
Must have #6: Flexibility is Key
If it’s not working, change it. Once you find your system, tweak it whenever you need a little bit of a change. I suggest starting this entire process by looking at what categories you keep in your fridge and freezer. Then, create shelves and drawers for those categories. Change up the location of the categories as needed!
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