Do you have a system for your refrigerator, or do you just put food wherever you can find an empty spot?
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Keeping your refrigerator decluttered is a fairly easy process once you develop a system. The main goal is to keep your food easily accessible and highlight the foods that need to be eaten soonest.
Before we get started, you first have to clear out all the expired food, and this includes all those jars in the door you've had for 5+ years.
Now that you have only edible food in your refrigerator, think about how you want to use it.
Dedicate space for frequent meal preparation: I have yogurt with granola every day for breakfast along with a fruit/vegetable smoothie. One shelf of my refrigerator has yogurt and the refrigerated shake ingredients so I can easily grab them first thing in the morning.
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- Showcase the foods that will spoil soon by having them front and center. This will encourage you to use them in meal preparation. Clear containers also make it easy to see what's inside.
- Control the environment: Check the temperature to make sure foods are properly stored. My refrigerator consistently stays too cold, so I have the setting quite low. I also put liners in the bins to help absorb any moisture that could make my fruits and vegetables too cold.
- Develop a rotation system: When you buy new food, make sure you put it behind your older food. This keeps your food waste low and your budget on track.
- Don't forget the freezer: If it is older than 6 months, it is probably freezer burned by now and can be tossed. Store your foods in airtight containers or bags and label them (include the date). No more "mystery meat" for dinner, and no more wasted food.
To keep your refrigerator decluttered, go through it once a week to identify foods that need to be eaten soon and toss what is no longer edible. To find out how long you can refrigerate or freeze foods, you can print out this food guide to hang on your refrigerator.
Once your refrigerator is decluttered, you'll save money by having less food spoilage and eat better because all of your food is easy to find.
For a list of all the decluttering articles, click here.
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