The refrigerator is the life source of a home, yet most of us don’t know what we have inside it. Every week something goes bad: milk, lettuce, leftovers. Most people keep their fridge clean for the most part. It’s just not organized. Things get lost or forgotten and go unused. If you have a small apartment fridge like me, every bit of space counts. I’ve got a solution and it looks like this…
The first thing is to clear out your refrigerator. If you don’t use it, toss it. It’s taking up valuable space. I suggest creating a two-week menu plan and shop according to the plan. That way you’re only buying what you need and you will eat it within a two-week time period. Less clutter and less waste.
I’ve organized my refrigerator by using red and green containers came from the Dollar Tree. Yep. They cost one dollar each. A portion of this bottom section is used for leftovers. I try to make sure I don’t have a lot of leftovers sitting in my fridge, rotting away. I’ll tell you more about that later. I prep my fruits and vegetables the day I bring them home. The strawberries pictured above were sliced and frozen with bananas for smoothies.
The bins can be easily pulled out and the contents adjusted depending on what type of groceries need to be stored. This fridge has two bottom storage spaces (not pictured) which hold my lettuce and various vegetables and fresh herbs.
I have a trick that I use with my eggs. I eat about four eggs a week which means a dozen of eggs lasts me about three weeks. Each week I boil four eggs for snacks or my salads, and then I slice off the empty section of the carton. I save space in the fridge, and I can quickly tell when it’s time to buy more eggs.
A freezer can turn into a nightmare quickly. Mine was simply a place to store food until it went bad. Now it’s organized.
On one side of the freezer, I store poultry and seafood. I’m on the Mediterranean diet so most of my food is plant-based and meat is a side dish. In other words, I don’t eat a lot of meat. I use shoe boxes from the Dollar Tree for storage.
Here’s the fish which fits perfectly in the box.
This particular week, I caught a good sale on chicken so I bought chicken breasts and ground chicken.
I had some leftover fresh rosemary so I packed it with a couple of chicken breasts. I’ll show you what I did with that in another post. In this shoe box, I have enough chicken for eight to ten meals if not more and there’s turkey bacon.
In the middle section of the freezer, I have gluten-free corn tortillas and my favorite frozen fruit mix that I get from Costco. There’s also a pizza tucked in there for a quick dinner.
Here’s where the bulk of my food is stored in the freezer. These are fresh vegetables. Squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes…all prepped and ready to add to a recipe. The trick is to use good Ziploc bags and freeze the food flat so that it lies down in the freezer which uses less space.
If I cook a dish, I freeze a couple of portions for future use. This chili was so good even after it was frozen.
I also prep meals. This is going to be bourbon chicken. It’s got seasonings and herbs in it, and all I need to do is put it in the Crockpot.
I really like to freeze chopped green pepper and onion or celery, garlic and onion. If I want to make a quick meal, the chopping is already done.
I store quite a few goodies in my freezer side door. All this goes to show that you can get a lot of food in a small space and keep from wasting food when you see it and know that you need to use it.
I was too lazy to photograph my refrigerator side door but it contains miscellaneous things such as beets, salad dressings, salsa, and a pitcher of lemon water. I have limited condiments because they’re loaded with sugar. On this top shelf, I keep my prepped work-week meals: breakfasts, snacks, and lunches. I generally only do two days worth at a time. That way several times a week, I’m checking through the fridge to see what I need to eat before it goes bad, and I make my lunches accordingly.
So I know this looks like I’m a neat freak. I’m not. I like a lived-in home and that’s what this refrigerator reflects. I know what’s in it and it helps my stay on track with my healthy living plan.
Let me know if you use some of these tips to organize your fridge and freezer. I’ve got a huge healthy grocery haul coming soon. I can’t wait to share that with you as well.