If I like the rest of my house and myself to be clean, wouldn’t I want the homing location for my food in which goes in my body to be clean as well? I love an organized fridge. Keeping an organized fridge starts outside the fridge with grocery list planning and meal planning.
Grocery Shopping: Keeping a clean and organized fridge is much easier when you aren’t adding groceries to it constantly. I do my grocery shopping every two-weeks, very rarely having to make any store stops in-between. Besides the essentials to a grocery list, I plan for five to six dinners leaving some open for dinners out or leftovers and always have appetizers or dessert ideas to be able to make in case something comes up.
Memory Board: I keep a dry erase board on the fridge because there are many days in which I am not in the mood to cook and want something quick or unexpectedly have guests and need a reminder of what I have. One side of the board I have a list of the meals I have planned out and additional items I have for desserts, appetizers, etc… I also mark down the leftovers that start piling up so that we make sure to eat them.
On the other side of the board, I keep track of items I start running out of or need. That makes list planning in another two weeks much easier.
Leftovers: Make a specific spot of shelf for leftovers; always put them in see through containers and either use a washable marker or removable label to mark the date; then mark it on the board on the fridge so you remember.
Make use of space: Keep the tall, drink items on the top shelf, dressings and condiments in the door shelves and use different containers for items in awkward containers such as:
- Eggs: We always get a lot of eggs, therefore I have three taller, plastic containers with lids (two with white lids for regular eggs and one with a blue lid for hard-boiled eggs). This not only saves room, but keeps the eggs from getting banged around and keeps the smell of hard-boiled eggs away.
- Bread: I always buy two loaves of bread, freezing one and putting the current one in the fridge (I don’t have the counter space, and although some say it makes your bread go stale, others say it keeps it fresh. I like it!). If you have a wine rack in your fridge like I do (most fridges you can buy this attachment), I have found it is perfect for my bread. Keeps the loaf from getting smashed and saves a bundle of room.
- Avocado: I usually get a handful of semi-ripe avocados to hard avocados to last throughout two weeks. I put the ripe ones in a fruit basket I have out, and put the others in the fridge, replacing them when one gets eaten.
- Apples will keep longer, again, I bring a few out and keep in the fruit basket for quick grabbing.
- Lettuce: I read to do this with my leaf lettuce which has been working great – keeping it fresh, crisp and ready to eat. When you bring the lettuce home, take the leaves off the stem, washing them and putting them through the salad spinner a few at a time. Then lay them down with paper towels, soaking up any additional moisture. Then place them in a zip lock bag, making sure you get out all the air in the bag.
We are spoiled with a chest freezer, garage freezer and the freezer with the fridge, but that makes for a lot of frozen unknowns. We are also spoiled with being able to get a half-a-cow every year, so all that beef takes up the freezer. I keep the frozen chicken and other meats in the garage freezer, which leaves the inside freezer for veggies, ice cream and other items.
I buy bulk, so I am going to try and keep smaller containers of veggies and bringing in beef I want to use soon in the inside smaller freezer and leaving the bulk outside.
Also, some leftovers I like to freeze for those occasions that I am gone and my husband needs something to warm up.
Here is a good article I found on that: http://homesteadrevival.blogspot.com/2010/07/upright-freezer-organization.html