This challenge could be very revealing. Foods easily accumulate in your refrigerator. Some include meal leftovers, fast food and take out keepers, restaurant “doggie bags” and more. And if they get pushed to the back of the shelf, they become out of sight and out of mind.
Tips for the refrigerator:
1. Remove all food that is questionably unedible. Remember, if it doesn’t look or smell “just right” toss it or put it into the compost bin! A trip to the emergency room can be quite costly if you and family members or guests become sickened. Simple step: Discard any wilted lettuce/vegetables, molding fruit, bad smelling/moldy cheese, etc. If you cannot recall how long it has been there, it may not be suitable to eat…regardless of the cost or waste!
2. Examine each bottle, jar, c arton, container and can for the expiration or use by date. Only keep if appropriate and discard the rest. Don’t take any chances. Jot the tossed staple items onto your next shopping list while it is fresh in your mind.
3. Wipe off the shelves and clean out the drawers and bins. Return the edible/useable items in some order so you can easily access them. Example: For a number of small items, such as individual yogurt containers or other snacks, place them together in a plastic basket for easy retrieval or to stack onto larger flat items. Tip: these ideas also work well for the freezer.
4. Consider using one drawer for fruits and/or veggies and one for cheeses and lunchmeats, etc. Easy access is key in a busy kitchen, especially when you are short on time or others are helping out.
5. Arrange similar food items together on the door shelves as well for easy access and ease in returning items to their “home” after using. Such items may include, catsup, mustards, relishes, pickles, etc.
6. Check the fridge and freezer before your next trip to the grocery store to save time and money. We can get carried away with sales for larger or” two for one” sale items, only to find we already have enough when we return home.
Added tip: Clearing out the fridge before (not after) a trip to the store will make it so much easier to store the new grocery items into a nice clean and organized fridge.
Are YOU up to the challenge?