Today is Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. That’s a good idea as you get ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas cookiing, right? Home Depot explains how to do it.
While you’re hauiling everything out, you might as well get organized, too! Did you know?
The coolest spot in the fridge is the middle shelf? That’s a good place for your eggs and milk. Snacks you reach for frequently go on the top shelf. Vinegar-based condiments and dressings, olives and pickles go on th door shelves.
Have you tried using organizers in your refrigerator and freezer? Think baskets, bins and trays. Ever since I bought these “Fridge and Freezer Binz,” I am saving money because I can easily see what’s in my fridge and I know where everything is. Milk, for example, always goes in it’s designated bin, as does cheese and lunch meats.
Very helpful when putting away groceries! I purchased Binz at the Container Store but I’ve seen less expensive versions at stores like Home Goods. Binz are durable and easy to clean.
Be sure you don’t pack your refrigerator too full, because air needs to circulate. That’s another bonus of cleaning the fridge; you free up space by tossing expired food or food you don’t really eat.
Speaking of freezers, did you know you can damage your freezer by packing it TOO full? That happened to my mom. Lesson learned: don’t block the blowers! A filled freezer works better but if there isn’t enough air circulation, that’s not good. If you freezer is less than 2/3 full (about the optimum), put in more ice trays or freeze water to take up some space. I’m using Dollar Tree shelf organizers and plastic baskets in my freezer to maximize space.
Making space in the refrigerator
That turkey takes up a lot of room, doesn’t it? If you need more room in your refrigerator, you can store non-perishables you want to keep cold, like soda and water, on your patio, deck, porch or balcony as long as temperatures don’t dip below freezing.
Some foods don’t need to go in the refrigerator, like hot sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup and citrus fruit. And some things should not be stored in the refrigerator. These include
- Raw potatoes
- Fresh peaches
- Raisins and other dried fruit
- Fresh herbs
- Honey and syrup
- Champagne (chill before serving but store on its side at room temperature)
How about a chest freezer?
If you can afford it, a chest freezer is also a good investment, even for apartment dwellers. No only are they great for managing Thanksgiving leftovers, they can can help you save money year-round on items you buy on sale (like meat and frozen foods) produce in season (that you blanch and freeze) and leftovers (such as extra baked cookies or muffins or casseroles).
There are now energy efficient models that are not that expensive to run. You can get a new, small one for $149 – $169 at stores like Home Depot, Target and Best Buy, or save money and buy a used one on Facebook Marketplace. Another advantage of having a deep freeze unit is that you can make fewer trips to the grocery store, which is a good idea during the pandemic.