Grocery shopping can be a fun and satisfying experience for homeowners. There’s usually something new to see on the shelves, a new product you may want to taste, and food bargains that you can take advantage of that will benefit your budget in the long run.
Once the groceries are loaded up and taken home, the next part is organizing your fresh produce, meats, and other perishables in the refrigerator. This is where many neglect being organized. Just like you would organize every other part of your home, organizing the refrigerator is just as important.
Professional organizer Kat Ong of Space that Works professional organizing services gives this advice when it’s time to organize your refrigerator: “Designate specific drawers for specific things. Rarely do people think of labeling the shelves or drawers in their refrigerator, but it’s helpful to do so.” This way, you will always know where to find certain food items, lessening the need to hunt for ingredients and preventing you from buying duplicates.
Corral small items together in containers to keep them from rolling around your refrigerator shelves. “There are nice acrylic trays for the refrigerator sold in department stores,” says Kat.
Lady Mayo, Associate Professor of Interior Design at U.P. Diliman’s College of Home Economics, share her tips for keeping the refrigerator neat and tidy:
1 Make sure to store raw meat in covered containers rather than plates to avoid any accidental drips that can contaminate other food.
2 Transfer fresh meat from plastic bags and Styrofoam trays to stackable freezer-friendly plastic containers or freezer bags, and store in the freezer. Label everything with the name and date of purchase.
3 To avoid cross contamination, store raw chicken, meat, and fish in separate covered containers on a shelf below any leftovers and any other food products – you don’t want the meat’s juices dripping and seeping into the other items in the event of a power failure.
4 Since the freezer door shelves are the warmest part of the freezer, store items that aren’t easily perishable here, like lumpia wrappers, frozen vegetables, and bread.
The Refrigerator Shelves:
1 Remember not to cram your refrigerator with too many items. This allows the cold air to circulate and keep the temperature consistent.
2 Contrary to what is expected, eggs should not be stored on the back of the door. They should be kept in their original packaging on the top shelf at the back of the refrigerator where the temperature is coldest and most consistent. Store milk in this area as well.
3 There’s nothing nastier than dealing with moldy, unrecognizable leftovers! Place leftover food in stackable, reusable plastic containers. Label them with masking tape and a marker. Kat says, “Leftovers are best placed on the middle shelf, which you see immediately, so you can consume them right away.” Keep the leftovers on a shelf above anything that is raw to avoid cross contamination.”
4 Store fresh vegetables and fruit in the crisper while sauces, condiments, and bottled drinks that have a longer shelf life should be kept on the door shelves.
Finally, Lady advises that one should always remember this rule: first in, first out. “Always use the old products first.” After grocery shopping, rearrange your refrigerator and freezer, so that the newer items are at the back, and the older stock is in front. Do a weekly inventory check to make sure nothing is going bad.
Excerpt of article by Tisha Alvarez from “Your First Kitchen Simplified” was published in the July 2016 issue of Yummy magazine. Minor edits have been made by the Yummy.ph editors.