It’s common knowledge that if you keep healthy food in your home, you’ll eat healthy.
So why is it that we so often end up throwing out slimy lettuce, limp carrots, and mushy cucumbers at the end of the week?
I propose it’s due to lack of planning, preparation, and visibility. If we take the time to meal plan, meal prep, and make sure that all of our perishable produce is visible, we are 1,583% more likely to actually eat it before it goes bad.
Ok, so maybe my statistic is an exaggeration, but my method? That’s pretty fool-proof.
3 Tips for an Organized Fridge:
- Planning: Take the time before you go to the store to meal plan. Take inventory of what you already have, plan your meals for the week, and only buy what you’ll eat within the week. Be realistic about what your family currently will and won’t eat. Buy smaller amounts of unfamiliar produce until you know if your family will eat it and round out meals with the fruits and vegetables you know they like. You can read more about meal planning here and how to get your kids (and picky adults!) to eat more vegetables here.
- Preparation: If you really want to eat the produce you buy, you need to take 1 hour per week to prep it! It’s not necessary to prep full meals in divided containers every week unless you want to. Just prepping your vegetables and fruits makes a huge difference in the amount of time you’ll spend in the kitchen the rest of the week. Wash, dry, and chop hardy vegetables so they are easy to grab for snacks, lunch packing, and cooking. Store greens in air tight containers with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Transfer berries into glass jars with plastic canning lids to extend their life by a few days. Utilize your crisper drawers for fruits that don’t need prep and can be easily tossed in lunchboxes or grabbed as a snack (think apples, pears, nectarines, etc). You can learn more about meal prepping here.
- Visibility: While it’s not necessary to have perfectly matching set of containers, having clear glass containers and arranging them in a way where you can see everything makes an impact. Airtight glass containers (like my favorite ones from Pyrex) will help seal out extra moisture and help your cut produce last 3-4 days longer (in my experience). Just as important as the type of containers is the way you arrange them in your fridge. Move condiments and toppers (such as hemp hearts, sesame seeds, coconut shreds, cacao nibs, etc) to the door of your fridge so that the prime “real estate” is left for produce, cooked beans/grains, non-dairy milks, and leftovers. Don’t be afraid to adjust the height of the shelves in your fridge to work for your needs. Play around with where you place prepped items on a week to week basis until you find the right fit for your family. Make sure to rotate items that are close to expiring to the front so that they are seen and eaten first. Consider freezing any leftovers that won’t be eaten before they go bad (just make sure to label and date them!).
What are your tips for keeping your fridge organized?
Full disclosure: This blog post contains some affiliate links. Meaning, basically, if you make a purchase from any of these links it doesn’t cost you anything extra, but I may make a little money. So thank you in advance for supporting my family I am not sponsored by any products or brands featured.