Have you ever opened your fridge only to realise your ingredients have passed their shelf life or expiry dates? There’s a simple way to cut down on your supermarket runs, and that is to keep your fridge organised and clutter-free. Here are a few quick hacks to get you started:
1. Never mix your groceries
Store raw meat and seafood in separate compartments, and fruits and vegetables in different drawers, to reduce chances of food spoilage and wastage. This way, juices from your meat and seafood will not drip onto other foods.
2. Keep it whole
Do not slice raw and uncooked food until you are ready to consume it. When chopped into pieces, fresh meat, fruits and vegetables spoil much faster than whole items. If you are not using up fresh meat in one day, put it in the freezer to keep it fresh.
3. Avoid opening the fridge and freezer doors frequently
When you open your fridge and freezer doors frequently, the temperature in the refrigerator rises as cold air escapes and hot air enters. The fridge’s compressor has to utilise more energy and work harder to make up for the temperature gain. In addition, humid air will enter the fridge and condense as water droplets or frost forms on your food, as well as the insides of your refrigerator.
4. Store food in their respective compartments
Keep food where they belong –– most refrigerators have compartments specially designed for each food type.
Store fruits and vegetables in the vegetable compartment, usually located on the bottom shelf. It is also ideal to store dairy products like milk and cheese on the bottom shelf.
Keep meat in the meat compartment and eggs in the egg tray. Butter, margarine, spreads and jams should be placed on the top shelf or the door shelves to keep their texture smooth and velvety.
5. Try an ‘Eat me first’ box
Keep half-eaten packs of cheese and Kimchi in a box that serves as a visual reminder to consume them before it’s too late to do so. It just might inspire you to try out creative food pairings for a quick weekday dinner!
6. Store food in airtight containers
Keep your leftover dinners or opened packets of fresh produce in airtight, leakproof containers to maintain their freshness. Air is the enemy of food, so how you store it is important. An airtight container will keep food from drying out or turning soggy. It also prevents food from developing freezer burn.
7. Know what you should chill
There are many products and fresh groceries we keep in the refrigerator to preserve and extend their shelf life. However, there are certain foods that turn bad fast once they are chilled. Tomatoes, garlic and onions turn soft and soggy once stored in the fridge. Other things that are better off on your kitchen counter are bananas, potatoes, olive oil and honey. Last but not least, never put vegetables in the freezer.