Organize and Clean Refrigerator – Stretch Your Food Budget and Save Money

home-37099_640Do you ever find fuzzy things growing in your refrigerator?  Do you use what is in it, before things spoil or become out of date. I speak from experience here. I have uncovered almost historic food at times in my mother’s freezer. It is time to organize and clean refrigerator.

Aside from the fact that freezer burn makes it gross. It is a waste of money and resources. It seems that everyone is looking for ways to get more value from dollars spent and making the most of your food budget is a priority.

Here are a few ways you can make your food last:

  • Store your lettuce in a crisper. You can buy the container at almost any place kitchen ware is sold. Wash the lettuce and put away when you first get home from the market. It saves time and keeps lettuce fresher longer
  • Try those perforated plastic bags for fresh produce. I don’t know how it works, but I do know my fruit and  vegetables last about twice as long.
  • Don’t wash the vegetables if you are not going to use them right away. It saves the vitamins and they last longer.
  • Use what you have before you buy more. Sounds simple, but don’t buy in large quantity unless your family will actually eat it in a few days.
  • Invest in those “green” containers. They have a grid in the bottom that keeps food away from the water that  collects in the bottom of the container.
  • Cut the tops off carrots, beets, radishes and turnips before storing.
  • Storing fresh corn?  Put it in the refrigerator with the husk still on.
  • Store bread at room temperature or in the freezer. It will go stale in the refrigerator.
  • Store milk and vegetables on the shelf of the refrigerator, not in the door where it is warmer.
  • Put snacks and healthy foods in the front of the shelves. That encourages you to eat the healthy stuff first.
  • Separate the meat from the produce when you put it in the refrigerator. Package the meat so that it will not drip on other food. That can cause serious illness.
  • Keep an open container of baking soda on the shelf to keep the refrigerator from being smelly. (Ugh!)
  • Label and date food before putting it in the freezer.  I really like my vacuum sealer for storing meat or left overs in the freezer. It was worth my investment.
  • Store onions and potatoes in a dark, cool but dry place, such as the pantry.

With a little planning, you can stretch the storage time for most of your fresh food. A tip I learned from my daughter in law – she buys fresh vegetables and washes carrots and celery, cuts them into snack sized pieces and places them in see through containers in the front of the refrigerator so the children will see them first and choose a healthy snack.

What is your favorite tip for stretching your food dollar.  You can email me at Cynthia @ breakfreefromclutter.com (no spaces, though)

Organize and save!

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