With winter and a New Year beginning, it time to eat healthier and save money, so let’s get your refrigerator in order. Honestly, when was the last time that you totally cleaned out your refrigerator? Maybe today is the day to do this project!
Just like your closet, if you don’t know what you have, you tend to go out and buy more of the same thing without finishing what you already have at home.
All of the grocery stores make sure products with the newest dates are towards the back and they place items with the older dates in front. That is why they rotate stock constantly to keep things fresh. You should be doing the same thing at your home. Place the new salad dressing behind the current one, place new milk behind your old milk and so on. Be especially careful of “sell by” dates or the “use by or freeze” dates. Certain items in your house scream “throw me away” when their date has passed. The funky smell of the milk or the cheese that has mold growing on it are dead giveaways of way too old. For other products, you will have to rely on the date stamp so look carefully at these items. Some things many forget to check on are mustards, special condiments like tartar sauce or horseradish, and spices which must be refrigerated for freshness.
If you keep all of your meats and cheeses together in a drawer, fruits and vegetables their “fresh items” drawers, yogurts on a shelf and salad dressings and condiments on the inside door, this will allow you be able to see easily what you have. One quick glance and you can make a shopping list without over buying. If you know what you already have at home, you won’t spend unnecessary money at the grocery store. If you keep your refrigerator organized you will know when your product dates are about to expire and plan your meals accordingly. It’s always fun to make a “basically free” meal by using up things in your refrigerator.
And not really an afterthought, but why not take the time to organize your kitchen shelves or pantry in the same manner? Canned goods also have expirations dates. We often tend to not check the bottom of the cans until we need a product, and then realize that the item has expired.
It’s a New Year, and let’s plan to save money at the grocery store and time in the kitchen when preparing meals for the family!
Author Michelle Lehman of Organizing Solutions “Clear the Clutter” Michelle is a Professional Organizer in the Tulsa area. Her articles have been featured in the Tulsa World, The Oklahoman, and The Chicago Post-Tribune. Michelle appears on Fox23 News DayBreak giving organizing tips and recommendations.