Is that not the most #thisis30something post title you’ve ever read? If you would have told teenage me that one day I would get my thrills from a fully-stocked, well-organized fridge, I would have laughed. And then possibly cried. But here I am in all my glory, excited to share with you how I organize my refrigerator!
I am a big believer in meal planning and do so once a week. Here’s how I meal plan. This helps me keep grocery store trips to a minimum (I aim for one trip, but sometimes it ends up being two). It also allows me to stay on top of my refrigerator cleanliness because at the end of each week, before I head to the store, I make sure to take note of what I already have that can be used in next’s week plan and clear out any old leftovers or herbs that need to be tossed.
My end of the week fridge looks like this:
Note: random leftovers that I’ll try to eat for lunch that day, otherwise I toss it. There are usually a couple of vegetables that I didn’t use that I work into the first meal or two of the new week’s meal plan. I throw out herbs if they aren’t fresh anymore (I usually get 2 weeks out of herbs by storing them in water like flowers). I also take this as an opportunity to wipe down the shelves and drawers. It’s not a thorough cleaning, but it helps. After that clean out, my fridge looks like this:
Ready for loading! From here I go to the store, unload my goods, and do some simple weekly meal prep. I wash, dry, and store any leafy greens so they are ready to go for salads or sautes. I usually make a batch of ginger turmeric tonic for the week too. Nowadays, that is generally as I prepare for the week, unless there is a dressing or marinade I can make ahead of time too. After that, my fridge is ready for the week!
A few general rules of thumb that I try to stick to:
- The refrigerator door is the warmest part of the fridge, so only condiments go there. I don’t put eggs or milk in the door, as they should be placed in a colder part of the refrigerator.
- If one drawer is above the other, I use the lowest drawer for meat. This tip is leftover from the days when I worked in a restaurant. Meat can drip and contaminate, so it should always go on the lowest shelf.
- Eggs do best on the middle shelf, where the temperature is most consistent.
- Butter doesn’t need to be super cold, so it can go in the dairy compartment on the door.
- Condiments, pickles, jarred salsas, and nut oils (like walnut oil) all go in the fridge door.
- Label everything. This is more for my freezer than my fridge, but still, cashew cream can look like sourdough starter and if it isn’t labeled you may end up throwing out all your starter (spoken from experience).
Items you can ALWAYS find in my fridge: La Croix, bell peppers, beer, butter, fresh ginger, lemons, herbs.
PS- does anyone have a can holder in their fridge? It’s something I’ve been eyeing for a while!
What helps you keep your fridge organized?
What items can always be found in your fridge?