Bet you’ve lost things in the deep recesses of your refrigerator. Maybe you went shopping, made a few meals, had leftovers & placed them in one of the many plastic containers you own. Then you went out to eat & shoved those leftovers in front of the previous ones. The food piled up inside. Then, it’s late at night, you reach for something to eat & pull out a container with something green & reeking inside! Gross! Let me help you work this one out with a few tips. Do this at a time when you’ve eaten most of your food & dumped what’s not good out.

First- Empty your refrigerator. First one side, then the other. Place items on your counter, or wherever, until you’ve cleaned inside. Frozen food to save can be placed in a cooler (if you have one).

Second- Put your condiments on the door along with whatever else you use all the time that you need to grab & go. If needed, readjust the shelves to accommodate tall items on the top shelf or middle shelf. (see my refrigerator as an example). Keep like foods together to be able to find them easily. Or items you use together, like keeping cheese & deli together to make a sandwich.

Third- Containerize for ease of accessibility & keeping those like things together. You can either buy nice ones made specifically for use in the refrigerator, or bottoms of containers you already have. Like the bottom of a shoe box size container that you put food items in & pull out when needed. If you look on the third shelf of my refrigerator, you’ll see two containers that can be used for a myriad of purposes. They worked well for me when one was filled with yogurt smoothies & the other one had muffins & other baked goods to pop in the toaster. There’s other containers that held leftovers. You can get fancy & label your containers if you can’t see through them. Or make inexpensive labels out of Post-It’s taped to the container. Today, I use round or rectangular clear glass Pyrex to store leftovers in. I can see through them & don’t need labels. This picture of my frig was taken a number of years ago. The crisper holds all salad & soup veggies. Lowest crisper holds onions, sweet potatoes & other larger veggies.

I decide what I’m making for a few dinners & lunches, creating my shopping list from there. I look in the pantry & see what ingredients I might need for the meals I’m making, as well as staples that are running low. I open the frig & do the same, scanning what I need for the recipes. I shop from the list I’ve created. I don’t stray off that list. It’s when you go rouge, that’s when you get in trouble. You buy things you don’t need, or you buy too much or forget the items you needed. Also, don’t food shop when you’re hungry.

Bottomline, clean out your frig. Don’t make it your food dumping ground. End of the week if you don’t know what something is in a container (cause it’s not labeled or you can’t see inside), open it & decide when to eat it or throw it out. Bon Appetit!