I often wonder just how much time (and electricity… and money) I waste on constantly checking the fridge, or simply staring into the open abyss, hoping for something delicious to quite literally jump out and slap me in the face (or pounce into my mouth). When it comes to refrigeration and freezing, I feel that the great majority of up end us wasting food because we let it expire as it hides in the back, out of eyesight. Well not anymore. These fridge and freezer hacks are guaranteed to keep you organized, reduce wastage, utilize your cooling space to the best of its ability, and, save a bit of money in the process.
For the Fridge…
“Eat Me First” Box
I don’t know how many times I’ve had to throw out food that I didn’t even realize had expired; wasted money breaks my heart, but wasted food really shatters it into itty bitty little pieces. If you’re in danger of unnecessary wastage due to blissful unawareness, make yourself this box in which you can place the soon-to-be-expired stuff so that they slap you in the face every time you open that fridge door.
Instructions and Project Credit: Clossette
Egg Carton Condiment Caddy
If you’re a big condiment fan, then you probably get annoyed with how much space those bottles take up. A great way to save space and keep your sauces organized is to place the bottles upside-down in an egg carton. And thanks to good ol’ gravity, this also makes it easier to squeeze out when needed.
Instructions and Project Credit: AltonBrown
Six Pack Condiment Organizer
If your condiment bottles are too large for egg cartons, you can keep them organized in the door with the help of an empty six pack container. This offers a bit of organization, and leaves your shelves free for other items.
Instructions and Project Credit: Reddit:Neut12
Sauce Squeeze Bottles
Another clever way to store sauces—especially if you buy in bulk and don’t want massive bottles or boxes taking up space—is to transfer them to labeled squeeze bottles. I know a lot of you OCD-types will just love the uniformity, too!
Instructions and Project Credit: ChezLarsson
One of my most hated things to clean is the fridge; removing all the shelves is such an annoying use of my time. Sadly, it has to be done, but there is a way to reduce the chances of horrible, sticky messes. If you line your shelves with plastic wrap or Press ‘n Seal, you can simply peel that off when a spill occurs, saving you some cleaning trouble.
Instructions and Project Credit: TheVirtuousWife
If you really think about it, there’s a lot of wasted space in our fridges, so if you need to get a little more out of your cooling box, make some magnetic containers! These babies can simply cling to the inner sides where they won’t bother anyone, and won’t clutter your precious shelf space. Now that’s real genius right there.
Instructions and Project Credit: Tatertots&Jello
Searching for that one little jar that’s probably shoved all the way in the back can get pretty frustrating, and sometimes, those back are completely forgotten about. So, for easy access, why not just stick a Lazy Susan in there and let it do its job?
Instructions and Project Credit: FoodNetwork
Get yourself some cheap containers, bins, and baskets to organize all your produce according to food groups, or whatever works best for you. Not only will the labeled bins group your items together, thus making it easier to see what you have, but it’s also a great way to really utilize your space.
Binder Clip Bottles
If you don’t have enough space to store bottles or jars upright, stack them horizontally and use a binder clip as a stopper to prevent them from rolling around and wasting precious space.
Instructions and Project Credit: CheckMeDaily
This idea is perfect for your kids, although, you may just want to make your very own snack zone even if you don’t have any little ones. By creating a designated area for all the kids’ snacks, they’ll know exactly where to look when feeling puckish, and you can ensure that they won’t disorganize your perfectly ordered fridge.
Instructions and Project Credit: StockpilingMoms
Store Salad in Jars
Ready-made salads can make life quite easy when you’re on the go, but there’s nothing worse than limp and soggy salad ingredients. The best thing to do here is to store your chopped up veggies in jars—layered in a specific order—to keep everything as fresh as possible.
Instructions and Project Credit: FoodAndOtherStuff
This one combines aesthetics with function: give your fridge a makeover by painting it with chalkboard paint. Not only does it look really cool, but you can plan the week’s meals, or keep little lists of what you have in the fridge.
Instructions and Project Credit: TheKurtzCorner
Store Produce in the Right Place
Knowing where what should go in your fridge is really important in extending shelf life and avoiding contamination. For example, milk should never go in the door, since the fluctuating temperatures can result in it expiring quicker than it should.
Instructions and Project Credit: Squawkfox
Know what to Refrigerate
You may be wasting your precious space on produce that doesn’t actually need refrigerating. In order to avoid unnecessary cluttering, make sure you know what should be in there, and what shouldn’t.
For the F-f-f-freezer…
Magazine Holder Shelves
The problem I find with most fridge-freezer combos is that that the freezer really never has enough shelving, so it becomes a real chaotic scene. A great way to overcome this is to use magazine holders or paper sorters as mini shelves so that things are neater and easier to grab.
Instructions and Project Credit: AuntPeaches
Chest Freezer Organizing
Chest freezers have a number of benefits, but having to hunch over and dig around to find something specific certainly isn’t one of them. This is where fabric shopping bags come in handy: use a different bag for each food group or type of meat, for example, so that finding what you need is quick and painless.
Instructions and Project Credit: IfYouDoStuff,StuffGetsDone
Binder Clips for Bags
I know people tend to overuse the word ‘life-changing’, but seriously, this is life-changing! Instead of shoving things in where you see a gap and then struggling to find it later, you can hang bags from the shelves using this unassuming little piece of stationery. Now I’ll finally be able to see what my freezer has to offer.
Instructions and Project Credit: OrganizingWithASideOfFabulous
Avoid Freezer Burn
Freezer burn is a real thing, and while it may not actually cause you any harm, it certainly can affect the taste and texture. The main focus is here is to limit the amount of air that comes into contact with the item, so make sure to use the right containers and bags to achieve this.
Put Your Ice Cube Trays to Good Use
Apart from the obvious function of making ice, you can also use your ice cube trays to freeze and store individual portions of fresh herbs in olive oil, leftover stock, egg whites, and more (there really are so many freezer-safe foods that I bet you didn’t know about!). These portions make life so much more convenient since you can now simply defrost the amount that you need.
Instructions and Project Credit: TheKitchn
Ice build-up in a freezer can cause some serious damage, so if it’s starting to look like Antarctica in there, you may need to get to work; and work you shall. This isn’t the easiest of tasks, but it is a necessity, so here’s the right way to do it.
Instructions and Project Credit: BusyCreatingMemories