8 Easy Fridge Tips to Reduce Food Waste
Your fridge can be more waste-conscious, too.
In addition to buying less and shopping a bit more frequently, organizing your fridge smartly can help you avoid the weekly fridge-to-trash purge. Here's how.
1. Move eggs, milk, and other dairy items to the coldest spot (typically in the main compartment, NOT the door) so they'll last longer. Store condiments and nondairy beverages in the door.
2. Use clear containers or bags for fruit and vegetables so you can see (and be prompted to use) them before they go bad. Add a paper towel to containers of cut-up vegetables to help absorb excess moisture and prolong their fridge life.
3. Store fresh bundles of herbs upright in a loosely covered jar or glass with their stems in water.
4. Designate "edible scraps" bags or containers for fruit and veggie trimmings that you can add to throughout the week and use in smoothies, scrambles, sauces, and soups. Anything you don't eat within a few days can move to the freezer for a future smoothie, scramble, sauce, or soup—or to the compost bin.
5. Package leftovers in single-serve containers so they're ready as grab-and-go lunches or snacks. The more prepped and ready things are, the more likely you are to use them up.
6. Designate a "leftover zone" by labeling a shelf or a basket in the fridge where use-first items can go. Freeze any leftovers that you know you're just not going to eat or use in the next three days.
7. Store meats in the freezer and move them to the fridge to thaw no more than a day before you need them. Keep a list of what's in the freezer on the outside of your fridge as a meal-planning reminder and cross off items as you use them.
8. Check and adjust the temperature on your fridge and freezer. For best results, manufacturers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommend 0°F for the freezer and between 36°F and 40°F for the fridge.
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2018 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.