You open the fridge and instead of being able to cook up a meal for yourself, you end up throwing out the tomatoes, carrot and the meat, all because you hadn’t realized that they were rotting. So you head out to do some more grocery shopping and a week later you’re tossing out food from your fridge again. Sounds familiar?
This scenario is common for so many of us especially for those who do not cook on a very regular basis or have a tendency to buy in bulk. Well if you’re guilty of this, then surely you realise that throwing out food isn’t helping the food shortage crisis many countries are facing and it sure isn’t helping your wallet as well. So why not follow these simple steps to help manage your fridge inventory and avoid food wastage?
Follow the first-in first-out rule
Once you’ve bought your groceries, start identifying the expiration date on the food you have. Items with the earliest expiration dates are stored in front of items with later dates. If a particular food item has no expiration date then put a note of when the item was bought or cooked and follow the same principal as above.
This method can be used for frozen, refrigerated and dry storage items. Essentially you would want to use the food items which are at the front of your shelves.
Store food in see-through containers
Sometimes we accidentally purchase food items that we already have in stock because we weren’t able to see them. One way to avoid this is by storing your food in clear containers so that you won’t have to keep opening container lids to know what’s in there. Air-tight containers are also great to keep the freshness of food such as cookies, pasta, rice or cereal last longer.
Tip: Here are some great deals on glass containers we found on BigSale which are friendlier to your health and the earth.
Buy fresh produce in small amount
It is enticing to see your shopping cart loaded with fruits and vegetables. However you need to be realistic about your eating and cooking habits. Create a weekly plan of how often you would be eating at home and what type of fruits and vegetables you would most likely eat in a week. Categorise also, which fresh produce you can eat as a snack and the ones that would require cooking. Although creating this plan may be time consuming at first, it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Tip: If doing grocery shopping on a weekly basis is not possible for you, then try purchasing your food online. Stores like Tesco and Sam’s Groceria will deliver your groceries right to your door step and save you the time and hassle of having to physically go to a supermarket.
Buy a mix of items fresh and frozen items.
From the fresh produce list you’ve created above, add on other items that you purchase on a regular basis so you won’t need to keep creating a grocery list every time you go out shopping. Check the list that you have and see if there are any that could be bought as frozen items.
Another method is to freeze items you don’t plan on using right away. If you’ve got plenty of strawberries or nuts that you like using for your cereal, freeze a portion of them first. Take them out when you’ve run out of the ones stored in the bottom fridge. If you notice that your bananas are turning black, don’t throw them away. You could use them to make banana bread or perhaps freeze them to be made into smoothies.
Keep up on expiration dates
Keep a post-it note on your fridge and jot down the items that will be expiring soon. Try to use up those items first before moving on to the others.