Make the racesstore them in the refrigerator and to find out three weeks later that some of the products still in their packaging have expired and are ready to be thrown away – that’s not cool at all! ! Some habits are difficult to change, but a few simple gestures are all it takes to avoid wasting energy. foodstuffs and squandering its entire budget. One of the keys to reducing daily waste and preserving your purchasing power is to keep your fridge well organized. This ensures that foodstuffs are preserved for as long as possible and in the best possible conditions. Do you dream of optimal, cost-effective fridge organization ? Discover our 5 money-saving tips !
1. Empty and clean the fridge to make room for storage
First and foremost, to have a well-organized fridge, it’s imperative to have a clear vision. Many opened products are hidden away at the bottom of the fridge, taking up unnecessary space because they will never be eaten. The first step towards optimal organization is to empty the fridge completely. The same goes for the freezer: even if products are kept there for longer, it’s essential to keep things tidy.
Once freed of all its food overload, the fridge can breathe and be cleaned (defrosted if necessary). Ecological cleaning is preferable, economical and non-toxic for your health, and above all it helps to protect the planet. A mixture of hot water, white vinegar, lemon juice and a dash of elbow grease will do the trick !
👀 Remember to protect your food during this time, ideally in a cooler or emergency fridge.
2. Sort food by category and expiration date
In order to get a clear view of the available goods, it’s time to sort ! After emptying the fridge, it’s time to sort the food by category. The best way to do this is to take inspiration from supermarket shelves. On the one hand, meat, charcuterie, fish and ready-made meals. On the other, the creamery with cheeses, yoghurts, butter and crème fraîche. Then there are the fruits and vegetables to separate as well. Drinks, juices and spirits should be kept separate. Finally, there are preserves, condiments, sauces, dressings and marinades.
When sorting product ranges, check expiration dates carefully, making sure to identify best-before, use-by and sell-by dates. Make sure food is fresh (appearance, color, smell). Then sort products by priority of consumption, always placing fast-moving foods at the front of the fridge and ensuring that they are rotated each time they are filled.
Once the main product families have been created, and all food stored has been checked and validated as fit for consumption, put each food item away in its proper place. An organized fridge needs to be practical. The use of storage bins helps maintain good habits (a place for every product and every product in its place).
👀 Note that this step must be done quickly, so as not to leave the food at room temperature for too long.
3. Store products in the refrigerator according to the HACCP method.
Supermarkets are subject to very strict food hygiene rules (fortunately). The HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) method is used to eliminate any risk of bacteriological contamination of food.
It is based on 7 key principles, and is used to guarantee food safety and hygiene in the establishments concerned (food manufacturers, distributors, restaurants, etc.).
HACCP tips for organizing a fridge (and avoiding wasting food and money) :
- Ensure traceability of opened foods: protect each opened product, keep batch numbers and best-before dates for all sensitive products, label all opened foods;
- guarantee the cold chain: food must be kept at +3°C on average (if the temperature is too high, food preservation is endangered, and if the temperature is too low, food can freeze and the refrigerator will consume more energy);
- Place fragile foods at the top of the fridge (dairy products, fresh cheeses, desserts, prepared and defrosted dishes, cooked meats), store cold meats and raw meats on the intermediate level, and store safe products such as vegetables and fruit on the lower level. Sauces, condiments and drinks can be placed in the refrigerator door.
4. Organize your fridge to avoid food waste
Organization is one of the keys to success, in every field. To avoid wasting food and money, here’s a money-saving, breakage-limiting tip : organize your fridge according to the week’s menu.
Yes, it requires a bit of preparation (thinking about the weekly menu beforehand, shopping according to the chosen recipes), but the savings in time and money are considerable. What’s more, it’s an unbeatable anti-waste technique.
In short, the foods available and at hand in the fridge should be the ones to be cooked first, and those with the earliest expiration date. Easy no ?
👀 Note that an overfilled fridge is a consuming fridge. Likewise, every time the fridge door is opened, energy consumption rises and the wallet shrinks.
5. Make fridge inventories to save money
Saving money means limiting unnecessary expenditure. Fridge inventories are essential to avoid excessive shopping and wasted food and money. Before raiding the supermarket and filling the fridge, it’s important to know what’s left and what’s missing.
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. To organize your week and your daily menus in the best possible way, the list of available products is the basis of all your work. ! The easiest way to introduce a weekly routine is to choose a fixed day to do your shopping, and take stock of the fridge just beforehand.
Once the listing is complete, sit back and think about the weekly menu to come. Write down missing food items to create a shopping memo and buy only the essentials.
👀 The most complicated part : avoiding the temptation of supermarkets !
Good management of the fridge and food storage in general considerably reduces food waste, while saving you money. To take things a step further, using drive-through services or anti-gasp apps to do your shopping helps you avoid over-consumption and buy smart and responsibly.
Think Freshopp Box! It offers the chance to eat healthy, anti-gaspi food, thanks to fresh, quality produce saved and sourced from local producers. All while preserving your budget.
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⏭️ Read also: our article dedicated to Purchasing Power and Anti-Gaspi Solutions for the whole family.