We all do it. You come home with a load of groceries and cram it all in the refrigerator, pushing older items to the back.
Two weeks later, after some of the clutter has been eaten away, you find spoiled produce, meat that’s past its prime or other items that you can no longer use.
Not only does keeping a messy fridge waste money and food, it’s frustrating to have to dig through to find the ingredients you’re looking for.
If you’re constantly throwing away spoiled food due to a messy fridge, here are some apps that might help:
- Epicurious (Free): This innovative app provides recipe inspiration based on the ingredients you have, create a quick shopping list and helps you know which ingredients are in season and where to find them. Utilizing every ingredient in your fridge has just been made even easier.
- NoWaste (Free): This food inventory app makes the planning process for your day quick and efficient. Customize your list based on what you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry and let the app do the rest. You can reduce those unnecessary purchases at the grocery store by knowing what food you have ahead of time and what food is about to go bad.
- Yummly (Free): This smart cooking assistant helps make customized dietary options easier with a wide selection of recipe ideas that are fit for your needs. And when it is hard to make meal planning a part of your weekly routine, this app helps utilize recipe schedules to help make meal planning easy.
- Pantry Check (Free): Through device syncing, this app helps provide smart shopping lists based on the inventory you record. You can record and track prices in stores, especially in grocery locations such as Trader Joe’s. Also, the app keeps you up-to-date on when your produce will expire.
- Handpick (Free): This award-winning and free app helps provide dish ideas based on the ingredients you have on hand. Choose from over 10,000 ingredients to see food pairing selections, as well as a curated selection of dishes to choose from. You can also follow food topics that pique your interest.
- Buzzfeed Tasty (Free): Reading recipe instructions can be difficult to interpret at times, but Buzzfeed is here to change that. With their Tasty app, you’ll get visual and interactive ways to create your next meal based on the ingredients and dietary needs you have. See and hear the step-by-step instructions to help ensure your meal is a success.
Once you’re in a groove with meal planning and using up the food you have in your fridge, focus on keeping what you do have fresh so it doesn’t go to waste. Here are some food storage tips that will help you keep the fridge clutter and waste under control:
- Keep raw meat stored in fridge for approximately three days. If any longer, make sure the meat is sealed airtight and store it in the freezer.
- It is important to place meat on the lower shelf because the juices can drip and contaminate other foods in the fridge.
- Try new shelving options, including storage racks – they help free up space in your fridge.
- The refrigerator temperature should be at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The freezer temperature should be at zero degrees Fahrenheit.
- Regularly clean the refrigerator and make sure to clean up spills immediately to prevent future bacteria growth.
- Make sure to place your groceries in separate baskets (and label, if desired) to help micromanage the food in your fridge.
- Use plastic wrap or mats on the bottom of the fridge racks to help with spills and easy clean up.
- Make salads in mason jars to help save space – it also is the longest-lasting way to help preserve them.
- Color-coding produce can help you find and recognize your foods faster. By making your foods more visible, it can keep everything at the forefront of your fridge and mind.
Did you know that there are some food options that don’t need to be stored in your fridge? Here are some produce items that don’t actually need to be refrigerated:
Our mission is to help everyone in Michigan get healthier from the inside out. This means everything from giving you resources to help you make better decisions about diet and exercise, as well as information on creating and sustaining nurturing communities and successful businesses — everything you need to help create a healthier Michigan.