7 Fridge Organizing Tricks That Save Food and Money

How you arrange foods in a refrigerator can affect their taste and how long they keep.

So, investing a little time in organizing the fridge can spare you from losing money to prematurely spoiled food — and extra trips to the grocery store.

Implementing the following tips will cost you only a few minutes.

1. Keep things at eye level

“Out of sight, out of mind” can be costly when it comes to the refrigerator. So, store produce near eye level if you’re prone to forgetting what’s in the crisper drawer until it’s already spoiled.

It also helps to store healthier foods at eye level if you’re watching what you eat or have a habit of reaching for the least healthy option when searching for a snack.

2. Don’t store perishable foods in the door

The doors are the warmest part of a fridge, according to the Ohio State University Extension. So, store items such as condiments and juice there and keep foods like eggs and meats inside the fridge.

3. Keep fish in the back

Fish will keep twice as long when stored at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, compared with 41 degrees, and the back of shelves is the coldest area of the fridge, according to the OSU Extension.

Specifically, the extension service recommends storing fish in zippered bags on ice in the back of the fridge.

4. Avoid overcrowding

Foods cannot chill properly without cold air circulating around them, says the Food and Drug Administration.

If you can’t create enough room in a jam-packed fridge, use the freezer to store such foods as bread and many fruits and vegetables.

5. Get creative with unusual tools

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when organizing your refrigerator. For example, smaller caddies that suction onto shower walls can also be stuck to fridge walls to add vertical storage or to corral small items.

A lazy Susan is especially helpful on shelves that have a low clearance, where it’s harder to reach items in the back.

You can also corral items in plastic bins. This makes it easier to access foods in the back, especially if you use deep storage containers that can easily be pulled out. Use bins made of dishwasher-safe plastic so they’re easy to clean.

6. Know what not to refrigerate

Bananas, lemons, limes, melons, potatoes and tomatoes are among the foods that should not be kept in the fridge, according to the Food Network. Their taste and texture undergo “strange changes” when they’re stored at too cold of a temperature.

7. Beware of ethylene

As they ripen, some types of produce emit ethylene, an odorless and invisible naturally-occurring gas. Ethylene can also cause other nearby produce to ripen. So, keep ethylene-producing foods away from ethylene-sensitive foods to avoid premature spoiling.

According to Real Simple, ethylene producers include:

  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupes
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

Ethylene-sensitive foods include:

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Green beans
  • Leafy greens
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Watermelon

Do you have any neat refrigerator storage tips? Let us know below or on the Money Talks News Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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