1. Clean the condenser coils to save on your energy bill.
Your refrigerator sucks in dust, hair, and dirt along with the necessary air it needs to function. Regularly use a duster or vacuum cleaner to clean the coils at the bottom or behind your fridge (refer to your refrigerator’s manual). Clean coils will help your fridge do its job easier by using less energy to suck in clean air.
2. Fill empty containers with water and put them in your freezer.
Freezers run more efficiently and maintain ideal temperatures better when full.
3. Only store leftovers in clear containers.
Skip reusing plastic tubs that aren’t see-through. When you use clear containers, you can see exactly what needs to be used up.
4. Know the real meaning behind expiration dates.
“Sell by” lets the store know how long to display products for sale. The product should be purchased prior to this date. “Sell by” is typically found on perishables like meat or poultry.
“Best if used by” is a recommendation for best quality or flavor, not safety.
“Use by” indicates when a product will start deteriorating in quality and flavor as determined by the manufacturer.
5. Freeze leftovers if you won’t eat them in four days.
According to the Mayo Clinic, if you can’t eat those leftovers in 3-4 days toss them or freeze them for later.
6. Label your leftovers.
It’s an easy way to stay aware of what needs to be eaten before it should be tossed or frozen.
7. Wrap celery in foil before placing in the fridge — it’ll stay crisp for weeks.
8. Keep a lazy Susan in your fridge to access condiments quickly.
The longer you keep your fridge open, the harder your fridge has to work to keep your food cool. Instead of needing to remove items or dig through containers in order to find what you need, store condiments and small containers on a lazy Susan.
9. Reduce waste with an “Eat Me First” box.
10. Save space in your fridge by keeping stick butter on your countertop.
You can keep butter out of the fridge for up to two weeks. Plus, the texture is perfect when stored at room temp.
11. Tomatoes should also be stored at room temp.
If you store your tomatoes in the fridge, they’ll get a weird mealy textures that’s less than ideal.
12. Always store lettuce and leafy greens with a paper towel before placing in the fridge.
This way, any excess moisture will be absorbed by the paper towel instead of causing your lettuce to wilt.
13. Save ice cream from freezer burn and keep it soft by placing the container in a freezer Ziploc bag.
14. Keep vegetables and fruits separate.
Ethylene gas is what makes produce deteriorate faster. Keep your produce fresh longer by storing ethylene-sensitive vegetables in a high-humidity drawer of its own. And store ethylene-producing fruits in a separate drawer with the low-humidity setting on.
15. Take a photo of what’s in your fridge before you go to the store.
16. Don’t store your milk on the door.
Every time you open your fridge door, the products stored there drop in temperature. To avoid constant fluctuation and milk that spoils faster, keep dairy products on a shelf in the main compartment of your fridge.
17. Leave at least 3 inches of space between the back of your fridge and the wall.
Your fridge works hard to keep food chilled and needs to let off some heat in order to function. Ensuring there’s at least 3 inches of space between the wall and the back of your fridge will help keep it functioning to the max without overworking itself.