If You Can’t Take The Heat, Clean Up The Kitchen

Read time: 4-5 minutes

Source: IKEA.com

Most of us at some point, decide to go to the grocery store or the price club (bulk shopping store).  It’s usually for these three reasons:

  • lacking ingredients
  • inspiration (from recipes, videos or both)
  • boredom

There are so many statistics regarding how much food is tossed into to garbage every year because it expires before it’s consumed. Think about it: would anyone just toss throwing $600 (or more!) in cash into the garbage? Of course not!  So, let’s grab the cash by the wallet and clean up the fridge, pantry and cupboards so that money can be put to better use than helping to line your trash cans. (Source).

 

The Refrigerator

First, we are going to confront the refrigerator portion of the refrigerator/freezer appliance.  Many people don’t like digging in the scary depths of the fridge but once it is clean, it is one of the most rewarding experiences because it looks like artwork.  Trust me, you’ll actually want to peek inside because it is THAT beautiful. Here we go:

  • Clear off your counters, kitchen table or both.
  • Clean the counters, kitchen table or both.  Make sure they are dry before you begin to unload your refrigerator.
  • For each part of the fridge, make sure you clean and dry (C&D) the area before returning the food items for the fridge.
  • Also, check the dates on each items and discard the items that are outdated.  Recycle whenever possible.
  • Take note of what you didn’t use that expired and your reasons for purchasing the item.
  1. Start to unload the content of your refrigerator in stages:
    1. Door (quick access for drinks and condiments)
    2. Drawer (most forgotten place in fridge)
    3. Bottom shelf (used the least and is the most
    4. Middle shelf (used when the top shelf is full)
    5. Top shelf (used the most aside from the door)
  2. It is up to you regarding how you reassemble the refrigerator.  Real Simple has a great article that you can use for your first go at fridge organization.  As you become more familiar with your eating and shopping habits, you can customize your fridge layout.
  3. Clear off the front of the refrigerator.  Clean and dry (C&D).  Add a simple cork board with magnets to display a select few pieces or artwork or schedules and keep the front as organized as the inside.
  4. Tackle the freezer portion of your refrigerator/freezer appliance.  Unload all of the content and condense if necessary.  Anything with intense “freezer burn” (that icy coating from exposure to intense cold should be tossed into the garbage.  Make sure to properly store food that you wish to freeze for extended amounts of time.

The Pantry and Cupboards

Cleaning up the pantry and cupboards is essential to ensure you are not purchasing things you already own.  Also, when food is recalled for contamination, a tidy food storage area ensures that you and your loved ones are not exposed to potentially unhealthy and unsafe foods.

  1. Remove all of the contents from your pantry and cup boards organizing the contents into groups to make restocking your shelves easier.  Item groups can include:
    1. pasta
    2. rice
    3. tomato sauces
    4. salad dressing and marinades
    5. soups
    6. spices
    7. baking ingredients (flour, sugar, mixes)
  2. C&D your shelves
  3. Restock the shelves based on use.  For example, things you use the least frequently should not be placed on the most accessible shelf.  Also, do not place items that spill easily on the top shelf.  When possible, store items that cannot be resealed (such as flour and sugar) into airtight containers with lids.  Measure your shelf height before making this purchase.

The Shopping List

As you are making your shopping list, check to see which items you have available and which items you need to purchase.  Were you surprised by what you uncovered as you cleaned?  How much money are you saving on this shopping trip?

Bonus

If you are feeling empowered, why not organizes your plates, cups and utensils?  What about the mixing bowls and bake ware? The more organized you kitchen becomes, the more money you will keep in your pocket.

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