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It’s something we’ve all let happen. We buy something with the best of intentions, but time slips away from us. Or we put the thing behind something else and forget that it’s there. However it happens, wasteful food spoilage is the result. Not only are you throwing away perfectly good food, but your wallet will take a hit. Over a lifetime, the amount of dollars you have been forced to throw away might well be in the thousands.
You know the phrase “a place for everything and everything in its place”? This philosophy, when applied to your groceries, can be the key to preventing waste.
Refrigerators are actually designed with the “everything has its place” philosophy in mind.
For example, the door of your refrigerator is one of the warmest parts of the fridge, which makes it optimal for condiments. The top shelf, on the other hand, is one of the coldest places, making it the perfect place for your milk and other dairy products. Eggs should be kept in their carton to promote proper air circulation. Meat should be kept on the bottom shelf, where it’s suitably cold. The tray there will capture any drippings to help prevent contamination.
Meat should be kept uncut and wrapped until you’re ready to prepare it for dinner. This helps preserve freshness and is another step to keep from contaminating other foods. If you’re not going to prepare all the meat at once, store whatever you’re saving on a plate with plastic wrap or in an airtight container.
Another trick to keeping the contents of your refrigerator from spoiling prematurely is to ensure the fridge isn’t overly full and that all items within it are evenly spaced. This helps ensure that everything in the fridge receives adequate airflow and the temperature remains consistent throughout. This will also help ensure you have a clear line of sight of everything in your fridge so you don’t forget the plans you had for certain items when you bought them.
Frequently used items should be near the front of the fridge for easy access. The less time you spend hunched over searching for something while the cool air lets out, the longer your food will last.
Best Freezer Practices
The freezer might seem like the catch-all for long-term preservation, but an overly full freezer likely won’t keep your items preserved as long or as well. In order to freeze items quickly, freeze in small quantities.
In some cases, particularly if you have items you’re saving for a special occasion that are taking up much-needed freezer real-estate, it might make more sense to buy a large capacity deep freezer, such as the Whirlpool Chest Freezer, that is kept elsewhere. Having a place to store the overflow can help save a lot of money (and waste) in the long run.
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