How I Organize My Fridge
I love having a well-stocked and organized fridge. It makes me excited about food and cooking all over again. Along with a general meal plan, it takes the stress out of figuring out what to prepare and eat every day. When I have fresh ingredients in sight and ready to use, I feel more inclined to grab them and get to work, instead of getting lazy. As I continue to try eating a clean and mostly whole-30-based diet, incorporating that clean and simple aesthetic into other parts of my daily life just seems to come naturally.
At the store
I've been reducing how much waste I create when shopping for food by using reusable containers, bags, and visiting the bulk bins. No more plastic bags! Less trash! Once or twice a week I purchase small amounts of fresh herbs, organic vegetables, fruit, and a small amount of locally-sourced meat. I was suckered in by the perfect product placement of reusable cloth produce & bulk bin bags by Tazzy Totes, and so far I've been pretty pleased with them. They are lightweight and fit nicely inside each other for storage. They and reusable cloth shopping bags live in the trunk of my car when not in use. I have glass jars in various sizes that I use to store food and leftovers at home.
As much as possible, I try to buy produce that is unpackaged. And since I am only shopping for two, it's extra great to stop just mindlessly grabbing the pre-packaged portions that often go bad in the fridge. Grocery store bins and farmer's markets allow you to buy exactly the amount of fresh produce that you need.
When I get home, I immediately wash all the produce and remove any twist ties or packaging bits. I decant everything into clean containers to help keep everything organized in my simple fridge. Someday I'd love to be completely plastic-free, but alas, I am still on a dollar-store budget. Almost every single metal/plastic basket or organizer shown is from the Dollar Tree. I also use thrifted mixing bowls and ball jars to store things. For less than $15, I was able to corral and simplify the mess in my fridge. A variety of sizes and shapes is essential - trays, bins, buckets big and small.
Keeping everything fresh and healthy in the front is pretty much the only way I will be sure to use it up before it turns. All the secondary items that don't get used daily stay in the rear of the top fridge shelves, like jars of pickled veggies, milks, bread, condiments, etc. Right up front are easily accessible and colorful fruits and veggies, washed and ready for snacking, baking, or making salads.