Tips to reduce your fridge fails

Fridge

Do you find that the same grocery items end up at the back of your fridge and ultimately in the bin? Check out our top tips to fix your fridge fails and reduce food waste.

Milk

Milk is the type of grocery item that can go out-of-date or spoil before you use it. 

A simple way to maximise the life of your milk is to store it in the coldest part of your fridge - the bottom section. Lots of people store milk in their fridge door, but it needs to be kept as cold as possible, so it's best to store it as far back and as low down in your fridge as you can (same goes for eggs). 

Long-life milk is an alternative to fresh milk. It can be kept in the pantry for lengthy periods and put in the fridge when you need it. Use a marker to write the date you open a long-life milk carton, so everyone in your household knows how long it's been there. 

Leftovers

Best laid plans can still result in food waste. Leftovers can be forgotten or missed because no-one else in your household knows about them.

A clever way to avoid waste is to have a dedicated and labelled shelf in your fridge for leftovers. Put your most recent leftovers at the back of the shelf and move older ones to the front. Encourage everyone in your household to eat from the leftovers shelf first.

Make sure you cool leftovers before you put them in your fridge. Putting them in your fridge while they are still warm or hot, raises the overall temperature of the fridge, which in turn increases your energy use.

Fruit and vegetables 

Get the most out of your fresh produce with two produce drawers or a divider splitting your crisper in two. Label one of your drawers 'week 1' and the other 'week 2'. Before you unpack your fruit and vegetables, move last week's items to the 'week 2' drawer and unpack the newest items into the 'week 1' drawer. When deciding which vegetables to have with a meal, check the 'week 2' drawer and use up what's in there first.

Save fruit from landfill, with a 'eat me first' section in your fridge. Make this section of your fridge highly visible and easy to access, so that the fruit gets eaten before it spoils.

Be smarter about food storage. Iceberg lettuce needs to be completely dry before being stored. Use a paper towel or salad spinner to dry lettuce before putting it in your fridge.If you buy hydroponic lettuces, store them in a plastic container with the roots in a small amount of water. They can last up to a week stored like this.

Some foods look like they belong in the fridge, but should not go in your fridge at all - e.g. tomatoes, potatoes and onions. If you have tomatoes that need ripening, place them on your kitchen bench away from direct sunlight.

Don't forget your freezer

Stale bread is great for making bread and butter pudding, croutons and breadcrumbs. Don't store fresh bread in the fridge as it will dry out. Pack fresh bread in your freezer and only take out slices as you need them.

Buy meat in bulk and portion into meal size serves and freeze. Thaw as required.

Date posted:
Last updated:24 October 2019