Essential Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Fridge

small crowded fridge

We recently moved into our lovely but small barn which at the moment only has a not so lovely and rather small fridge and I have to be pretty clever getting everything to fit in.  

I used to work in a restaurant with a similar problem and in this case there was literally only one way to get it all to fit so we called it Rubik's Fridge.

Here are some good ideas if you are in a similar situation.

How to Organise your Fridge

In no particular order ...

~   Cover everything.  Not only is this good practice to stop cross-pongination it also means you can put something else on top; stacking, as it's known in the trade.
~   Don't use round containers - they are not ergonomical!
~   They do say, and I believe them, that a packed fridge is more economical as it takes less energy than cooling a lot of air.  Having said that ...
~   ... make sure there is enough room for some air circulation!
~   Decant everything possible into smaller containers.  I use sandwich bags for most things as the air and be squashed out and they squish into convenient shapes as needed. 
~   Never store anything in an open can as this is very naughty.
~   Don't bother storing bread in the fridge, it takes up loads of room and is pointless, it will stale much quicker than out of the fridge.
~   Don't keep tomatoes, bananas or avocados in the fridge either, or potatoes or onions although you probably know that.
~   Gather like foods together, for instance I always keep a cheese box in the fridge for my collection.
~   Operate a first in first out policy by putting newer stuff at the back.
~   To save space do not keep your cat in the fridge unless he wants you to.  This is a picture of my friend Anouk's cat Oster.  They live in the Caribbean and after long walk the cat meows to be let into the fridge to cool off.
cat cooling off in the fridge in the tropics
Another "useful" fridge tip I have read about is ...

"To avoid buying things you already have, take a photo of your fridge before
you go grocery shopping."

Ha ha! When I was young we used to write a shopping list but "tell that to the kids today ..."!

In other news ~ Jamie Oliver was right!

I am not alone in having remarked on Jamie Oliver's inclusion of a side of salmon in his "Save with Jamie" book.  Many people including me had suggested that this was not particularly frugal.  Well I kind of take it back.  A few days ago we bought an enormous whole salmon, 3.5 kg, for £16.  A large initial outlay I know but whilst not actually frugal it turned out to be quite a bargain so - sorry Jamie!

large fresh whole salmon

I had to cut the head off to get it all on the chopping board but don't worry I used it!  After removing the two sides of fish from the bones I put the skeleton and head in a large pot with a little water and treated exactly the same as I did a chicken carcass in the last post. I got 12 x 6 oz (175g - ish) portions from the sides and estimate 5 meals from the leftovers.  There are lots of ideas for leftover salmon throughout this blog so just search "salmon" in the search box. (I expect you knew that!) 

Speaking of Jamie Oliver ...

I'd just like to show off a bit with this lovely review of my book, Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers.
best leftovers cookbook ever!


cumbrian said...

looks a bit like my fridge, God only knows what might be lurking at the back of it.

Unknown said...

I love the Rubik fridge blog and my cat approves! My cat Oster would love you to bits Susy and he would love the left over salmon head too. I learned a lot reading you today thanks for the great little fridge advise!

Sue said...

Love the cat in the fridge .... strangely enough my cat has never ever asked to do this :-)

I have a Rubiks storecupboard, I fill and move it all around on a regular basis. (I do actually even eat a little bit out of there on occasion.)

Unknown said...

But my double door fridge is full of green vegetables and beer.