Thursday, August 23, 2012

Food Management: What's living in the fridge?

I cleaned out the fridge today. (Why is there no 'd' in refrigerator?) I was inspired partially by The Minimalist Mom and partially by the amount of lint and food residue that has accumulated in the year since I last cleaned it. Food residue I understand, particularly with a small boy around who occasionally pulls things out without warning. But lint?! Very strange.

Look! So clean and organized!

Anyway, it was high time I got that appliance back to keeping only what we wanted kept. We had to empty four containers of Peter's food scraps and a cup of what was probably milk a few months ago. The problem is, we put away his unfinished scraps, figuring he can eat them the next day. But then these itty-bitty containers get pushed to the back, never to be seen again.

New rule: One of us will finish the <2oz. of food left at the end of the night. Better than letting it spoil.

I also caved and finally threw out more than twenty condiment packages: catsup, tartar sauce, honey mustard, barbecue sauce, blue cheese, and lots of Taco Bell hot sauce. We'd had them all nicely contained, but we rarely thought to use them. And neither of us even like blue cheese. Again, maybe it was a waste of food, but a) I have no idea how long most of them have been there and b) we haven't used any in the past few months, at least. It was time to let go.

New rule: Unused condiments will be thrown out if we don't like them or dated with a marker if we intend to use them. Anything still there after a month has to go.

Finally, I threw out the maraschino cherries and the chocolate frosting. Both of these were also of indeterminate age. I don't actually remember why we have the cherries; perhaps we bought them for some ice cream social. The chocolate frosting was left over from my mom frosting a cake at our house. I glibly assured her we would use it. But it's been there a LONG time, neglected.

New rule: Don't buy or keep refrigerated food we realistically don't plan on using within a month.

I leave you with an excellent song, "Livin' In The Fridge." There isn't any video to speak of (just the album cover throughout the entire song), but this was preferable to many of the sexually inappropriate videos that I found before this one. :-P (A situation I found odd, since the song isn't remotely about sex.)


  1. you should check out - it will tell you how long things are good for depending on how you store them and whatnot - we've found it to be pretty helpful in determining what is safe to eat and what needs to be cleared out of the fridge (and i totally have had the same question about the "d", too!)

    1. Thanks! Definitely one for the bookmarks folder. :-)

  2. Hot sauce packets do not need to be refrigerated. However, I gather up all those condiment odds n ends and place them in our church food pantry baskets. Every nickel and dime counts for so many. Aunt Monica

    1. I'd never thought to do that! I'll keep it in mind for the next time we end up with extras. Thanks!