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“Stocking Your Mini Fridge”

A mini refrigerator is an important asset for every college student and more or less a necessity. A compact refrigerator in your dorm room will make anyone feel more at home. It can store beverages, snacks, milk, leftover food and perhaps even that special treat brought from home!

Last week I decided to conduct a survey through Facebook to see what all of you keep stocked in your fridges! Thanks to everyone for your help with this! Some of the most popular and abundant responses I received were:

• Milk
• Cheese
• Sandwich meat
• Frozen meals
• Fruit & Yogurt
• Takeout & Leftovers
• Eggs
• Condiments

Now I will provide you with a few tips on how to keep your fridge clean and organized, because an organized fridge is not only a more efficient space – it’s also a big money saver! There are many techniques you can use to organize the various items you keep stocked in your mini fridge. This will help to keep items in your fridge from being pushed to the back, where they may stay. So stop throwing away your hard-earned cash and start making your fridge work for you!

The key to successful stocking starts with your trip to the grocery store! Remember, you have a small fridge so you will most likely need to make multiple trips to the store because buying items in bulk simply won’t work when you have such a small space to store cold items. I suggest weekly trips! Also, you have to limit which freezer foods you buy because the freezer portion of most mini-fridges tend to be the smallest compartments. Maybe pick up one frozen pizza and three or four frozen meals at max per trip.
 

Beverages: The great thing about soda and water bottles is that they won’t go bad when left out of the fridge! I usually keep a case of water and a case of diet coke beside my fridge and restock as I drink them because this allows for more room for other snacks and such. The best place to put drinks in a smaller fridge is almost always the door, saving the rest of your space for more bulky items like takeout boxes!

Deli Meats and Cheeses: Items like these are ones that you want to keep away from other items so they don’t get smashed. You will want to keep this location either on a bottom shelf or in a bin to keep it from dripping and contaminating other foods. Group these similar items together in the small bins at the bottom of your fridge! Condiments, salad dressings, cheeses, lunch meats, and other meats will be easy to find when they’re in a single location.

Fruits and Veggies: These items would probably fit best in a separate drawer all to themselves towards the bottom. A good way to store produce that’s sure to keep fruits and vegetables fresher longer, would be to place them into Green Produce Bags. This will accomplish two things. First, they keep your vegetables easily accessible in one convenient spot – no more expensive produce shoved to the back and forgotten about! Second, they keep your vegetables fresh longer, giving you more time to use them and lessening the chance of a spoiled, rotten mess.

Takeout & Leftovers: Leftovers can quickly become out of hand and take up too much space in your fridge. Designating a shelf just to leftovers will help to prevent them from getting pushed back into a corner and forgotten. One easy trick is to use tape and a marker to put the date and contents on leftovers before putting them in. Knowing what’s in each dish and when to toss it at a glance will be a big help in keeping your refrigerator organized!

Others: I would designate the last available shelf in your fridge to your other snack foods such as yogurt, milk, eggs, and condiments. These tend to be the items you will reach for first so I would place them on a top shelf for easy access.

 Picture: Cassinelli

About Chelsea Peoples:

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