Sunday, April 15, 2012

Week 4 of the Weekly Organization Challenge

This is week 4 of The Good Wife's Weekly Organization Challenge! This week focused on organizing the refrigerator.

The fridge is probably the most used appliance in the kitchen. It holds the majority of our food but did you know that it is estimated that up to 40% of food purchased in the US is throw out without being consumed? That is a lot of food and I bet one of the reasons is due to lack of organization. Food can get lost in our massive fridges, shoved in the back, on the lowest shelf where it molds and then ends up in the trash. 

A well stocked and organized fridge can help you waste less food and eat healthier.

Here is a look at our fridge.

It it organized to allow for maximum storage as well as encouraging healthy eating.

We tend to eat the first things we see at eye level, so to ensure that is something healthy and not, say, chocolate cake, I like to store washed, pre-cut fruits and veggies on the top shelf. This week, I have grapes, pineapple, oranges, apples, baby carrots, cucumber, celery and hard boiled eggs. I also like to keep a pitcher in the fridge of something like chai tea or flavored water. Since I am pregnant, I need to drink a lot daily. It is easy to make just one big pot of tea rather than multiple cups during the day. I also drink more when I can be lazy and just pour from the pitcher into my glass.

The next shelf is for dairy and lunch items. Here, next to the cottage cheese, all our yogurt is contained in one area with a clear bin. I also have cheese cubes in individual containers for easy snacking. Hummus, a pre-made sandwich, and jelly round out the lunch items. 

Below the dairy/lunch shelf is the deli drawer. This contains the lunch meat and cheese I use to make The Good Husband's lunch. I also have some sliced, cooked meat in there for me.

The next shelf is the smallest and to avoid having food get lost and turn moldy, I use this shelf as our protein station. The meat we are going to eat for the week hangs out here. Sometimes marinating until I am ready for it. I also have our eggs on this shelf.

Below the protein station, I have washed produce that I use to make meals. Shredded carrots and diced cucumber are within easy reach so I can add them to sandwiches and salads. Also, after I eat the small container of baby carrots on the top shelf, I can refill it with carrots from the bottom shelf. I also like to have at least one salad prepped so I can just grab it and eat it for lunch.

The bottom two bins are the farmer's market of the fridge. Fruits and veggies that don't require prep or are overflow live down here until I need them. Once we eat all the sliced oranges, I can pull the remaining out of the bin and prep them for later.

I also have the produce we will use for dinners in the bottom drawer such as green beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts and asparagus.

The door shelves of the fridge contain mostly milk and condiments.

I keep the butter in the covered drawer to keep it cold despite the constant opening of the door. Below that lives our milk and other drinks.

Next comes our most used condiments - mayo, bbg, chili sauce, mustard, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce - the stuff I really should make but have been too lazy to.

Below that reveals our pickle obsession. Yes, that is five jars of different kinds of pickles. Clearly, we need help.

The bottom door shelf houses less used condiments and salad dressing. Hoisin sauce lives down here, along with tahini and horseradish.

Washing and prepping produce and other snacks saves me time during the week. You can see why I don't clean on Sunday, since I use that time when The Good Daughter naps to prep all the food I bought the day before. I also love to use containers to keep everything organized and within sight. By having healthy snack food at eye level, I can make healthy eating a bit more easy.

Next week we will tackle the freezer, where long term food storage is the goal.

Organize along with me in The Good Wife's Weekly Organization Challenges


Marcie said...

Makes me want to get busy!! What do you do with leftovers from a meal~~like the lasagne I made last night. Do you usually freeze leftovers or pack them up in ready to go lunch containers??

The Good Wife said...

I usually serve leftovers to The Good Husband for lunch the next day. I am bad when it comes to eating them, so I make him do it. LOL!

Elizabeth said...

I need a Good Wife! I don't know why I find organization and meal planning so onerous, but I do.

Marry me?

Jen said...

Talk to me about tahini. We are having a hard time finding it (it is in a falafel recipe I have). We found something we think may be it but it was spelled tahina (it was crushed sesame in oil - or something like that)

The Good Wife said...

Tahini is just ground, toasted sesame seeds, kinda like peanut butter. I will have to look and see what brand I have. I know only one store in town had it and even then I had to ask 3 different people. I have never seen it spelled tahina. As long as the ingredients are sesame seeds and some oil, I think it would be ok to use in falafels.

Jen said...

Thanks so much! That is exactly what the label described it as. We were confused because the recipe made it seem like it would be spicy.