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    Avoid An Expired Groceries Graveyard And Organize Your Fridge With These 25 Handy Tips

    Because throwing away expired food and adding up what that cost you never feels great.

    1. Bring stuff that you KNOW you need to eat before it expires to the front of shelves so you can easily eye it when you open the fridge come dinnertime.

    2. Even better, write those about-to-expire foods on a clear magnetic refrigerator dry-erase board that sticks directly on your fridge. It's a more efficient *and* aesthetic reminder than a series of sticky notes that'll inevitably fall off the fridge. 

    A clear rectangular dry erase board hung vertically on a fridge with an ingredients list
    Same board hung horizontally on a fridge

    It also includes four dry-erase markers! 

    Promising review: "Saw it on TikTok being used as a dinner menu for the week! It will help me be more organized and add little chores that needs to completed or important reminders. Love it, no complaints." —Clarince Thomas

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99

    3. If your setup means that you can't organize as "top shelf = roommate 1," and so on, a set of fridge organizers (with your labels!) can help you organize stuff in a way that makes sense. Plus! They'll catch spills when one roomie inevitably lets their leftovers get a little too funky. 

    You shouldn't throw everything in your fridge in bins, but this starter set will give you a leg up in the orderly direction. With these bins, you can pair like with like and prevent spills from spilling through your fridge shelves. (Definitely not talking from messy experience or anything.)

    Promising review: "My daughter wanted to organize the fridge after watching a series of TikTok videos! These were exactly what she wanted! Download TikTok for your kids and maybe they will want to help organize, too!" —Sarah C. 

    Get a set of eight bins from Amazon for $17.99 (available in four sizes and in sets of two, four, and six). 

    4. And corral small snack packs and individually wrapped stuff (think string cheese) into containers and out of packaging so you don't find another gogurt that slipped through a wired fridge shelf to the back of the fridge where it expired three months ago.

    5. And keep fresh herbs in tip-top shape with an herb-saving container instead of finding them wilted in a produce bag a month later.

    fridge door shelf with the vertical storage unit that holds the herbs inside

    6. Easily figure out how many eggs you have left without having to open a grocery egg carton with a rolling egg dispenser that's also sturdy enough to let you stack stuff on top of it. 

    A fridge egg holder with eggs and a jar of jam above, plus pickles behind, showcasing storage solutions
    Egg dispenser with rows of eggs, designed to roll eggs forward for easy access

    YouCopia is a woman-owned small business that specializes in home storage solutions. 

    Promising review: "We have a small fridge, so I must get creative with storing things inside. I got this because I got tired of having to take everything out of the fridge to retrieve the eggs. This allows me to stack things on top, with easy access to the eggs, and it lets me see when I need to get more." —Mochene

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99 (also available as a non-stacking egg dispenser that's TikTok-famous).

    7. Keep your condiments ready for squirting (seriously, stop pulling a muscle shaking the bottle of mustard to put on your turkey sandwich) with a bottle-emptying kit. These handy tops will get tons of use outside the fridge, too!

    before and after of a bottle of honey with the cap letting all the honey drip down to the lid

    8. Bring stuff you'd normally shove to the back of the fridge within easy reach by placing bottles of condiments and more on lazy Susans.

    reviewer pic of top shelf of fridge with vitamin bottles organized on two lazy susans

    9. Or try a rectangular lazy Susan that'll make more of your fridge space and let you better eye expiration dates. 

    Condiments propped on a clear plastic turning tray installed in a fridge
    A model spinning the tray 360 degrees around in a fridge to show all the condiments on it

    Check out a TikTok of the rectangular Lazy Susan in action. 

    Promising review: "Wow! I love this turntable organizer! I can fit so many items on it, and because of that, I now have so much more space on the door shelves. With this organizer, I will have easy access to all of those extra items that just don't have their own space. Now they do have a place to go! I would highly recommend this product to everyone who wants to feel more organized and doesn't want to lose items in their fridge." —Amazon Customer 

    Get it from Amazon for $18.70

    10. Spare some shelf space and keep about-to-expire bevvies within eyesight by lofting beer or soda bottles with these magnetic strips.

    view of inside roof of the fridge with magnetic strips that are strong enough for beer bottles to stick to them, leaving lots of storage room below the bottles

    11. Or stack bev bottles (beer, soda, champagne, etc.,) easily on a simple rubber mat to prevent a wet disaster.

    pyramid of beer bottles stacked horizontally on a flat surface with the silicone slatted holder

    12. Label everything! Even when it's in your designated spot. (Things get moved around and you want to make sure you're eating leftovers well within an OK range.) But there's no need to deal with peeling 'em off later — invest in this roll of labels that wash off in a mere 30 seconds. AND you can use them on fridge-door shelves to section them off!

    person washing label off container

    13. Have some super heavy fridge goods? These acrylic drawers have wheels that'll help you easily roll the drawer forward so you can get at those hummus containers before they expire. It's basically like shopping in your own fridge!

    14. Prevent your crisper drawers from looking like a farmers market graveyard by lining them in produce life extenders that'll help keep your fruits and veggies fresher for longer.

    green foam sheets and one shown in a produce drawer as a liner

    15. And make sure that you're storing the *correct* produce in the fridge. And if you see someone storing something incorrectly on a fridge door shelf, say something.

    pic of labeled brown paper bags with holes punched in them for onions, garlic, and shallots

    16. And use a charming fruit hammock for storing fruit that can peacefully coexist without the fridge's chilly air.

    kitchen with a fruit hammock hanging down from the bottom of a cabinet

    17. But while we're on the subject of fridge-door shelves, avoid sticking dairy in there because escaping air from the fridge door means stuff stored there doesn't stay as cold as stuff stored in other parts of the fridge. That goes double for refrigerated medicine. (And again, label your stuff!)

    Kristen Aiken (Head of Life and Commerce at HuffPost PLUS a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City AND a finalist for a 2019 James Beard Foundation journalism award) broke down a lot of food-storage tips in this ep of the HuffPost podcast Am I Doing It Wrong? including the one about dairy in the fridge door. 

    In case you need a refresher on what counts as dairy (there are so many "milk" out there!), this is what the USDA says: "milk, yogurt, cheese, lactose-free milk and fortified soy milk and yogurt. It does not include foods made from milk that have little calcium and a high-fat content, such as cream cheese, sour cream, cream, and butter." So you can keep your butter in its little door cubby! But put that yogurt in the main part of the fridge. 

    18. Chat with your fridge mates RE: sharing condiments so you're all on the same page and have things labeled accordingly. You might not get through a bottle of Dijon mustard before expiration on your own, but you'll do just fine getting through some of our Hot Ones sauces on your own.

    19. Squeeze in some extra space for leftover sauce packets and other tiny food items you still wanna use with a fridge door organizer. This way you can grab that packet of ketchup you found in the bottom of a McDonald's bag AFTER you inhaled said fries, and use it for a we-have-food-at-home meal before it turns into something that'll give you a belly ache. 

    Hand inserting a packet into a mesh refrigerator storage organizer filled with various condiments

    This comes in a pack of four with two pockets each so everyone can get one! And because they're clear, you'll be able to see what's inside so you can actually use it.

    Promising review: "I used the product to clear up space that was used for condiment packets, but they also worked out great to hold my mom’s insulin pens so they don’t get lost in the fridge." —GuVal

    Get four from Amazon for $9.99.

    20. Preserve cut produce with a silicone food hugger to take up far less room (and create less waste) to store those goodies in the fridge. This'll help you squeeze in way more than using a bulky food-storage container to store half a tomato.

    The huggers on different fruits and vegetables as well as open containers

    21. Slide your fave yogurt cups into this wall organizer so you can better see their expiration dates and don't have to dig to unearth your breakfast.

    open fridge with wall mounted storage for yogurt cups

    22. Freezer bags are the easiest way to store leftovers in minimal space. Period! In my experience, this method keeps food in much better condition than if I put it in glass or plastic food storage containers before shoving in the freezer.

    23. Or you can use a dishwasher-safe silicone soup cube tray that'll hold one cup of delicious hot entrees like soup/chili/stew/sauce per cube so you can freeze, dump the cubes in a ziplock bag, and then reheat it later, then dump it in a thermos for a toasty winter desk lunch.

    The silicone tray filled with soup next to a bowl with one of the frozen squares

    It also comes with a lid so you can easily stack them and four fill lines (½ cup, 1 cup, 125 mL, 250 mL).

    Souper Cubes is a small business seen on Shark Tank that specializes in bake-and-freeze storage products. 

    Promising review: "I'm extremely happy with my Souper Cubes! I cook chili and soup and always make too much, having the ability to freeze serving-size portions is perfect. Saves time and food quality by not having to thaw it all each time I want another serving. High quality and since it's silicone and not rigid plastic it won't crack in the freezer. Highly recommend!" —Alexander S. Waterman

    Get it from Amazon for $19.95 (available in three colors and packs of two).

    24. If you want to freeze veggies you won't use before they go bad (which, you absolutely should!) use a veggie chopper to evenly dice them like you would if cooking with them immediately. Then blanch them, and slip 'em into ziplock bags to take up way less room in the shared freezer. 

    Reviewer putting a potato on a flip top lid cutter and bringing the lid down to chop it into pieces
    Model pressing down on top to cut an onion

    This is from a small biz! Check out a TikTok of the veggie chopper in action. And a guide on how to blanch veggies and why it's so important for food safety. 

    Promising review: "Makes life so much easier. I can't imagine chopping onions or bell peppers by hand anymore, and it does so much more. We used to have a Prepworks chopper which was a similar idea, but you had to press so hard to chop, and it broke after not too long. This one requires very little effort to cut through the food and it has a generous container." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99 (clip the coupon on the product page to get $5 off; available in three colors).

    25. Get around random little servings of things like baby food with these lidded glass containers. They'll be able to slip into a fridge or freezer door, or all kinds of nooks created by frozen dinner boxes. 

    Four stackable glass jars with various contents like spreads and snacks, featuring pastel-colored lids

    My colleague Heather Braga's son Noah is almost 2 and she uses these little jars to freeze and store her son's homemade food that she makes with this Baby Brezza baby food maker

    Get a six-pack from Amazon for $9.98.

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.