My Tips for How To Organise Your Fridge To Inspire Simple and Healthy Meal Times
Imagine it is dinner time. You open the doors to a well stocked, organised and clean fridge. You instantly feel inspired to create the perfect meal for your family, that is not only delicious but healthy too.
Although for most, this isn’t a reality. When early evening rolls around your motivation to cook is low or you are feeling unenthused. You’ve arrived home from work, school pick up or your gym glass and it is dinner time. You are hungry. The family is hungry. Either its chaos with kids, you are working late or you are too tired to even think what’s for dinner.
Dinner time has likely become a quick scramble of what we can reach to throw together into a meal that hopefully ticks enough boxes and our family is fed. Or, we order takeaway because it seems easier.
Reports actually show that we actually do prefer to eat fresh* but when life is busy and there’s enough stressors we turn to convenience.
How To Organise Your Healthy Fridge
With a few simple tips and tricks meal time can be enjoyable, save you money, have you and your family eating fresh and wholesome food and enjoy being back in the kitchen.
The key is, when you open your fridge doors you want to feel inspired to reach for healthy ingredients to cook a nourishing meal for you and your family.
With a well organised kitchen you’ll save time, save money, reduce waste, bring back the joy of home cooking and be able to quickly and easily access ingredients.
As a nutritionist, foodie and mum, here are some of my tips on how to organise your fridge to inspire simple and healthy meal times.
- If it has been a while since your last properly cleaned out your fridge you quite possibly have expired ingredients, unused items and unknown ingredients hiding in the back. Start by emptying out your fridge entirely. Give it a good wipe down and refresh. Think of it is a fresh start to your healthy meal times ahead.
- Take stock of what you have on hand. Create a “use these first” area for items that are close to the expiry.
- Restock your fridge with food that will nourish you and your family. Think fresh, whole foods and make sure your crisper is abundant in fresh produce to encourage you to include more vegetables in your family’s meals.
- Be careful not to overcrowd your fridge. The key is to create space. You want to be able to see what you have on hand so items don’t get lost at the back, veggies get forgotten about or food goes past its use by date because you didn’t realise it was there. When filling your fridge make sure there’s enough space to move items around so you can see what’s on hand
- Use clear organisers to tidy up your items. These are a great way to group together similar ingredients.
- Do your grocery shopping with a plan. Sticking to a shopping list is one of the best ways to not only save money but to make sure you buy things that you will actually use. Plan out your week’s worth of meal ideas in a meal planner and create your shopping list and stick to it.
- Dedicate the end of the week to a “clean out the fridge” meal. Get creative and see what you can come up with by using what ingredients you have left at the end of the week. Not only is this a good habit to reduce food waste but it helps to make sure you’re keeping your fridge refilled with fresh food each week so bits and pieces don’t begin to build up to create clutter you wont use.
- Group similar items together. Have a section for each of your staples. Dedicate a shelf area to condiments, spread and sauces, a shelf to pre-made or pre-prepared food, an area for raw ingredients such as meat, poultry and seafood, an area for milks and drinks and of course a dedicated draw for your fresh produce. Try to stick to these designated areas for each food group so that each time you open your doors you create a habit of simplifying finding ingredients to cook meals. As a rule of thumb upper shelves are good for leftovers, ready-to-eat meals and drinks. Lower shelves are good for raw ingredients (below any ready-to-eat food). Take note of where your fridge best stores meats, cheeses and deli food.
- Store pre-prepared food or pre-made meals in glass storage containers. Not only will glass help to keep things fresher longer but you’ll be able to see what’s inside each container.
- Clean out your crisper at the end of each week. This will help to keep the base of your crisper clean from any bits of veggies, leaves or herbs that fall to the bottom. You can also line your drawer with paper towel to catch the peels and bits that fall off vegetables over time making it easy to keep clean.
- Designate each door section and label it. This will automatically give you an organised feel and items will begin to have their place.
- Use an egg carton to store near empty condiments upside down so they don’t create clutter.
- Have snacks and on-the-go food at eye level and easy to reach (make sure you think of your kid’s height). That way these get eaten and you’re not pushing items around to find quick food and creating mess.
- Let’s not forget the freezer. The same rules apply. Don’t overcrowd it and create areas for similar items.
- When you reorganising your fridge take a step back, reopen the doors and check that it feels inspiring, it looks organised and you’re starting to already anticipate the excitement of cooking a meal from your well organised fridge.
What’s Inside My Fridge?
To help give you some specific examples to keep well organised here’s a sneak peak inside my fridge:
At home I have a Mitsubishi Electric French Door fridge. I went with a 630L because we cook fresh food a lot and want our fridge to be the heart of our kitchen. It has a generous amount of internal space perfect for our family and for keeping our home well stocked with healthy options.
I keep our ready-to eat meals I’ve prepared in our weekly meal prep in glass containers near the top and loose ingredients ready to be used in the shelves below.
Our fridge door is filled with condiments. I love adding simple flavour with good quality sauces and our fridge doors have so much room I can easily see what I have to choose from to boost the flavour of a meal without fuss. This is also where I store our selection of spreads including our favourite peanut butter and nut butters.
Fresh produce forms a main percentage of our healthy meals so having a large enough area for vegetables is a must. One of my favourite things about my fridge is the two big produce bins int he vegetable drawer to store fruit and vegetables. Deep enough for whole heads of cauliflower and whole pumpkin!
In my freezer drawer you will find larger items such as loaves of bread, ice cream and frozen vegetables in our roomy tubs. Our meat is stored on the top tray in the freezer for ease of use and to keep organised.
Because my fridge thinks for me and practically organises itself I just follow its lead and store food in its designated areas. It has a dedicated chilling case to store things at 0’c- 3’c such as deli meats and drinks and a supercool chilling case for perishable food that need to be kept extra cold but with out freezing such as seafood and meat. This also save me a lot of time when cooking a meal thanks to the convenience of having food ready to cook without having to defrost it first.
Now It’s Your Turn
I hope these tips for how to organise your fridge to inspire simple and healthy meal times and a little insight into how I organise my fridge helps! If you’re ready to bring back sparkle to your kitchen and get cooking healthy meals for you and your family without stress, start with organising your fridge. Aim to create a fridge that inspires you to eat fresh and enjoy meal times with your family. After all the fridge really is the heart of your kitchen.
I’d love to set you the challenge of creating a fridge you love where you open up your fridge doors and feel motivated and excited to cook healthy meals you and your family will love.
Need more tips on creating a healthy happy life you love? Check out our Online Program, Nourish From The Inside Out.
Share your fridge makeovers in our Facebook community or please let me know in the comments below if this was helpful and if you have any questions. I’d love to hear from you.
For fun, you can also download the Mitsubishi Electric Fridge App and pick your favourite fridge and see how it would look in your kitchen with. This fun app that allows you to take a photo of your current fridge space and digitally place your dream fridge in the image. This is exactly what I did before choosing the right fridge for my family.
*Mitsubishi Electric Home Trends Report 2019
This blog post is in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric. The views expressed are my own.