Earlier this year, we talked about inexpensive ways to keep your refrigerator organized, and now we want to take it a step further to share how to stay on top of keeping your fridge clean to prevent waste.

According to experts at Futurity, on average, Americans throw away a third of the food they buy, which comes to around $1,900 a year per household that is getting spoiled.

Hence the reason we want to share some ways you can reduce the amount of food going into the garbage by keeping your fridge clean.

1. Eat Me First Box

If you notice that something you bought is getting close to the expiration date, put it in this designated box so that you can create meals around those items first.

We recommend putting anything that needs to be used up in a week or so in there first. Then each week adding the next “round” of food in there.

Not only will that help you save on time for figuring out your meals for that week, but it will ultimately help to reduce the overall amount you have to throw away.

2. Snack Drawer

Whether you have kids or not, having a designated space for pre-prepped snacks helps when you’re on the go and prevent foods like fruit and veggies from not being consumed because you didn’t have time to wash them.

And make sure to have a couple of options to choose from so that you or your kids don’t get bored of the same old, same old, because if you get tired of eating it, then you won’t.

3. Schedule A Regular Cleaning

When was the last time you pulled out everything and deep cleaned the inside of your fridge? If it’s been more than a few months, this is your sign that its time.

Remove everything, even the drawers, and shelves (if possible), then wipe everything with a disinfectant. Once things are dried, put what you pulled out back inside.

For the future, we recommend doing this twice a month, but if that’s not doable, then at a minimum, once a month.

4. Develop A System

Before you put the food items back after cleaning, create a system that will work better for you from the get-go.

For example, the first shelf could be for leftovers, yogurts, or anything with a shorter shelf life.

The last shelf could be for your raw meats, so if anything leaks, nothing gets contaminated.

Now, keep going through the different shelves, drawers, and doors until you know what will go in each place.

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