Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Stop Food Waste By Making a "Use Me First" Bin in Your Fridge & Free Printable

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to promote any products just sharing my latest organizing project x

Hi Honeys
How are you today? I've had such a good afternoon.  I was looking for something to do to cheer myself up and decided to empty and clean our fridge.  Yes, this, like my beloved laundry, is fun to me. Odd I know but even the silliest little homemaking tasks make me so happy 😊

You might remember that we use bins to organize the contents of our tiny fridge, so emptying it didn't take long.  I then used a bottle of anti bacterial spray and a microfibre cloth to clean the inside of the fridge and outer door.

Once that was done I turned my attention to the bins, emptying them onto the kitchen counter, washing the bins thoroughly in warm soapy water, drying them and then re-filling them.  This was when I got a little annoyed with myself honeys...

Cut Back On Food Waste By Making A Use Me First Bin For Your Fridge

I like to think that we're really good at not wasting food, but today I binned far too much from our refrigerator and I'm more than a little miffed at myself.   I've taken my eye off the ball honeys.  For the past few weeks I haven't been coping as well as I might, the arthritis in my spine has been making life difficult and I haven't been as vigilant as I normally would be.

So, being unhappy at wasting so much food, I decided I would do something about it!
Having cleaned our fridge so that it's lovely and sparkly 😊 I decided I was going to keep the bins system.  We both like them and it (mostly!) stops things getting lost in the back of the fridge and being forgotten about.... or it did while I stayed on top of it.

I decided I'd designate a bin to store things that needed to be used up before they ended up in the trash and that's what I've done, but more on that in a minute dear ones.

I have to apologize for the following photos, my spine really was (and is) screaming at me today and to take these photos I had to stoop so the lighting isn't great either.  We're going to have to think about a new refrigerator at some point I think.  This dear little fridge/freezer has served us well but we've had it for over ten years and it's starting to show it's age... bit like me 😊

The top shelf of the inside of the refrigerator door holds a small container filled with bicarbonate of soda to absorb any scents.

It isn't very clear in the above photograph but the top section/shelf of the inner door is home to a small container of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) which I renew every two to three weeks or so. This is a very easy way to prevent any food smells in your fridge.

Any leftovers placed in our fridge are always safely sealed in airtight containers but I'm a little paranoid about food becoming contaminated.. even by smells.

This isn't only useful for inside refrigerators though.  This same little trick can be used all around the home.  All you need is a small container with your baking soda and if you'd like to, you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oil.

Keep your container up and out of the way of tiny humans or furbabies though honeys, keep them safe.

Back to the refrigerator and my quest to get (back) to grips with food waste.  Having re-organized our fridge, and again with apologies for the photos, this is how it looks now...

Interior of our newly organized refrigerator with new bin to help prevent food waste.

Goodness it looks so empty! I kinda like it too 😊  So neat & tidy and nothing is trying to jump out the door at me 😊  Let's take a closer look shall we?

On the middle shelf (why not start in the middle? 😊) there are two baskets/bins.  One holds tiny bottles of Actimel, the daily yoghurt style health drink.  Hubby takes one of these to work each day with him.  The basket/bin next to it would normally be full of cold meats, such as Hubby's pepperoni slices to use as topping for his homemade pizzas, but right now all that's there is a can of whippy cream which I bought to make a trifle 😊

On the bottom of the fridge is a larger pull out bin which is home to our "extras."  This would be whatever extra items which won't fit into their designated bin, so right now there are extra bottles of Actimel and extra yogurts too.  Also sitting on the bottom of the fridge is an extra bottle of milk.

On the top shelf are, again, two baskets/bins.  The bin on the left hand side is full of yogurts and the final bin is now the "use me first" bin 😊  It looks like this...

Cutting back food waste by making a "use me now" bin for the refrigerator.

Not much inside right now, after my great clear out of the fridge today...

Refrigerator organization using bins - assorted cheeses in the "use me first" bin.

As you can see honeys,  it has two tubs of Philadelphia cheese spread, which don't have a long shelf life once they've been opened, a tube of primula cheese spread and a small pack of cheese cubes. We do seem to like cheese around here don't we 😊

The "extras" bin, as we get closer to summer (please arrive soon sunshine I'm missing you!) this drawer/bin will be used as a crisper for salad things but for now it's a great place to keep additional items which don't fit (yet) into their designated bins...

Refrigerator organization using bins - extra yogurts, health drinks & dairy spread make up our "extras" bin.

I made the label on our "use me first" bin myself and I thought you might like a copy of it honeys.  I printed it out to the size I needed (you'll be able to do this by adjusting the settings on your printer.) That done, I then laminated it and used double sided sticky tape to attach it to the bin in the fridge.

If you don't have a laminator at home you can cover your label with see through tape or even print it onto stiff card stock and either use double sided tape to attach it to your bin or punch a hole in it and attach with a pretty piece of ribbon.

I've made you two versions of the label honeys, the first one, the one I've used in the photos above, has a border and looks like this...

Printable basket label - hover mouse on top and right click "save image as"

Either right click your mouse over the image and choose "save image as" from the options or download here.

The other version of the label does not have a border and looks like this...

Printable basket label - hover mouse on top and right click "save image as"

Again, either right click your mouse over the image and choose "save image as" or you can download the label here.

I hope you like them honeys, enjoy x   I'm thinking of using this same label for a basket in our pantry to help avoid waste there too but for today I'm happy with my mini organizing project 😊

How do you avoid wasting food?  Do you use bins in your fridge and pantry?  I hope you're having a fabulous week so far dear ones, till next time, smile lots and hug even more, huggles always xx

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