Through very extensive (not really) internet research, it seems that there are two main ways to lessen a budget. The first is simply to consume / acquire less. The second is to heartily use what you already have.
Feeling ambitious (for about ten minutes), today I decided to take a small step in the maximizing what you have category.
I rearranged our refridgerator. (Remember when I cleaned under it? Oh such bad memories.)
Our new fridge is different from the old, in that it has less drawers for sorting items. Really, there are only two main ones on the bottom. Also, the vegetable drawer seems to be smaller, and so currently our veggies have been living in tight quarters.
I did not think to take any before pictures, but I will quickly show you the afters. This isn't a post that is meant to say, "Look what awesome thing I do consistently," but more as a, "Here's a little something that I'm going to attempt. Wish me luck!" Does that make sense?
Ok, so ... here's the overall view. (Note: I did not visit the freezer. Yikes!)
The goal of the fridge rearranging is, as I said, to maximize what we already have. Recently, I have not been doing a great job keeping up with a meal plan, so I usually go to the grocery store with a list, but not specific meals. This is very typical in summer, when we usually grill some meat and have fresh fruits and veggies as sides.
Unfortunately, in the small, dark drawer, all our vegetables were crammed together. We were forgetting what we had, and then, they would go rotten before we could eat them. So, my goal is to use the narrow second shelf entirely for vegetables. Then, when we look in the fridge, we can quickly decide what options we have for sides and hopefully, not waste so much.
Not wasting is basically the same as saving money, which means I could, in theory, do a really good job in one of my new roles a SAHM.
I also decided to put the vegetables in a plastic container, because all the plastic grocery bags are irritating to my eyes. I don't know ... just go with it!
Question: Is this a bad idea? As in, is there some reason why it is better for the vegetables to be in the specified vegetable drawer? Will they ripen more altogether? What if we plan on eating them all in one week anyway? Are you impressed to know that the cucumber in the picture is from our garden?
The vegetable drawer is now being used to collect all our various cheese, bread, and lunchmeat items. These get spread throughout the fridge when there is no organization. As a result, we buy a double of these items which unnecessarily fills our fridge and is sort of a waste of money.
Another check for not wasting!
The fruit side is still being used for fruit.
The top shelf has consistent lunch items on the left, eggs in the middle, and leftovers and thawed meat options on the right. I'm thinking that if the leftovers are always in the same place, then Mark will remember what options he has, and he'll actually eat them, which means ... ?
That's right, less waste!
Finally, the side board is not overly organized. It simply holds all the small items that can easily get lost in the rest of the fridge. I do keep the cream purposely on the far right, because it definitely gets used the most ... in the morning ... before I have my coffee ... which means I need to just know where to look for it ... no hunting!
So there you have it, the inside of my fridge. My hope is that in keeping food in its proper place, we will have less fights about what to eat and less old food to throw out.
Look at me fostering peace and stewardship in my home.
Or at least attempting to ...
Lesson Learned: Seriously, does anyway know the answer about storing vegetables out in the open? That's sort of the lynch pin of the whole operation!