To get the best of our resolutions this year, we need to focus on our refrigerators! That’s the secret to turning the usual annual pledges of “reduce clutter, lose weight and save money” into “create order, eat right and spend well”. With this new positive approach, we will have a better chance of achieving the results and happiness we deserve.
Here’s how those large rectangular kitchen appliances can drive resolution success all year:
Create Order: Don’t vow to keep your whole house or kitchen organized – it’s too overwhelming to achieve. Refrigerators, however, are a manageable-sized area to create and maintain order. By breaking down the big notion of “getting organized” into a smaller, more realistic goal – your success may rub off onto another territory to organize next year.
• Take everything out and wipe clean all shelves, bins, drawers and doors with antibacterial wipes.
• Check expiration dates and get rid of anything older than a year. Toss or compost leftovers past 3 days old.
• Make food “families” on the counter by grouping like items, such as dairy, condiments, meat, vegetables and fruits, before reloading. Then find the right space for each family to live together in the refrigerator based on their size and number.
• Store foods in the smallest possible container. As leftovers dwindle in volume, don’t put the large, near-empty containers back in the fridge – downsize to maximize space. Keeping a stash of stackable plastic storage containers in multiple sizes will help.
• Be proud of your work – give your family a tour of the new order of things and show them how to do their part to keep it organized.
Eat Right: Refrigerators house delicious foods that are good for us like fruits, vegetables and low fat cheeses. Keeping those stocked and accessible in ready-to-snack form is important to stick to a better eating plan.
Reserve the front of the most eye-level shelf empty for stackable plastic resealable food storage containers holding pre-cut fruit and vegetable snacks, so they are front and center and get eaten. There will be no need to dig in deeper for other treats when these are ready and right there. Restock the wholesome snacks each night for the next day.
Spend Well: Groceries are a primary expense for most households. Just examining refrigerator behavior can uncover lots of opportunity for saving by avoiding spoiled, forgotten food.
• Make sure everything is visible so you don’t spend on duplicate items or let unseen food spoil.
• Check that your refrigerator runs between 34 and 40°F to avoid wasting money by unintentionally freezing foods.
• Each night make a sweep-through of the fridge – put things back in their place and bring foods up front that need to be eaten sooner to avoid waste.
• Before grocery shopping, clean out the refrigerator to make an efficient shopping list and make room for the new food.
With our refrigerators on our side, here’s to a happy, healthy year ahead!
Tell us how you stick to your resolutions. Share your ideas in the Comments!