Minimalism is something my husband and I are trying to practice in our household. That is why even when purchasing food, we usually get something that is good for a two to three-day supply. It works for us because fortunately the grocery store and palengke are a stone-throw away from where we live. With limited living space, we don’t see the need to stock up on food supplies that can easily go bad.
Things drastically change with the current health situation worldwide.
The usual palengke schedule became once a week or twice a month. We have to adjust our supply to at least a week-worth of perishable goods to limit my husband’s need to go out.
So how do we manage?
Buy what is necessary.
I know recent events pushed us to stock up on supplies more than we usually purchase but do not overcrowd the fridge. Buy only what is necessary. Overcrowding blocks the airflow which eventually results in uneven temperature. Uneven temperature allows for faster growth of bacteria which is potentially dangerous for our health. Each item should have enough space for good airflow.Not everything should be in the fridge. Some produce like potato, garlic, and onion lasts longer at room temperature than when stored in cold temperature. Consider storing similar products in a bowl or airtight containers in the pantry or cupboards. If you are planning to buy a refrigerator, a big freezer capacity is not a “luxury” feature but a necessity.
Regular clean up
It is always a good idea to thoroughly clean the interior and exterior of the fridge and freezer to ensure that no spoiled food juices are going to come in contact with the fresh batch of produce. I learned an effective cleaning solution of 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 liter of hot water. Soak and scrub from inside-out including all the removable sections using the mixture.
Regularly cleaning the fridge allows it to function better and helps it last longer. It also prevents food contamination.
Store food in the right compartments
Refrigerators have different temperatures for each of its compartments. Modern models available in the market are made user-friendly as they usually have labels on the type of food you can store on each compartment. Take advantage of this feature for longer shelflife. Freezer temperature should also be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from fruits and vegetables.
To avoid food contamination, raw meat, poultry, and seafood should be stored separately. If you are considering to buy a fridge and freezer, consider one with a separate door for frozen or raw foods. I specifically like refrigerators with bottom freezers as it has prevents uncooked meat from leaking to the other compartments.
Reusable sealable freezer bags and airtight containers are great ways to store products. They are a good investment in properly organizing and storing food in the fridge. Label each with the date purchased then arrange in a first-in, first-out method.
Another trick I learned to prolong the life of vegetables is by wrapping them in a brown paper bag before storing them in the fridge. The paper bag absorbs moisture from the produce thus preventing the product from wilting. This can also be done with airtight containers by putting paper towel inside to absorb moisture.
Buy a refrigerator that fits your needs
There are a lot of modern refrigerators out in the market with features that are truly amazing. However, amazing does not necessarily equate to what you need. Function over form. Before going on an appliance hunt, assess what you and your family need. Check out www.beko.com for some of the best prices on refrigerators on the market.
What are your main considerations when you buy a refrigerator?