Tuesday, June 30

doing the mundane

At the beginning of the month, I cleaned out the refrigerator. Not a cursory cleaning, but the first good take-out-the-shelves-and-scrub-with-a-toothbrush cleaning that fridge has had since we got it - or maybe the second. The deep freezer was recently reorganized, too. I won't tell you what we found.

I clean the fridge out regularly, mostly on Tuesdays since trash day is Wednesday. I can be found too often taking the produce that was too ripe to begin with and rotted before we could use it all or the leftover gravy that somehow made it to the back of the fridge without our notice and now is unrecognizable as gravy.

I'm not the only one who does this, I know that for a fact. Food goes bad, if you're forgetful. And I am. I usually wipe down the shelves often enough, or when there is a spill, or both.

Today I found watermelon slices back in our fridge, soaking in their own rotten marinade. The watermelon wasn't that great to begin with, so I wasn't all that motivated to eat it, and then life happened, and the fridge started to stink. Way in the back by the cold packs, there it sat. And it went into a trash bag with a hole in it, so now I have a mess in my trash can. No, I haven't cleaned it up yet. My nose needed a break from the rotten watermelon juice, and so, I ask this of you, blog readers:

How often do you deep clean your fridge? How do you combat food waste?

Now off to the smelly task that awaits. Praise Jesus that it's nice and cool today - and that trash day is tomorrow!!


Alicia said...

I don't ever do a deep deep toothbrush scrubbing cleaning but recently before our long vacation I emptied out our fridge and wiped everything down with soapy water. Other than that I only wipe the shelves and drawers down when they are noticeably yucky. Or before my mom-in-law comes to visit. :) She always notices those things . . .

Shelley said...

I've experienced everything you are addressing at one time or another.
I clean my refrigerator every friday. If I spill something I clean it up at the time of the spill.

I organize our refrigerator according to type. Everything is prep for using later saving me time.
Fruits (washed)
Vegetables (washed and chopped)
Meats (According to Portions needed)
Cheese (grated or sliced)
Left Overs (at eye level, used for lunch or dinner)
condiments (on door)
These Items always go in there sections.
Then I base our meals on what we have.

I use a label maker and buy label refills at Costco it's cheaper. But freezer tape. Or a regular sticker works too.

Everything gets labeled where you can see at a glanced what it is.

I invested over time in some rubber maid containers some are for produce and some for freezer and microwave.

I like that they are clear and stack nicely. Taking up less space in the refrigerator. So you can get more in there.

Every Friday I make refrigerator soup and freeze. Eric likes taking the soups to work and left overs.

On a past blog entry I talk about the refrigerator soup. Look under Good Eats.

I hope things go better with your refrigerator. I know the feeling oh so well.

Anonymous said...

Don't be too hard on yourself you are a BUSY mom with more important things to handle! Spending every minute with those boys is much more important than the fridge...I like to throw away leftovers on Sunday night because our trash day is Monday. So anything that is not eaten by then gets tossed. However, really "cleaning" it is a different story - that goes on the "honey do" list on a rainy day :)

Tracy said...

We were able to get a compost bin from our local extension office, so any not meat/dairy leftovers that have passed their prime :) go into the compost bin (as well as the coffee grains and eggshells). All meat and dairy products that I question go to the dog or the trash.

I don't clean out my fridge very often usually when something gets spilled, especially if it happened to go unnoticed for a couple days and got all nasty. Our last deep clean was last month when a gallon of milk decided to empty itself onto all the shelves.

Momma Rae and the Deputy said...

aww... i am the same! we are SO BAD about eating leftovers.. usually cause there is not enough for us and our friends who join us for dinner a couple times a week....

plus Jacob doesnt have a microwave at the Jail where he works so i dont send it with him....

so yeah... we are a tad wasteful :( it makes me sad to throw things out that were so tasty last week!
if only...

Anonymous said...

Ha, Jenny--I took out shelves and drawers and scrubbed with a toothbrush in our fridge today:^)

I do a clean out Sunday night for trash on Monday. We compost anything not oil, meat, or dairy. That makes me feel a bit better. (Our compost bin is a freebie trash can with snap on lid that we drilled holes in.) My guy is good about helping take scraps out for me--I really appreciate it when he does the yucky stuff...and I don't like being outside in the dark out here in the country :^)

Hubby is good about helping with leftovers...mostly I think because it's ready to go for his lunch after supper and sleepy, pregnant Mama doesn't always get up to make him a sandwich in the morning. Really, he does like not wasting $ or food. It seems like treating a blessing lightly. I also plan bits and pieces meals once a week.
However, we still end up with things being pitched (grr!).


ruth said...

Wow, I am really impressed by Shelley's comment. I should be so organized!

I definitely end up throwing stuff out, but most of the time it's food I purchased for a specific meal I was going to prepare, but then something happened and I didn't. John is pretty good about taking the leftovers for his lunch the next day, so that helps a lot.

Tim and Richelle said...

We used to have leftovers... now I'm so lucky. It is not unusual for our fridge to look nearly empty two days after our weekly shopping trip...

Which is my way of saying that most of our food gets eaten... on the rare occasions that it doesn't, it goes to the animals, our househelp or our guard (before it goes bad). The only time things really spoil is when there is only a serving left or something and it gets shoved in the back... or someone forgets to put it away or make sure the fridge door shuts well. I (our our househelp or one of the kids) usually clean out the fridge every 1-2 weeks, though a deep clean probably only happens 1-2 a year.

I'm just thankful that the fridge is working right now... we went through a period of about 3 months where neither it nor the freezer worked last year - and it made me very thankful for cold water and the convenience of a fridge.