June 29, 2023

How to save money by keeping the contents of your fridge in order (and avoid food waste)

by MaresmeCircular in Consortium
  • Controlling the contents of the fridge will help us to avoid buying food we already have, prevent food waste and, in short, save us money

In Catalonia, each person wastes 35kg of perfectly good food per year, the equivalent of one shopping trolley each. 58% of this is wasted in households. On an environmental level, unused food which ends up in the waste stream has a huge impact. But it also affects us economically.

Keeping the contents of our fridge in order will help us avoid buying food that we already have, prevent food waste and, in short, help us save money.

  1. Dairy products, at the top

The top of the fridge, where the temperature is usually lower, is the best place to keep yoghurts, cheese and other foods such as eggs.

  1. Leftovers and cold meats, top shelves

Similarly, cooked foods, cured cold meats and semi-preserved foods will also go on the top shelves. Canned products, once opened, should be transferred to a glass or plastic jar because the cans oxidise in the cold and can contaminate the products.

  1. Fresh and raw products, on the lower shelves

Below the cooked food, fresh and raw products such as meat, fish and seafood should be kept on the lower shelves, which are the coldest. Also all those foods that we want to defrost. These foods should be kept inside a container, preferably one with a grille so that the liquids they release do not touch the product directly, thus preventing it from deteriorating.

If our refrigerator has a special drawer capable of maintaining a separate temperature and humidity level, this is a good option for storing meat and fish.

By storing fresh products under the cooked ones, we will prevent juices from dripping down and cross-contamination from occurring.

  1. Fruits and vegetables in the drawer

Underneath everything, there are usually drawers designed to protect fruit and vegetables from direct cold. This separation also protects the food from the juices of the raw produce on the upper shelves. It is very important to clean fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating and cooking them.

  1. The fridge door is also important

If we have an egg holder, it is advisable to keep the eggs in the door shelves. The egg holder serves to keep the eggs in a dry and cool place and also prevents cross-contamination. If our refrigerator does not have an egg holder, we can store the eggs on the top shelf to prevent them from breaking. Of course, they should always be kept in the fridge where the temperature is more stable.

Butter, sauces and preserves can also go on the upper shelves of the door, leaving the lower shelves for drinks.

And remember, first in first out! Rotate your food and put the food you need to use first at the front.

Make recipes for reuse

Apart from tidying up the fridge, making reuse recipes is another of the many things we can do to save and avoid food waste. What’s more, now the best reuse recipe in the Maresme has a prize!

Maresme Circular has launched a recipe competition to promote food reuse: the most original and the one that makes the best use of leftover food will win a meal for two at the restaurant El Nou-Cents in Mataró.

Until 3rd July, any adult inhabitant of the Maresme region can send in their proposals.

– The jury will be made up of the head chef of the restaurant El Nou-Cents, Josep Maria Martín, the conscious food teacher Marta Castells, a member of both Maresme Circular and  Rezero.

– To participate, contestants will have to send the recipe and photographs and/or a video to cbrossa@cresidusmaresme.com.

– The prize-giving ceremony will take place at 5.30 p.m. on 14 July in the e-Ágora space at the Plaça de Cuba market in Mataró, and will be accompanied by a reuse cooking workshop open to the public and especially to all participants in the competition.

Maresme waste prevention plan

The initiative is part of a series of actions to reduce food waste that Maresme Circular, a project of the Maresme Waste Consortium, and Rezero are carrying out in 2023 as part of the Maresme Waste Prevention Plan. The Plan, drawn up in 2022, aims to reduce waste generation in the county by 26.4% by 2027, compared to 2010.

Maresme Vegetables / Marga Cruz