Refrigerator Storage Guide

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Refrigerator Storage Guide

Staff Writer · Apr 19, 2010

Effective refrigerator storage is key to saving money when you’re renting an apartment. Spoiled food wastes money, and when you don’t store foods in the correct places inside your refrigerator, it won’t run as efficiently. Don’t just throw your groceries or leftovers in the refrigerator haphazardly. Use this refrigerator storage guide to maximize the life of your foods, and conserve as much energy as possible.

Meats

Most fresh meats will store well for three to five days. Store your meats on the shelves that provide the cover to the bottom drawers and the lowest shelf. Here are some refrigerator storage guidelines to help you determine how long your meats will last:

  • Steaks – 3 to 5 days
  • Ground meat – up to 2 days
  • Stew meat – up to 2 days
  • Roasts – 3 to 5 days
  • Chops – 3 to 5 days
  • Processed meats (luncheon meat, Frankfurters and smoked meats) – 3 to 7 days

It’s a good idea to buy meat in bulk

when it’s on sale and freeze most of it. You can use freezing paper, freezer storage bags or leave it in the original package. Meats can last anywhere from three to 12 months in the freezer, depending on the type of meat.

Fruits

How long you can expect fruits to last in your fridge will depend on the kind of fruit. Store fruits in the drawers at the bottom of your fridge. Use the following refrigerator storage guidelines for fruits:

  • Citrus fruits (like oranges) – 3 weeks
  • Opened canned fruits – up to 5 days
  • Apples – up to 3 weeks, but some as little as one week

You can freeze all of these in freezer storage bags or other moisture proof containers. However, don’t freeze canned fruits if you have a choice, because they’re very soft when you thaw them after freezing. If any piece of the fruit you want to freeze is cut, wrap it in plastic wrap first before putting it in the container or storage bag you plan to use for freezing.

Vegetables

There’s a wide variation in the number of days that vegetables will keep fresh in the fridge. Store vegetables in the refrigerator drawers with the fruits. You can expect some vegetables to keep fresh as follows:

  • Cucumbers, lettuce and peppers – 1 week
  • Peas, green onions and carrots – 3 to 5 days
  • Tomatoes – up to 6 days

Don’t shell vegetables until you plan to use them. This will keep them fresh longer.

A freezer is handy for items that aren’t suited for long term refrigerator storage. You’ll want a longer time period to store groceries and leftovers, so that you don’t have to cook as often or travel as much to get groceries. It’s possible to freeze foods for months and even up to one year. Not all foods are suitable for freezing, though. For instance, fresh salads, cooked potatoes and crispy vegetables don’t freeze well. However, cooked casseroles, non-crispy vegetables (like peas and corns), breads and bagels are all items that freeze well.

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