STEP 5 – Make a fridge triage box
If you’ve ever brought home a new carton of eggs only to realize that you already had a half-full one hidden away at the back of your fridge, you probably had a “d’oh!” moment that could easily have been avoided. Americans waste a ton of food (33 million tons of food in 2010), and a lot of that trashed food could be saved if we added one simple, practically free thing to our refrigerators – an “Eat Me First” or fridge triage box. While it may look ridiculously elementary – yes, it’s just a box with a sign on it – this device acts as a surprisingly effective visual cue that changes the way you and your family view the food in your fridge. Just place all of your more easily perishable or close to expiring eats in the box and teach the other members of your household to check out the items in the triage box first when they open the fridge. If you’ve ever purchased a $7 block of cheese only to have the whole thing go bad because it was hidden away behind a box of milk, you can see how this handy box can save you a ton of money and keep good food from heading to the landfill.
TIP 6: Keep a water-purifying pitcher in your fridge
Ditch the bottled water habit and invest in a Brita pitcher or Bobble water jug for your kitchen. Drinking water from the sink (if the tap water in your area is safe) is fine too but keeping a pitcher in your fridge during the summer months is a smart way to avoid having to keep the faucet on to let the water run cold. You can get fancy by dropping some lemon or lime wedges in the bottom portion of your pitcher to make your water taste even better but just remember to clean it and your filter every week or so.
TIP 7: Invest in quality glass or aluminum food storage containers
Plastic wrap and tin foil may seem like conveniences but they’re wasteful and, let’s admit it, kind of annoying to use. That’s why we recommend reusable glass containers like these microwave-safe Pyrex ones to store leftovers with zero waste and no hassle. Some ahead-of-the-curve families even serve dishes right out of these containers family-style so that at the end of the meal, you just pop the lid on and stick ‘em in the fridge. When it’s time to reheat, just take the lid off and put it in the microwave. Plus, unlike a box of Saran wrap, they’ll last you a lifetime.
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