Keep your food fresh in the heat
Whether your household is considered to be on the higher-end or the lower-end of the income scale in South Africa, you are sure to feel the pinch as the drastic effects of drought have got the food prices shooting through the roof. The last thing you need is food spoilage
If your groceries aren’t stretching as far as they should, and you find yourself throwing out food before the expiry date, there’s a good chance it’s because you’re packing your fridge badly. We offer some tips to prevent you from making the most common fridge-packing mistakes, meaning a longer shelf life for your food.
Keep dairy away from the door
Raise your hand if you reserve those compact shelves in your fridge door for milk, yogurts and cottage cheese. Most people do, but considering that dairy products tend to have the shortest shelf-life, it doesn’t make sense to store them in the door, which is one of the warmest sections in the fridge. Move them to the back of the lower shelves in your fridge where they’ll stay coldest. You can put condiments, oils and nuts in the door instead, along with butter and soft cheeses – the only exception to this rule.
Top up on-the-go
The top of the fridge has the most consistent temperature and is the best place to store items that don’t need to be cooked, like leftovers, ready-made meals or herbs – the kinds of things you grab out of the fridge when you’re throwing together a quick lunchbox for school or work. This excludes deli meats however which should go on the bottom shelf with dairy. That way, if there is a tear in the packaging it won’t leak onto other food and contaminate it.
Fruit and veggies don’t frizz
You probably hate humid weather because it means you can wave goodbye to smooth and controlled locks, but that’s not the only thing that goes wild in this kind of weather. Fruit and vegetables often grow rampant in humid areas, so it’s not surprising that a little moisture can keep them fresher for longer. That’s why you should store them in the moist crisper of your fridge. Vacuum fresh drawers take this concept even further, so if you eat your five a day, it might be worth your while to invest in a fridge that comes fitted with this new technology. Just remember to keep peaches, plums, pears and bananas out of the fridge. They emit a gas that can cause other vegetables to ripen and go off faster.
The emptier your freezer, the more energy it takes to cool down the food, so load it up as much as possible – did you know that dry grains, such as dry lentils or beans, keep better in the freezer and you won’t need to defrost them before using? Just be sure that all raw meat is stored in a separate compartment from the rest of your food. Cross-contamination is less likely in the freezer, but not impossible.
Thanks to modern innovation, your fridge might be able to do half the work for you when it comes to managing your groceries. Some fridges, such as our Double Door Fridges, are specifically designed to be more energy efficient, offering improved cooling systems that reduce cold air loss by up to 47% – keeping food fresher for longer. Plus, it offers the ability to see your entire food inventory at a glance, so you know what’s going off next.