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Top tips to organise your fridge for your frugal family

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Keeping your home organised can help you feel in control of your lifestyle, and your family may also benefit financially from a little organisation at home. By keeping your fridge clean and organised both inside and out, you can help your family save money on energy consumption and reduce your food wastage. Check out these top tips to help you clean and organise your fridge for your frugal family.

Keep it clean

Have you ever cleaned your refrigerator coils? If your fridge's coils are coated in dust and grime, they can't effectively dissipate heat from your fridge—this means your fridge may need to use up to 30% more energy to keep your food cool! A quick and easy cleaning job, cleaning your refrigerator coils periodically will help you to save considerably on your energy bill. 

In addition to cleaing your fridge's coils, you also need to thoroughly clean the inside of your fridge. A filthy fridge full of expired or unappealing foods will not inspire your family to eat healthy, home-cooked meals and snacks. If it's been a while since you gave your fridge a deep clean, it's time to get to work! Once your fridge is sparkling clean, place plastic placemats on your shelves, and line your crisper drawers with paper towels for quick cleaning in the future.

Stay on top of your stock

Food waste accounts for up to 35% of all household waste in Australia. If your family is trying to stick to a strict budget, minimising food wastage is a quick and easy way to save both money and time. To help prevent food wastage, label all of your leftovers with a sticky note and eat them within four days. Another great way to avoid throwing out food is to have a clear tub or bin in your fridge labelled 'eat me now'. Pop any produce, leftovers or meat that is nearing its best-before date in this tub, so that you and your family members know what needs to be cooked and eaten first. For more advice on how your family can minimise your food waste, check out these smart tips.

Have a snack station

If you have school-aged kids, you'll know how hungry they can be after school. Encourage your family to eat healthy, frugal snacks by creating a snack station on a shelf or area in your fridge. Even younger children will enjoy the independence of getting their own snacks from the fridge. Have an appealing container or tray in your fridge at your child's eye-level, stocked with plenty of fresh, healthy and homemade prepared snack foods. Instead of investing in pre-packaged, kid-sized food portions, buy snack foods in bulk and portion them out into small tubs or mini snaplock bags. Similarly, instead of buying expensive yoghurt and fruit pouches, buy reusable pouches and fill them with your own homemade fruit and yoghurt delights.

Display your meal plan

Meal planning is a great way to minimise food wastage, keep your family healthy and organised, and reduce your food bill. The Eat for Health website has plenty of advice to get you started with meal planning. If you are an avid meal planner, make sure you display a copy of your meal plan on your fridge door for all your family members to see. This will help keep your family in the loop with what's next on the day's menu, potentially avoiding snacking in between meals and take-out orders.

With all the money you'll save by avoiding food wastage and ordering takeaway, you can invest in a larger, more energy-efficient refrigerator for your family.