How to Better Use Your Fridge to Save on Food and Electricity

Think you know how to use your refrigerator best so it (and your food) lasts longer? Think again! Here are some best practices to optimise your fridge usage...

Your refrigerator is the only appliance in your house that runs all the time even when you’re not home. Which means it costs a lot of energy to run so it pays to be careful with how we use our fridge to maximise its efficiency.

Another important reason to know how to use our fridge right is to prevent food wastage. As we’ve covered before, saving on food is a major way to cut down on expenses and it’s good for the environment too. Let’s start with how to store your food...

Food Storage Tips

You can get some success just by tossing whatever that needs saving into the fridge in its own packaging, but know that there is more to storing food in the fridge than just that. Here are some tips to help make sure your food stays safe and tasty for longer.

Transfer to a Different, Smaller Container

When fridging an item, it’s best to fit it in the smallest container possible for the food. Why? Because aeration promotes spoilage in most food items and keeping it airtight and compact also helps keep your fridge organised and easy to navigate.

Label Your Containers

Right after transferring into your smaller containers, slap on a masking tape and write down what you put it in, and the date it was first placed in the fridge. This little tip helps you know which foods you need to use up before it spoils and also avoids you having to always use transparent containers. Keep your masking tape and marker in the kitchen to make things easier.

On Raw Meat

If you’re keeping raw flesh meat of any kind from any animal, keep it in a container or on a tray to prevent drippings. No matter how well you wrap it, it might still change shape (as it thaws) or get knocked around by other people using the fridge so it’s best to avoid this possible contamination altogether. Fish on the other hand should be kept in the freezer if not used immediately (which is what we recommend).

Don’t Block the Vents

Your fridge has vents that lets the cool air into it so if you block these with your food, your fridge has to work harder to keep your food cold and might contribute to malfunction. Your food will also take much longer to get to the right temperature.

Protecting Your Fridge

Knowing how to organise things inside your fridge definitely helps your food last longer, but knowing how to manage the outside of your fridge helps your fridge last longer.

Clean the Condenser Coils

For older models, these are the coils on the back of the refrigerator. More modern designs would have these coils tucked under the bottom of your refrigerator unit. Refer to your manual on how to carefully take these out (make sure it’s unplugged!) and you can easily clean these with a vacuum cleaner and brush. Do this every year or so to ensure your fridge works at an optimal level.

Ensure Adequate Air Circulation Around the Fridge

Your fridge shouldn’t sit exactly flush against other furniture if you can help it. As you may know, refrigerators work by air convection, which means a restricted airflow can hinder it from performing its job effectively. Make sure you don’t build a refrigerator into a tight-fitting cabinet unless it’s a unit designed specifically for in-cabinet installation. Allow several inches of space on the top and sides of the refrigerator if possible.

With these tips, we hope you now know how to more efficiently use your refrigerator to save on electricity and to spend less money replacing your spoiled foods. If you’re looking to save even more on groceries via cash back and rewards, check out our credit card comparison page to find the best cards that reward you for everyday shopping.

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