For the longest time, I tried to organize my fridge and keep it cleaned, but it seemed like things were always getting shoved to the back and would end up rotten by the time I found them.
I finally had one of those “duh” moments when I realized that organizing my fridge and minimizing food waste didn't have to be difficult at all.
All it took was a few labels.
Sure, I could have just designated certain shelves for certain foods, but whenever I tried that, I would always forget (or my family didn't know what went where) and things would end up in disarray again.
In less than 15 minutes time, I came up with the world's easiest system for organizing my fridge. Yours will probably end up looking different than mine due to the different setup of different refrigerators, but you'll get the idea of how you can create an easy-to-use system for keeping your refrigerator organized.
First, I took everything out and washed the shelves thoroughly. I also threw away anything that had gone bad or that I knew I wasn't going to use. Then I set it up like this:
Beverages. That's it. Since I often buy 8 gallons of raw milk at one time, I need that shelf completely dedicated to beverages.
Cheese and lunch meat. (Side note: lunch meat is not something I recommend consuming regularly. We have it when we're really feeling the need for something quick and easy, but we make sure to buy a kind that is nitrate/nitrite free.)
On the left side I put ingredients such as cooked meat, broth, chopped onions, or anything else that is pre-prepared that will be a component of a meal. I labeled that side simply “Ingredients”. The right side is labeled “Leftovers”, so I'm sure you can figure out what goes there. I try to make sure to put the most recent leftovers in the back and move the older ones to the front. It's a lot easier to make sure we eat the older stuff before it goes bad when it's looking me right in the face when I open the fridge.
The left side is labeled “Snacks” and holds things like granola bars, applesauce, and anything else that is meant to be grab-n-go. Since snacks are such a frequented category of food in our household, having them all in one designated spot keeps people from digging through the fridge in search of something to eat, and eliminates the disorganization that follows. Since there will inevitably be something that doesn't fall into any category, the bottom right shelf is labeled “Miscellaneous”. That way I have a place to put everything even if I'm not sure where it should go.
I have labeled the produce drawers with “Week 1” and “Week 2”. If not everything gets used up on the first week, it gets moved over to the “Week 2” drawer before I bring put any new groceries away. When I'm deciding what vegetables to have with dinner, I always check the “Week 2” drawer and use up whatever's in there first.
In the door I keep condiments, supplements that require refrigeration, butter, and anything else small. I try to group like items together and eliminate as many unnecessary items as possible. For example, instead of having 10 different kinds of salad dressing in there cluttering things up, I make our salad dressing from scratch. I usually only make enough for one meal so that I can make whichever kind we prefer and not end up with a bunch of things in there that end up going bad.
I've never considered myself an organized person, but ever since I labeled the shelves and started putting things in specific places, our food waste has been drastically reduced. It's also easier to decide what to have for dinner because I can easily see what needs to be cooked up first.
And the best part is that it only took a few minutes to organize, and it has stayed that way for a long time!
I hope my system will give you an idea of how to organize your own fridge and reduce food waste!
I had several people ask about my Non-toxic disinfectant recipe, so here it is:
Isn't that easy? You can throw it together in about 60 seconds and use it for pretty much anything!
Below are some other ways you can make a non-toxic disinfectant if you don’t have these ingredients on hand.
Other non-toxic products with disinfecting properties:
Update March 2020: These days my favorite way to clean is to use an e-cloth (see my review here) to clean up any actual messes, then I spray the surface with plain peroxide (so cheap!) Let it sit for 6-8 minutes, and it kills viruses! I get the ecloths as well as these lovely brown spray bottles for spraying the peroxide from Grove.co (sign up for a Grove.com account through this link and you'll get a free gift.
It was just over one year ago that the Lord began working in my heart about praying earnestly for my husband. Our life had begun to seemingly crumble around us as we learned of a major unexpected ministry change that would be taking place. Hard times were ahead- we could just feel it. As my husband came home each day and shared his burdens with me, the Lord seemed to impress on my heart that I could do more to support my husband. I could do the one thing that mattered the most- one that would have a lasting impact. I could pray.
You may be thinking, “Didn't you pray for your husband before last year?!” Yes, I did. But not earnestly. And not specifically. And not consistently.
I needed to make a big change.
One day I came across a prayer calendar online. I don't even remember what site I found it on, but I knew immediately that I was looking at the perfect prompting to my prayers for my husband. The calendar was not month-specific, so I could use it over each month. Every day's box had a different topic of prayer and a few verse references to go along with each topic. I printed it off onto red paper and presented it to my husband as a gift. He was very appreciative and I could tell that it meant a lot to him that I was taking this step and then making it known to him. After he looked it over, I carried it to the kitchen and taped it above my sink.
It's one of the best things I've ever done.
Every day for the past year (plus) I have prayed for my husband as I washed the dishes. (Yes, I've missed a few when we were traveling, but my point is that it became a habit.) I even started knowing what the prayer prompt topic was before I got to the sink!
As the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months, I began to reap the rewards of my prayer time.
My husband would come home and recount the events of the day, telling me his joys and struggles, and of his own answers to prayer.
I was often amazed to find that the very things He encountered that day were specific to the topic I had prayed about! I shared those things with him, many times saying “I prayed about that for you today!” These instances strengthened our faith together, and motivated me to pray even more consistently and more often as the Lord brought things to mind. Furthermore, as time went by, I found that God was changing me through my prayers for my husband. As I prayed about areas of character and Godliness for him, I realized that my own life needed God's stirring in some of the same areas. Only God can give double blessings like that through prayer!
This year, I have designed my own prayer calendar. I've changed up the topics from last year and have added new Scripture references. It's time to begin a new cycle of prayer, and I'm looking forward to seeing how God is going to use it in my husband's life to encourage him.
I'd like to make this calendar available to you and encourage you to pray earnestly and specifically for your spouse this year! Give the gift of the blessings of prayer. My calendar is available as a free printable on my website. At the moment, it is an excel document that I hope will open for you! Click here to download your daily prayer calendar.
Expect God to do great things as you intercede for your beloved!
Mother's Day will be here soon, so I thought I'd do a roundup of gift ideas that you can make! Click on the link under each picture to be taken to the tutorial.
|Tin Can Treats|
|Embellished Pencil Holder|
|Stamped Tea Towels|
|Family Tree Word Art|
|Framed Family Recipes|
My husband got two deer this year, his first since we've been married. That means I got my first experience at helping butcher. Not exactly what I would call fun, but I'm thankful for the meat. There are, of course, certain portions of the meat which are only suitable for grinding. When I was growing up, my dad always had a big meat grinder that he would use. Since I did not have one, I thought I would just try it in the food processor. It works! Quite well, I might add.
After a little trial and error, here is how it worked best:
This is a piece that has already been ground. Now you need to pick out as much of those white streaks as you reasonably can without spending forever or wasting too much meat. I wore disposable gloves for this part.
It will look like it has been crushed to smitherines, but once you cook it, it is the perfect consistency. See?
Now you can use it for spaghetti, chili, or anything else for which you would use regular burger!
I apologize if that was a little gross for you, but I hope it will help someone like me who had no earthly idea how to go about grinding venison.
Preschool Boy + Pockets + Crayons + Washer + Dryer =
2. After you have sprayed the spots, place the clothing into the bathtub with the hottest water you can get. (It is very important to have your water very hot or you will end up with grease spots on the clothes.)
3. Let the clothing sit for a few minutes and scrape each spot with your fingernail. The crayon should come right off, along with some oil from the WD-40.
4. If you have tough spots, re-spray them and scrub them some more with your fingernail. When you have removed all or most of the spots, put the clothes into the washing machine on the hottest water setting. Use good laundry detergent like Tide if you can.
5. You may have to send the load through a couple times and use some good-smelling fabric softener to get rid of the oily smell from the WD-40.
6. Do not dry any of the clothes until you are sure the crayon marks are gone. If you have any clothing that still has crayon marks, start over at step 1 and repeat until the crayon marks are gone.
7. NEVER wash a little boy's clothes in the future without checking the pockets!