Fridge Organization Tour & Simple Meal Prep Ideas
This fridge organization tour will show you how to use up leftovers, eliminate tossing out food, and get healthy, made-from-scratch meals on the table with less mess and stress. It won’t be a fridge organization tour focused on being pretty, because I am practical instead.
Let’s get to the tour, so I can show you the fridge-organization tools I use and the meals you can make with a mostly-from-scratch fridge.
The fridge door
The bottom panel of the door houses ready-to-drink kombucha brew, beverages, and homemade recipes I’m trying to use up. Canning, fermenting, and preserving gives your kitchen flexibility. You can extend the shelf life of produce for months.
Transitioning to homemade condiments is easier than you think. It saves money, eliminates unnecessary or inferior ingredients, and gives you a better flavor.
The main shelf
The main shelf of my fridge has seasonal produce and ferments. This week my stackable, airtight, wet jars are storing a mixed greens salad and crunchy fermented onions. A few are intentionally empty waiting for leftovers.
Glass swing bottles store staple liquid ingredients like orange juice, half and half, buttermilk, dressing, and lemon juice. They help with clutter-free fridge organization and let me monitor the quantity of items.
The top shelf
The top of my fridge keeps eggs, lunches I’ve prepped, and the use-first basket. This basket contains ingredients approaching expiration that I need to use up.
To the left side are ready-to-eat ferments, home-canned ingredients, and mixes.
One bin stores fresh, whole, seasonal fruits and vegetables. I’ve also got produce in cold storage in our basement.
The left side has defrosted sourdough and sprouted grain bread. This is all we need for this week.
My fridge basket and freezer meals sit on top of the produce bins. Now let's start making some meals.
I keep one or two freezer meals on hand. This is one of my favorites. Maple-dijon chicken is filling and flavorful. You make a glaze, prep vegetables, marinate the chicken, and bake it.
Since a quick marinade rarely penetrates deep into the food, use your hands to massage the surface of your veggies.
Transition your veggies to a pan, top with chicken, and pour on the remaining marinade. Pop it into the oven and prepare for your house to smell scrumptious.
Chickpea salad sandwich
I can my own chickpeas. Y’all, this recipe is sneakily close to a tuna salad sandwich but uses protein-packed chickpeas as the base. Chopped onion, healthy, homemade garlic and dill mayo, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and fermented celery give it a classic, fresh flavor.
I batch cook our lunches for the week. This tin container doesn’t retain stains or odors. I love it. I’m going to prepare sandwiches, herb-and-garlic-infused fermented carrots and sliced cucumbers, and sweet, dried prunes. That’s lunch for the week.
During the week we keep breakfast simple. Monday through Friday, it’s oatmeal. I always change the topping. This week, I’m adding home-fermented cranberries.
Fridge baskets are the best fridge organization hack. When I come home from the grocery store, I immediately take the ingredients I need for specific meals and drop them into their corresponding baskets.
That way, I don’t have to search the fridge to make dinner. It’s a great way for me to build meals with ingredients that are going to expire. I add those ingredients to one of the baskets to remember to use them.
When I try a new recipe from a cookbook or online, I’ll print the recipe or write the cookbook and page number on an index card and throw it in the basket. It’s like my own meal kit service.
It’s taco Tuesday. I can’t wait to show y’all how my homemade, dehydrated ground beef brings this meal together in minutes. My fridge basket has everything I need to get started when I come home from work. The meat retains its color, chewy texture, and taste after you rehydrate it. It’s such a time saver.
I add my own seasonings and toppings. This week it’s homemade canned black beans in a ham broth, leftover guac, barbequed kale and collard kraut, pico de gallo, and homemade fermented sour cream. I know I'm giving my family toppings that contain probiotics, veggies, and added nutrition.
It’s simple but savory. I made a cauliflower mash and paired it with a simple salad topping with items from my use-first bin and my homemade condiments, like pickled onions and homemade balsamic dressing. This salad came out tasting every bit as good as it looks.
Tonight, my home-canned, honey-orange slices are the star of the meal. I love layering them on baked ham to add a moist glaze. I also grabbed a jar of green beans and made mashed potatoes paired with kimchi. Another weeknight meal cooked up in under thirty minutes.
Having an arsenal of quality glass jars and bottles is my preference. They’re easy to clean, don’t stain or retain smells, and they’re clear, making it easy to monitor quantity. My wet jars are leak-proof and freezer safe and can stack in the fridge.
These half-gallon bottles with durable lids, easy grips, and carry handles are also a favorite.
Wide-mouth jars for condiments are a must, but for dressings, I like these fermentation grade, leakproof, swing top bottles that come with a pour funnel and labels.
Instead of noodles, I’ll use spaghetti squash. I also grabbed milk, home-canned chicken broth, mushroom, French onion soup, flour, seasoned salt, and fermented celery. While the squash bakes, I’ll cook meat in the crockpot.
Once the squash is tender, it’s ready to soak up the meatball stroganoff sauce.
I added parsley from my use-first basket and it was so good.
I make leftover breakfast quiche using what’s leftover from meals in the fridge. I’m convinced there’s nothing a flaky crust, cheese, and eggs won’t make right. Add a dollop of dijon, herbs, and spices, and you’ve got yourself a new meal.
Fridge organization & meal prep
Fridge organization and homemade meals can go hand in hand. It’s easy to get started. What do you want to try to make from scratch? Let me know in the comments.