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Organise your fridge and spend less

Organising your fridge and setting the correct temperature is the key to ensuring that your food is kept correctly chilled and stays in perfect condition. Save energy and protect your health.

We wouldn’t be able to manage without our fridges, which are an essential part of our daily lives. However, if you don’t take proper care of your fridge, it could harm you in three different ways:

  • Expense: neglecting the temperature settings will lead to higher than necessary electricity bills.
  • Health: follow our simple recommendations to store food correctly, to stop it going off and to prevent your fridge from becoming a Petri dish for infections.
  • Planet Earth: anything that wastes energy harms the environment.

Let’s take it from the top down:

Set the temperature of your refrigerator

One of the basic principles for food preservation is to store it at a suitable temperature. This should be between 3 and 5 degrees. This means that food spoils more slowly.

Remember that your fridge accounts for 30.6% of the electricity used by your appliances. To cut your bill and ensure efficiency, be sure to close the door properly. Every time you leave the door open the cold escapes... and you also add a few euros to your your bill to cool things down again.

Remember that A+++ refrigerators are the most efficient and can save up to 80% in energy consumption compared to refrigerators with lower energy efficiency labels. In addition, they are more environmentally friendly, and will emit one and a half tons less CO2 during their useful lives.

"The difference between having or not having an efficient refrigerator (A+++) is emitting or not emitting a ton and a half of CO2 into the atmosphere." 
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Arranging your food

Organise the fridge as soon as you bring the shopping home, using the same tried and tested last-in-first-out methodology followed by supermarkets: put the products close to their expiry date at the front and your new purchases nearer to the back.

Don’t allow the food to touch the refrigerator walls and remember that each food has its place:

  • Door. This is the least cold area and, therefore, the ideal home for products like eggs, sauces, butter, jam and drinks like water, juice, milk and wine.
  • Top. This is a great spot for open jars that do not require very low temperatures, such as tomato sauce, cream, etc. It is also the perfect place for ready-to-eat products such as fresh pasta, refrigerated doughs and sausages (provided they are packaged, otherwise, store in an airtight container in the meat drawer or on the lower shelf). Semi-preserved goods (pâté, smoked, etc.) can also be placed here.
  • Central area. Put dairy products such as milk, cheeses or yoghurt here. Also products in open packages and leftovers (always in airtight glass containers). Remember to cool cooked food before putting it into the fridge, since if it is hot when you put it in this will reduce your fridge's efficiency.
  • Lower area. Highly perishable products like meat and fish should go here, since this is the coldest part of the fridge. Some have a special compartment with a door to protect these products when the fridge is opened and closed. We advise you to store these foods in airtight bags or glass jars to prevent spilt liquid from affecting the other food in the fridge and to prevent the plastic from tainting the food's taste.
  • Drawers. Store vegetables and fruits that require refrigeration and always remove the mesh, plastic or cardboard packaging, to allow them to breathe. It is a good idea to store them separately, because vegetables produce certain gases.
"Quick rule for organising the fridge: put the meat and fish at the bottom area; dairy in the middle and open jars at the top."

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What stays out of the fridge

A common inefficient habit is to put things in the fridge that don't require refrigeration. All this does is to take up space and use energy to cool something that would certainly do better at room temperature.

There must be at least one thing you keep in the fridge that doesn’t need to be in there. Some foods are best stored at room temperature, unless you have cut or opened them. Here is a list:

  • Tropical fruit. Avocados, pineapples, bananas and so on are better kept in a cool, dark place, since low temperatures prevent them from ripening. Keep them outside the fridge unless you have cut into them.
  • Potatoes, onions and garlic. These products should not be refrigerated. Potato starch turns into sugar when kept in the cold and the flavour changes.
  • Summer fruits and vegetables. Courgettes, tomatoes, peaches and melons lose their taste and texture if stored below 10 degrees.
  • Dry cheeses. Store in a dry place, wrapped in paper to avoid interfering with their flavour and texture.
  • Chocolate. Best kept outside the fridge unless it is very hot.
  • Bread and pastries. Store in the bread bin or in a cool dry place. Another option is to cut the bread into slices and freeze it.
"Potatoes, onions, garlic and tropical (or summer) fruit should be kept out of the fridge."
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