Here are some easy foods to stop refrigerating if you are thinking about going fridge free or just downsizing to save energy and money. Living without a fridge may not be for everyone, but it’s easy to free up space and maybe even move to a smaller model.
- Apples (Store in a bowl on a counter for up to two weeks and longer in a root cellar or cool storage).
- Pears (Same as apples, eat as they ripen or make pear sauce).
- Citrus (Keeps for a month on the counter).
- Tomatoes (Refrigerating destroys the flavor).
- Bread (It goes stale in the fridge anyway).
- Tortillas (Growing up they were always in the fridge, but they actually stay more flexible at room temperature).
- Ketchup (Think about all the restaurants where the ketchup sits on the tables).
- Mustard (Same as the ketchup).
- Jam (Lasts for about two weeks at room temperature).
- Carrots (If they turn rubbery before you use them up, soak in water to restore crispness).
- Spinach (Place stems in water like a vase of flowers).
- Broccoli (Same trick as the spinach).
- Eggs (Unwashed farm fresh eggs are safe to store at room temperature. Once they’ve been washed, keep them cool).
- Butter (It’s softer at room temperature and lasts a few weeks in a cool spot in the kitchen).
One tip though, if you stop refrigerating previously refrigerated produce it will NOT last as long as produce that was always stored at room temperature.
By moving these foods to the counter you can free up room in your fridge or even downsize to a smaller one. My family of five comfortably uses a dorm sized fridge for dairy and a small chest freezer for meat. We sold our huge fridge/freezer combo to save space and money in the kitchen and reduce our energy usage.
If you want to stop refrigerating more foods, check out these links for more comprehensive lists: