Painless Spring Cleaning – Day 3
Hello intrepid Blitzers! I hope that your donate run went well yesterday and that you sighed a well-earned sigh of relief and accomplishment!
Today you need to pull out one of your trash bags. We are going to 15-minute blitz your refrigerator door and shelves! It is easy for seldom-used items to make it to the side of the door or the back of the shelf and be forgotten about. Maybe you have that small takeout container in the back that you kind of forgot about because something else got put on top of it. Or that half-used sour cream that is no longer good — it’s time to get rid of it.
There’s a great website, Still Tasty, that helps you know what the shelf life of pretty much anything you’d ever have. Here’s some quick facts from that website on how long you can keep opened containers of common condiments in your fridge:
- bbq sauce: 6-9 months
- hot sauce: 5 years
- jam/jelly: 1 year
- ketchup: 6 months
- mayo: 2-3 months after the “use by” date or “best by” date.
- mustard: 1 year
- pickles/relish: 1 year
- salad dressing: 6-9 months (sold unrefrigerated), 6 months or date on package (sold refrigerated)
- soy sauce: 2 years
- tartar sauce: 6 months
Armed with this knowledge, go through every item on your refrigerator door and toss what is mostly gone, aged out, or doesn’t smell or look right. You may find that you have a lot more room!
Now take everything off the shelves (one at a time is the most painless to me) and see what needs to be tossed or has met its life expectancy. Lunch meat from the deli is only good for 3-5 days, and commercially sealed lunch meat is good in your fridge unopened for two weeks or the “use by” date. After it’s opened, the 3–5-day clock starts ticking before it’s no longer good. Old leftovers you forgot about? Toss. That half gallon of margaritas/ rum punch you bought to have at home? If it has added fruit or eggs of any kind, it’s only good for about two weeks. If it’s just alcohol, it can stay in the fridge for 6-8 months.
You are doing great! When you’re finished, pat yourself on the back. One of our extended-play weekend projects is going to be cleaning the shelves and door, but for now you’re all done! Take your trash out and have a cold drink.