The Grandma-Approved Tip I Use to Store All My Leftovers in the Fridge

published Feb 9, 2023
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The new year seems to be that extra nudge to do a deep clean in my home. Right now my focus is on the kitchen and trying to clean off that sticky residue my two kiddos seem to always leave on the refrigerator handles.

Knowing the kitchen is the central location where everyone hangs out, it seems to make the most sense to focus there first. Thankfully, one fewer thing I have to worry about is the refrigerator cleanup after all the parties, thanks to a storage hack I learned from my husband’s grandma.

When I first started hosting family meals over a decade ago, I was fortunate to come into a family where I gained another grandma who loves to spend time in the kitchen. She has definitely taught me a thing or two about cooking and cleaning. Not only is she my go-to when asking about portion sizes for entrees and the best cut of meat to purchase at the store, but she has shown me some tricks to save me time and energy in the kitchen too. Let’s face it, cleaning can take up as much time if not more than cooking for your guests. Having a tip in your back pocket to make the cleanup process easier and faster, I’ll welcome any day.

One of the perks of hosting is you end up with a refrigerator full of leftovers. From turkey to mixed fruit salad, you can have multiple containers wedged in your refrigerator fighting for room. What my grandma taught me is so simple: instead of containers, use Ziploc bags that you can easily reuse. I use both these quart-size and gallon-size bags depending on how large I need for the leftover food. Most of what you would put in a container you can put in a bag including that leftover gravy.

Using these instead of containers is great for two reasons. One, their flexible nature allows for more space in your refrigerator. You can simply fill the bags and lay them completely flat stacking additional bags on top, or you can sit them side-by-side too. Plastic and glass containers aren’t nearly as forgiving when trying to wedge in tight spaces like the sides of your refrigerator door. Second, putting your leftovers in Ziploc bags allows you to toss the food that remains and wash the bags for another use or throw the entire contents in the trash when you’re finished. 

What you have days after the party is easy access to scoop up the leftovers you want to reheat, and an efficient way of cleaning out the fridge when you’re done.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: My Grandma’s Simple Storage Hack Has Made Fridge Cleanup So Much Easier