How To Streamline Your Condiment Shelf

People keep condiments for about a year which can result in a fridge door packed with half-full containers at questionable food safety levels.

Here’s how to get a cluttered condiment area under control — and make it last.

Address what you’ve got.

Take every condiment out of your fridge and line it up on the counter. Look at the sell-by dates and open every jar. Combine duplicates and toss anything that smells/looks dicey or is well past its expiration.

Date your condiments.

Write the date you opened the item on the lid of the condiment with a marker. Toss anything you’ve opened after about three months.

Group like with like.

Instead of jamming the jars back into the fridge doors all willy-nilly, arrange them by category — salad dressings, sandwich toppings, and so on. If you keep things in an organized manner, it’s easier to tell what you have and what’s missing.

Stick to smaller quantities.

It may seem like a bargain, but there’s no advantage to buying a king-sized squeeze bottle of mayo if you live by yourself! You won’t save money if you have to toss food because you couldn’t use it in time.

Keep track of seasonal purchases.

Don’t jump the gun on barbecue season and buy a bunch of new sauces and relishes before checking to see what’s already in your fridge! Seasonal purchases are the biggest culprit for condiment clutter — we tend to buy new without tossing the old. If you do have old stuff, chuck it before you add the new stuff in there.

Beware of specialty condiments.

Maybe you pinned a new recipe that you’re pumped to try that calls for some new esoteric ingredient that could end up rotting in your fridge for the next 2 years? To avoid wasting it, challenge yourself to find other recipes that’ll use it up. You’ll not only reduce food waste, but you might also discover your new favorite go-to recipe!