Frugal Ways to Freshen a Fridge
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Frugal Ways to Freshen a Refrigerator

Posted on Monday, February 18th, 2013 at 7:00 am
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An inexpensive box of baking soda can help you clean your refrigerator. Clean it often and you will avoid spending money on what you already have enough of.  What’s that smell? Oh, no, its coming from somewhere inside the refrigerator! This may sound like a description of a cheesy horror movie, but it can (and does) happen in real life. Fortunately, there are ways to be frugal and freshen up your refrigerator. A nice, clean, refrigerator can help you save money on groceries, too!

How to Freshen a Refrigerator

Take It All Out
The first thing you need to do is to find where that bad smell is coming from. The best way to do this is by taking everything out of the refrigerator. Put things on your counter or kitchen table. You may want to put some items into a cooler while you are sorting.

Check the expiration date on absolutely everything. If it has expired, throw it in the trash. Not sure how long those leftovers have been there? Get rid of them! You will, eventually, find the food item that is the source of the bad smell.

You will also get a really clear idea of exactly what foods you have and how long they will last. Make it a practice to clean your refrigerator right before you go grocery shopping, and you will save money. It makes you aware of what you already have (and don’t need to buy more of) and what you need to use right away (before it becomes the source of the next bad smell).

Wash Everything
Use whatever cleaning product you are comfortable with. I would advise making sure that it is non-toxic. Some people use hot water, others use a mixture of baking soda and water. Take the drawers completely out of the fridge and rinse them off in your sink. Go over every surface. This should get rid of any residue left over from whatever it was that went bad. It also gives you a clean start.

When you are all done cleaning the refrigerator, make sure you remember to put the food back into it. Check the table, the counter, and the cooler. Are they empty? People honestly do forget to put all the food back in when they are done cleaning, and then it goes bad (and becomes a waste of money).

Remove Lingering Odor
Sometimes, the smell will still be there, even after you have cleaned out the entire refrigerator. To get rid of the last of it, open a box of baking soda and put it in your fridge. It will help remove the odor.

Other things that can remove smells include: a bowl of oats or a container of fresh coffee grounds. You probably have at least one of those items in your kitchen already!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.