Does opening your fridge inflict terror and guilt? While you should try to avoid food waste as much as possible, sometimes things are just past the point of no return. You can feel good about getting rid of these 10 things in your fridge without a second thought. You’ll be doing yourself and your fridge a favor by making room for things you can actually consume. A clean fridge packed with delicious ingredients is something you can look forward to seeing.

1. Slimy Greens and Herbs

When that bag of greens sitting in the back of the fridge starts to get slimy, there’s no hope for using them in any recipe.

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2. Soulless Lemons

I always pick up extra lemons at the grocery store, but sometimes I forget I have them or just don’t get around to using them. When your lemon gets hard and juiceless, you’re going to have to toss it.

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3. Shriveled Ginger

It doesn’t matter how well you store ginger, at some point it is going to go bad in your fridge. When it gets all wrinkly and sad-looking, it’s time to toss that extra knob into the trash.

Avoid Shriveled Ginger: Here’s the Best Way to Store Fresh Ginger


Photo courtesy of Christine Gallary

4. Expired Condiments

If you’re anything like me, you have a bunch of half-used condiments lurking in the fridge at any time. That BBQ sauce you have from last summer? It has to go. That fancy bottle of Worcestershire sauce that you’ve had for the last three years? Don’t even think about keeping it.

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5. Random Food Gifts You’ll Never Use

So your friend brought you back a needs-to-be-refrigerated food product from their trip that’s just been sitting in your fridge for the last year. If it doesn’t bring you joy and you can’t give it away, it’s time to toss it.

6. Mystery Leftovers

If you have no recollection of when you cooked something (was it last week, or last month?), maybe it’s time to get rid of it. Can’t even tell what the container has inside? Definitely time to get rid of it. The sniff test will do wonders for that super-old container of chicken tikka masala.

7. Anything with Mold

This one is a no-brainer. If anything has mold on it or is visibly rotten, just toss it. It’s past the point of a smell or taste test.


Photo courtesy of Christine Gallary

8. Box of Chicken Broth You Opened Last Week

Got leftover stock? You have two options: The first is freezing it for later use, and the second is to use it up within about four days in the fridge. If you left it in the fridge and forgot to use it within that timeframe, you’ll have to toss it.

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9. Stale Leftover Takeout Rice

So you had all the best intentions of making congee with your leftover takeout rice, but the first day went by, and then the next, and now it’s been something closer to a week. You’re not going to make congee anymore — you should just throw the leftovers out.

10. Raw Ground Meat, Poultry, and Fish After 2 Days

Maybe you thought you’d have time to cook a beautiful filet of fish one night, but something came up. And then something came up for the next couple nights and you forgot to put it in the freezer. While I know this can be a huge bummer for your wallet and the environment, it’s probably best to get rid of it.