Have you ever stood in front of your fridge holding a tomato in one hand and an avocado in the other, stressing about which to leave out and which to refrigerate? Well, my mom is a home economics teacher so I have been saved from such moments of panic, but my roommates have definitely felt the pain. I’ve stepped in to teach them the ways of food storage, and am happy to spread this insider knowledge to you.

For the Fridge:

  • Most fresh produce: put it in separate refrigerator drawers, but don’t wash fresh produce until you eat it because the extra water will make it go bad faster.
  • Eggs and dairy products: place on the top shelf, where temperature is most constant.
  • Fresh herbs: wash, bag and use within the week.
  • Raw meat and fish: double-bag and put on bottom shelf (freeze if you won’t be preparing it within a few days).

For the Pantry:

  • Bananas, citrus, melons, peaches, pineapples, avocados: leave out (if you cut these up, however, stick ’em in the fridge).
  • Tomatoes, potatoes,  squash, garlic, onions and shallots: refrigeration changes the texture and taste of these vegetables, so put them on your counter if you want them to stay flavorful.
  • Bread: don’t let bread get dried out in the fridge, but do freeze some if you can’t eat it in a few days.
  • Dry goods, nuts and spices: best kept in air-tight containers.