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For those of you who are cooking this 4th of July, don’t forget to plan for the leftovers and excess foods you will have after the grilling stops and the guests go home. It’s amazing the number of things you can preserve in the freezer as well as the fridge. It is a good idea to get organized in your fridge and your freezer to handle as much food as possible for quick access to leftovers and ingredients for quick meals.

Some of the questions to ask yourself before you start organizing are: what are you using the space for? Fruits? Vegetables? Meats? Breads? Frozen entrees? Dairy? Extra storage?

Just on looking at what was in my freezer, I sorted what I stored into separate categories. I suggest emptying out the freezer completely and sorting the foods by the categories you brainstormed on the counter or in a cooler with ice.

Create labels for each category and all foods that you can’t recognize by just looking at it. If you make a label for the food, make sure you note the date you froze it. I don’t think it is necessary to label foods in the fridge if you only have a few items that you know will be consumed within a week. If it’s not going to be consumed within a week, I say freeze it ASAP.

If you believe you have too much in the fridge or freezer, make an inventory list of the items.

And there you have it! A functional fridge and freezer of leftovers and foods you can enjoy beyond the 4th of July.

Happy 4th of July everyone!

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