Refrigerator Makeover ~ Part 1

by DanicasDaily on March 27, 2010

Happy Saturday all!  As part of March’s National Nutrition Month the AMAZING people over at I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter contacted me to ask if I’d like to to MAKEOVER MY FRIDGE and make it healthier.  I consider myself a fairly healthy eater, but, I know there is definitely room for improvement so I was up for the challenge!

There will be 3 STEPS to my Refrigerator Makeover and I will have 3 posts for you!

STEP 1 ~ Perform a Little Clean Out!  This includes getting rid of any not so healthy products as well as a deep cleaning to get rid of any lurking bacteria.

STEP 2 ~ Restock my fridge with fresh, healthy food that will most likely include a new recipe with the fresh taste of butter, the healthier way.

STEP 3 ~ Hold a Giveaway where ONE of my LUCKY READERS will have a chance to Makeover their fridge!!!!

Fun, right?!  Here we goooooooo……..Today was all about Step 1!



It was totally hard for me to resist the urge to clean out and scrub my fridge down before I showed it to you all for the FIRST time.  But, I figured, in true MAKEOVER STYLE, I needed to be honest and show you as though you just walked in my house and opened the doors.  Since it’s the end of the week, this is probably the worst shape our fridge is ALL week :)


Door #1 contains all of our random batteries in a Ziploc or not.


Hot Sauces, Mustards, two types of milk and a little Vino (only used for cooking of course).


Door # 2 includes a bunch of marinades, BBQ sauces, Dressings, Vinegars.


Plus our fruit bins ~ I LOVE these bins!


Produce drawer # 1 ~ is our random salad mix & greens drawer.


Produce Drawer #2 is random herbs, onions, ginger, veggies.


The meat, cheese, chocolate and baking drawer!!


The “scary” insides!  I say that because now you all will know that sometimes I pack things for lunch (like the random egg) that do not get eaten, yet, I just place it on the shelf instead of in the container with the others.  Plus all our leftovers that I typically clean out each week :)


The next step was to bust out the cleaners for some serious DEEP FRIDGE CLEAN-OUT.  I really didn’t want to use anything HARSH because well I don’t want to have my new healthy eats hanging out chemicals, but, I also wanted to use something that was good for the environment too.  I picked up a bottle of Seventh Generation Natural Liquid Detergent.


I was really impressed by the fact that they list all the ingredients included on their label and that it was CHEAPER than regular soap (only $2.69 for this bottle at Target).


WOW ~ I seriously felt so Earth friendly when I read the “Did you know?” section because I had no idea how bad REAL dish soap is. 


I also bought two baking soda odor eaters, but, you could also just use an old box of baking soda.  I like to replace it every 1-2 months because it keeps any of your foods from tasting like each other ~ your apples won’t taste like onions, etc.


The grocery list magnet that ICBINB provided came in super handy so I could jot down things I thought I’d like to restock/change when I re-fuel my fridge with healthy foods.


As I took everything out of my fridge, I had 3 goals in mind:

1.  Get rid of anything with expired dates, that’s not healthy!

2.  Replace anything that contains ingredients I don’t LOVE, like High Fructose Corn Syrup, Trans-fats, etc.  I do my best to avoid these things but sometimes The Husband sneaks in a few items.

3.  See if there was any way I could make my fridge GREENER as in Earth Friendly!

I filled up a bowl of warm water with some Seventh Generation Soap and went to work.  I wiped the bottoms of each jar as I took them out.

Then, to show you all the details of everything, I snapped pictures as I loaded up our mini table 3 times.  Can you all identify the things I ended up setting aside as the outcasts?? Where’s Waldo??? LOL…kidding…but, I did have a pile of “outcasts”

I really have WAY too many sauces, but, what can I say, I LOVE lotsa flavor! 😀


I like to store my nuts in the fridge to keep them from going rancid ~ they last longer.


I definitely NEED more fruits/veggies in my life, but, it IS the end of the week & time to load up!


TIP: You can also store specialty oils in the fridge to extend their shelf life as well.


GREEN ALERT!!! I realized I could save the Earth little by using my own containers to put cut up produce in versus using ziploc baggies   Air tight containers work just as good and I am less wasteful.


The OLDEST thing I tossed was some Simply Fruit from 2008 ~ not sure how this survived staying in there that long!


TWO of The Husband’s products I want to replace.


I am pretty sure I can find some products tomorrow that are not made with High Fructose Corn Syrup or with ALL sugar.


This was a surprise to me because everyone LOVES Ghirardelli.


But, did you know that it has TRANSFAT ~ hydrogenated oils….Into the trash it went!


When I make Chocolate Chip cookies I like using 1/2 butter and 1/2 margarine ~ it’s all about the texture of the cookie more so than trying to save on fat.


I just now realized that the margarine I had was no bueno ~ transfatty too!  I will definitely be replacing this with some Trans-Fat FREE I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!


So, the not so good things made it to the trash and I rinsed out all their containers to recycle them (GREEN move) :)


Here is our fridge totally empty ~ it’s funny because I actually thought it looked clean until now.  I actually pictured little cartoon germ character’s dancing around ~  LOL.


After a good Seventh Generation scrub down!  I LOVE that stuff ~ it cleans so good and there isn’t a funky bleach or perfume smell – it has not smell.  i am totally checking out their other products!


I quickly put everything back into the fridge in an orderly fashion to make room for the NEW healthy restocking happening tomorrow :D  I also put all those random batteries in a reusable container (GREEN Move!)



Next, it was time to tackle my biggest “dumping” zone(s).  You all know I pretty much freeze EVERYTHING and I have TWO freezers to do it with.  Brace yourself!

The inside fridge!


It’s really not that much stuff ~ fruits, veggies, lots of breads, potatoes, VitaTOPS, Thrive Bars and a few treats.  I threw out just a few breads that I pretty much know I am not going to eat.


All sparkly and just like new!


I LOVE order ~ oh, The BLUE container is my frozen bananas for ICE CREAM!


The outside fridge is used for all my frozen soups, meals, meats and anything else I can’t cram in the inside fridge :)


The Husband’s nasty pizzas and Cool Whip disappeared, but, don’t tell him 😉


Order!  Poultry and veggies stuff on top (my section!) and Beef/Pork, Sausages, etc on the bottom (The Husband’s section).  I use the ice tray for rice packets :)


Plus those AMAZING focaccia breads, bagel thins and more bread!


So, there you have it ~ STEP 1 ~ complete!!!

Tomorrow I am tackling STEP 2 by planning out our meals for the week with some fun new recipes to try and re-stocking with fresh, healthy foods.  I am looking forward to the challenge of replacing a few items with new things that have a great ingredient list!


1.  Did you see anything else in our Fridge/Freezer that you think we should toss out?

2.  What fresh, healthy foods should we RESTOCK our fridge now?

See you all tomorrow for more Fridge Makeover FUN ~ NIGHT!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia March 27, 2010 at 9:55 pm

This is awesome! First off, I have major refrigerator jealousy – my apartment fridge is kinda cheap and the shelves are flimsy and poorly designed.
Second I love what you did getting rid of stuff that is past it’s date and ditching anything with HCFS and Trans fats – that is exactly what I would do too! I’m very disappointed with Ghiradelli about the Trans-fats, what a fail! I also think its cool that you are trying to find healthier versions of your hub’s foods so that he can be healthy too!
I can’t wait till tomorrow to see what you restock your fridge with!
Thanks for a great post!


janetha March 27, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Loved this post! And your fridge was not even bad before! !

Reply March 27, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Hey do you want to come clean out my frig next? It is on my list to do this coming week.

I love those fruit bins, never seen that feature before.


RunToTheFinish March 28, 2010 at 4:50 am

Ok first I love this idea, second you just made me realize once again how stinking small our refrigerator in this apartment really is!! I love the fruit bins that is one of the greatest things ever!

Hmm you are so healthy not sure i could make many recs, except the ore ida fries :) but I bet I know who those belong to


Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) March 28, 2010 at 6:17 am

This is a fun makeover! I think your fridge/freezer looks pretty darn healthy to me! Lets see… I’d toss the tater tots, and the seasoned frozen veg… I think it’s much healthier to season yourself! But that is all I see! Can’t wait to see part 2 =D

And I am so jealous of your big fridge!! I have a dinky one that hardly fits all my food love in it =/



Allison R. March 28, 2010 at 6:46 am

Just wanted to let you know that at least where I live, the tops of recycable containers go in the garbage. It may be different where you are, but I just thought I’d let you know :)


DanicasDaily March 29, 2010 at 9:21 am

Hi Allison,

You know, I never really thought about that because our recyle is a mixed recycle (glass, metal, newspaper, plastics, etc). I am wondering if someone sorts it all out, but, I don’t want to create more work for them. I am definitely going to have to check it out – Thanks for the heads up because I definitely want to make sure I do green right!



tami March 28, 2010 at 7:18 am

we just got maple syrup yesterday, fresh, it was tapped early this week and boiled down on Thursday-so fresh! i use to use the eggo junk but the real stuff is much better and i have started baking with it as well


tj March 28, 2010 at 8:28 am

Yep, I have fridge envy too! Mine is SUPER small…I actually laughed at it when we came to see this apartment. lol

I did notice that we have the same kitchen table. :)

Good job with the makeover. I think it not only looks great but is SAFE too. :)


Amanda March 28, 2010 at 10:05 am

I didn’t know about the transfats in ghiradelli either. How disappointing! I usually only eat a few chips at a time, so I probably won’t throw mine out, but I doubt I’ll rebuy either. So unncessary. :(. You did a great job! So jealous of all your TJ’s stuff lol. We have tons of sauces and dressings in our fridge too.

And I’m going to buy that dishwashing soap, thanks for the review. I use almost 100% green cleaning products, but somehow that has slipped me by!


Lynn (The Actors Diet) March 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

ahhh – that felt good just to look at the before and after pix so i can only imagine how lovely it is every time you open your fridge. and it’s a beautiful one – so jealous of those fruit drawers!


Food Makes Fun Fuel March 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Since no kitchen is complete without white chocolate chips, I’ll tell ya the ones at TJ are trans fat free.
Also, I love all of earth balance’s vegan butter spreads


BroccoliHut March 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I love your refrigerator–much nicer than the university-provided one in my apartment!


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