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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was reading an article in Body&Soul magazine about a really Eco friendly girl who writes a blog called "Green As A Thistle". Anyways she apparently was able to unplug her fridge and find alternative ways to keep some things fresh.

I was looking in my fridge/freezer and realized the only things I really keep in there (all else is my husband's) are a couple of bags of frozen vegetables, a thing of soymilk that has been there long enough to be outdated, and some produce.

I'm about to be moving out (separating from my husband) and am trying to be as frugal as possible. My mom is buying me a dehydrator so I could use dehydrated veggies instead of buying frozen ones. So really all I would like to do is find out how I could keep some vegetables fresh longer without keeping them in the fridge and I may actually be able to not have to have my future fridge plugged in! I know it's lame, but that really excites me lol.

So any ideas? The things I usually keep in the fridge are grapes, mushrooms, spinach, and broccoli. The girl mentioned putting greens in a vase like you would other plants (submerging the stems in water).

I figure when I start dehydrating I won't have to keep as much fresh on hand anyways when it comes to things like the broccoli.

So yea...thoughts, ideas?


((EDIT: I do have grains in the fridge as well, but that isn't 100% necessary))
 

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Here is the shelf life of a couple of foods outside of the refrigerator:

Butter/margarine - shelf life about 2 weeks
Eggs -shelf life at least a week
Cheese - keep covered, shelf life variable- taste when unrefrigerated hugely better
ketchup/mustard - shelf life - forever
honey - shelf life - forever
onions/garlic - shelf life - 2 weeks
tomatoes - shelf life - 4 days
cabbage - shelf life - 1 week
cooking oil - shelf life - months
peanut butter - shelf life - months
 

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I'd research the way it was done in the days before we had fridges. Seems to me researching the book "Stocking Up" or other storage methods would work. I remember cold cellars being a big thing when I was a kid. Things would be stored in crocks or barrels underground as I recall. We never had a fridge in the old farmhouse.

If you lived in an apartment, you had an icebox and the iceman came every week to renew the ice. Or you lived in a boarding house where you took your meal in a main dining hall...where the cook got her food from the cold cellar again.
 

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How about a small "dorm-size" refrigerator/freezer as a trade-off? We put a Watt-A-Meter on our refrigerator and found it cost us 7-cents a day to run. You'd spend more than that on ice for an ice chest. We also have an ice chest that we can plug into the car or house currant that we use when we travel to keep a small amount of perishable food cold to save on eating out.

I've been through food safety classes and trying to live without a refrigerator would make it difficult and one episode of food poisoning is an expensive lesson to learn about food safety. The advent of refrigeration is what has made food-born illnesses pretty much a thing of the past. You'd end up buying foods in serving sizes and types of foods that may be more expensive to begin with - so a loss of $$$ there.

I DO keep a 3 to 7-day amount of Emergency Foods that includes foods in single-servings that don't require heating or refrigerating.

- ready-to-eat canned meats
- ready-to-eat cereal
- protein bars
- peanut butter
- dried fruit and single-serving fruit (applesauce, peaches, pears...)
- crackers
- canned single-serving juice (fruit, tomato and V-8)
- powdered milk products (or UHT shelf-stable milk)

I also have foods that can be made with hot/boiling water.
- instant soup
- cocoa
- instant oatmeal

After several days without electricity during a December ice storm, my new favorite food ended up being shelf-stable single-serving Half-and-Half Creamers (single-serving CoffeeMate creamers would also work for people who are lactose intolerant). I had a bunch of the creamers that a friend gave me after a party she had, and they worked for adding to instant oatmeal or cold cereal for breakfast.
 

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Ditto on the dorm fridge (energy efficient, of course). On the days you venture out, maybe just get what you need for a few days instead of throwing out/getting sick from spoiled food. The doctor's visit would negate any savings.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Awesome the dorm fridge sounds like a great idea. I'll use it to keep some milk alternatives for my son in or if I absolutely feel I need something else I can have it in there. Awesome thanks for the suggestions !
 
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