What Does Your Fridge Say About You?

There was a moment today, when I opened my fridge to get something out, and was suddenly struck with the realization of how much the contents of our refrigerator have changed just over the past year and a half.

full fridge

I’d give anything to have a photo of what we had in our fridge a couple of years ago. No doubt, it was full of expensive, processed, chemical laden foods we mindlessly ingested. It’s amazing how this lifestyle change has altered so many other aspects of our life.

As I looked into my fridge this feeling of pride slowly came over me. We are getting closer. There are still store bought things in there, several of which I could easily learn to replace with homemade alternatives. But we are slowly, slowly getting there. Let me give you a tour, just for kicks…


First Shelf


Second Shelf


Third Shelf

  • Store bought carrots- our garden hasn’t yielded that many
  • Fresh eggs from our chickens
  • Store bought cheese- working on a cheese press so that I can make my own!!
  • Homemade chocolate syrup– gotta have that chocolate milk every now and then!
fridge 004 (Medium)

Fourth Shelf

Last Shelf

  • Home grown carrots from our garden
  • Home grown tomatoes from our garden

(No, we don’t have any drawers in our fridge. If you remember, we got this home as a foreclosure, and whoever owned (and trashed!) it before us took the drawers with them. Have you ever priced replacement refrigerator drawers? You can buy another whole fridge for the price of those things! Forget it. We just do without.)

I feel pride because to me our fridge is a little mirror of many of the things we have learned along this journey so far: how to make so many things from scratch, raising chickens, learning to grow a garden, learning to can and use a dehydrator, seeking out local, fresh food sources, and eating a healthier, less processed diet.

I think it says, we’re getting there. And just in case you are wondering, our freezer is much the same.

How do the contents of your fridge reflect your lifestyle?

27 thoughts on “What Does Your Fridge Say About You?”

  1. So happy I saw this post! I have been dealing with this issue internally! I have always thought a full fridge meant a happy family but I have slowly learned it meant we were over indulgent! Slowly I am working on more homemade recipes versus buying store bought but as you said, it’s a slow process!

  2. We have a small, dorm sized fridge, and most of the time it isn’t plugged up, we are 100% off grid and generate our own power, we have learned how to live with little refrigeration, at least in the summer, in the winter, it gets cold enough to not worry too much about keeping things cold.

    In all honesty, we use our neighbor’s fridge when we have a gallon of milk, or the rare times we have meat or something that needs to be kept cold.

    It’s amazing how little refrigeration is really needed, I can only speak for myself, when I lived in town and had a fridge and freezer, our fridge and freezer mostly kept leftovers until I was ready to throw them away, there was a LOT of waste involved in having a fridge and freezer. We have adjusted our lives to not have so much waste, I work very hard to not have leftovers, I make enough food for each meal without having leftovers, anything that would be leftovers usually gets tossed out back for the various critters who come though, it’s always gone the next day. 🙂


  3. Reading about what everyone keeps in their fridge made me hungry.The deer jerky sounds so good.My Dad used to make that.We try to make alot of stuff from scratch and from things we have grown but I MUST admit I liked seeing Cabot cheese in one of the comments.That is the way God has us make a living!:)We are always happy that people support them as their milk comes from many farmers farms in this area.:)

  4. Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL!?!?! Our fridge has taken MANY of the same turns as yours since January of last year! I haven’t had a constant source of milk since last fall, even though we were blessed with a surprise visit & a 2 quart bottle of 2.5 hour fresh this morning. There are TONS of mason jars in my fridge & while, with the rough year we’ve had, there are some processed items in mine, I am making sure they are as organic & natural as possible & completely HFCS-free!!!

  5. I am so jealous!!! Our pool table is covered with food that I have canned & dehydrated this summer. Everything in the frig (other than the eggs, from our chickens) came from the store. I am really struggling with how to do this & work outside of the home. One main question I have is how long do some of those things that you make yourself last (ie…ketchup, mayo, salad dressing etc)? What about other things that don’t go in the frig like shampoo etc??

    • Brook,

      The homemade condiments last for several weeks. We usually use them up before they go bad. We use the homemade mayo for three weeks, if there is still any remaining after this long I’m a little weary of it and dump it out. The dressing lasts for several weeks as well. I’ve never had any go bad, and we use it probably once a week or so. As for shampoo, I guess it depends on your ingredients 🙂

  6. How wonderful that you’ve come so far in improving your fridge contents. If you looked at mine right now you’d think

    1- They hate to throw anything out (hahaha)
    2- They must really love science (experiments, doh!)
    3- Maybe they ought to cook with fewer leftovers.

    I would love to have a garden and do so many of these things on our own. But, the ground here sucks, which means container gardining, and we’ve decided we want to sell, so I’m doing as little here as possible hoping that if we put that money instead into improving the property, it’ll be faster that we can sell it and get a place we love instead!

    There’s so many bottled things in my fridge, I know I could make them myself, but I think I’m a little depressed at the mess this place has turned out to be for us. Who here can say “$40k to fully repair your foundation on the house you don’t even want” ? anyone? Yeah… I can. crap.

  7. Kendra –
    It’s so awesome that you’re able to make so much of your own food!

    I have a small city lot, and I’m working on growing the basics (tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, squash, pumpkin). My carrots never grew. I have a bunch of greens in a pot on my windowsill…and I might plant a fall crop outside after the hurricane passes.

    My fridge:
    Top shelf has celery (from whole foods), carrots (from local farm), and HB eggs (from local farm)

    2nd shelf has nuts (from whole foods), hummus (homemade from ingredients from whole foods), yogurt (from local company that makes it from local cows)

    Deli meat drawer has cheese (from local company that makes it from local cows), peppercorn turkey (which I should make, but I get from the supermarket), and string cheese for the kids (from whole foods)

    3rd shelf has cooked rice, cooked beans, and cooked pasta (all from whole foods) and end-of-harvest soup (I made from veggies from local farms)

    Bottom shelf has water, iced tea, raw eggs (from local farm), and marinating meat (from local farms).

    Crisper drawers currently hold 5 heads of lettuce (from local farm), cause I miscalculated. They usually contain apples and other in season fruits. We go through about 8 lbs of apples a week – crazy!

    Freezer has squash, peppers, corn, beets, meat, and fruit (all from local farms) and alcohol from any couchsurfers we’ve hosted.

    Pantry holds onions and potatoes (from local farms), cereal (from supermarket), and any convenience foods my husband has picked up when he goes to the supermarket – like stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, and ramen noddles.

    So, I’m working on it. I’d love to get ALL our food from local farms…but I don’t have enough freezer space/any canning equipment to put up this crop for the winter. That’s the goal for next year!

  8. I agree with Mrs. D… Go to the local dump and ask if you can go look! About two weeks ago, I found a shelf for my freezer there… it was better looking than the ice cube tray protector that I had! (Just be sure to measure before you go, we did have to cut around an inch off to get it to fit.) They didn’t mind me taking it, as long as noone took from the scrap metal pile (due to the good prices for it here). There was also another man out there looking for tires… some of which had amazing tread still left on them… close to new! Tire shopping anyone? LOL!

  9. I am not home, but trying to remember what’s in my fridge.

    Ice bottles for inside icebox and egg cooler (we sell eggs from a cooler at the end of the driveway), ice cubes, concentrated apple juice (I use lots of this for baking etc… after this fall we’ll have a new crop of home processed applejuice to use), applesauce from last year’s crop, meat from the store, cauliflower, squash, peas all from last year (trying to use up last years crop).

    Fridge top shelf
    cauliflower-fresh, aparagus-fresh, 1 gallon raw milk, eggs, butter-from store, dill-fresh, garlic-fresh (getting ready to make pickles).

    Second shelf
    eggs boxed up and ready to sell

    Third shelf
    cucumbers-fresh (for pickles), lettace-fresh, yogurt (made 2 weeks ago but haven’t finished it all yet), thawed applesauce, 3 jars dill pickles (some that didn’t seal from last batch… will use these first).

    On the door…
    cheese and mustard (from the store) I don’t make cheese… not because I couldn’t but because it would cost me just as much to make it as it does to purchase it already made. We like the Cabot Hunter sharp cheddar. Let’s see what else is on there… ketchup (from my grandson’s visit) I hate ketchup so it will probably be there till next summer if I don’t toss it before then. Rennet, more butter, lemons, more garlic, mayonnaise (store bought).

    Carrots (from wholesale produce), corn-fresh, tomatoes-fresh

    All the fresh items are either from our garden or a friends garden.

    That’s about it. We haven’t been to the grocery store in a while. Yesterday I had lots more veggies, but put up 8 quarts shell beans, and 7 quarts asparagus in the freezer.

    Oh, I also have some meat and mozzarella cheese thawing for pizza tonight.

    Keep your eye out at the dump for drawers. We have picked up lots of fridge parts from the dump in the past. Just about one month ago our fridge died and we got a used one with some parts missing. Last week Mr. D was at the dump and found parts we needed from a fridge that was there. Yea!

    I used to clean for this older woman years ago. Her fridge was soooo stuffed it would take me all day to clean it and get rid of the “science experiments” growing there. Yuk.

  10. I thought I was doing so good. I looked at your pictures, checked out my own fridge and wow I’ve got a long ways to go yet.


  11. We are getting there as well:) Slowly but surely getting there. I am making almost every meal from scratch, which I Love doing! We haven’t gone to straight fresh cows milk, just because it is expensive. But someday we hope to have our own cow. 🙂 I make alot of our condiments, cereals (mostly oatmeal. Do you know any snacks you can make homemade. I don’t have a dehydrator so that kind of limits it I’m sure. Thank you for this post! And congrats on almost being gone of store bought things in your fridge! 🙂 So exciting! Can’t wait for the pickle relish too. I use it in my tuna salad.

  12. I was just saying to my family tonight that one thing I have notice more of in my fridge are fresh vegetables that are not rotting! I used to buy veggies but wouldn’t use them before the were rotten. I also now have so fresh raw goat milk, goat cheese, eggs from my chickens and veggies from my garden.
    I love the satisfaction I get from eating food I helped grow or from animals I am caring for.

  13. What a fun post. Yes we’ve priced the shelves on the doors, they are about $30 each :-0 So now they are held together with super glue and we try to remember not to put heavy jars on the door.

    I enjoyed your post because I have just been looking at my refrigerator and it was so nice and clean. Filled with yummy homemade leftovers and crispy carrots and celery that we’ve been enjoying. Home grown melons that my sweet neighbors drop off.

    Homemade/grown makes any fridge look/smell better 🙂



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