This is an expensive energy draw, so I try to use it wisely. Since I don’t have my own cow but buy milk from a local dairy, a refrigerator is essential to keeping milk. I also keep two pounds of butter (salted and not) and 1 pound of cheese in the refrigerator. Eggs from the chickens go into the fridge, we eat those as fast as they lay them.

One crisper is dedicated to fresh (or thawing from frozen) meat. The other crisper holds fruits and vegetables. I clean both of these every week. In the winter vegetables and fruits (apples) can keep for a month or longer, but I clean them out every week to keep spoilage from spreading.

The biggest shelf holds leftovers, including cooked meat. Every Monday I review our holdings and figure out how to put them into something. Chicken bits go into soup, pork and beef into rice dishes.