It’s a fine art, keeping a well-stocked fridge that doesn’t have mouldy cucumbers, half-eaten roast chickens and green chunks of cheese festering in the corners.

[Read more: 9 things you didn’t know you could pop in the freezer]

But with so many shelves to play with and so much produce to fit in, are there rules for what should go where?

Here are some top tips:

Temperature gauge

UK fridges should be between 3 and 5 degrees centigrade. Any hotter and food will go off, any lower and nutrients will get zapped by the cold.

Fridge door

Pop eggs and cheese at the top of the door, where it’s cold but not freezing. They like it even better in a compartment so they’re covered up.

Condiments and sauces should go in the middle section of the door where it’s chilly – but they can withstand the temperature changes when the door opens.

Don’t put your milk on the bottom door shelf – it’s the warmest part of the fridge. Only put things here that don’t entirely rely on refrigeration, like wine and fizzy drinks.

Top shelf

The top half of the fridge is usually the coolest because it’s where the cold air is pumped out, so put things that like the cold up here e.g. milk, yoghurt, orange juice.

Middle shelf

Nice and cool, this is where you should keep meat and fish.

If you have a second middle shelf, above the veg drawers, use it for leftovers that you’re saving for later

[Read more: 4 vegetables that are healthier when they’re cooked]

Bottom drawer

You might eat more fruit and veg if you can see it on the top shelf, but it’ll all keep longer if it’s stashed in the vegetable drawer, where it won’t freeze and will stay fresh.


Don’t pack your fridge too full! It hampers the cooling cycle and warms the whole thing up.

Don’t leave it too empty either, that leaves it with imbalanced temperatures as well.

Open your fridge as infrequently and for as short a time as possible so less warm air rushes in. Utilise your freezer as much as possible – e.g. herbs might be going off, but pop them in the freezer and they’ll last much longer.