Before we start with #recipes and their specific bare bones #cooking tricks, there are a few tips and important considerations to account for, at least in our extreme case.
First of all, we have a mini-fridge, not a full refrigerator, and the most important thing to take into account before shopping is how much space is available in it. If you are in a similar situation, it is essential to plan your meals out and list all of the necessary ingredients, including size or quantity. We were just barely able to squeeze in a week’s worth of fresh food, and that was mostly just because we were lucky. A few rules of thumb:
- Don’t buy more food than you can personally walk home with. This also was a requirement for us since we also have no car and had to walk long distances to bus stops. If you can’t carry it, the mini-fridge doesn’t fit it either.
- Account for the shape and dimensions of your fridge’s different compartments. Only certain items can fit in the door. In our case, the produce crisper drawer was long, but pretty narrow. And the shelves were so short that we couldn’t buy any cans or containers over 3 inches tall.
- You’re probably not going to have any refrigerated beverages beyond a half gallon of milk because of the height restraints, unless you are willing to use up space on personal-sized cans or juice boxes or similar.
- Make sure to balance your shopping list with the right proportion of frozen vs refrigerated items. The freezer, if present, can take up significant space, which would be a waste to go unused.
Similar sizing and shape constraints may also apply to pantry space, depending on your situation.