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How a mom’s ‘need-to-use’ fridge bin saved her hundreds on groceries

(NEW YORK) — Most people have gone to open the fridge, pulled out an ingredient or moved around some jars just to realize that something that got moved or neglected has now gone bad.

Registered dietitian and mother of two Alyssa Miller offered her insight on what she considers a fool-proof way to help curb food waste.

“This is my need to use bin that lives right here all the time,” she shared in an Instagram post. “I put food in it, not necessarily leftovers, but food that I need to eat before it goes bad.”

To reorganize her fridge, Miller has labeled shelves and added a bin that she says has saved her up to $400 per month on groceries.

“I needed to figure out a way to make sure I was using all of the foods I was buying,” Miller told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “It’s more for those foods that need to be eaten in the next day or two because they’re kind of like on the clock.”

Each week, Miller said she does a sweep of everything in her fridge and looks for anything close to expiring.

“Maybe it’s a cucumber I had half cut up for a salad earlier that week and I know that it’s about to start to go slimy, so I’ll put it in that ‘need-to-use’ bin,” she said.

Another fridge suggestion that Miller abides by is dividing foods up by category and using clear bins to easily sort and access them, without leaving items to go bad in the way back.

Like other organization pros including the ladies of The Home Edit, Miller advises taking inventory of your fridge each week to make sure you don’t buy items you already have.

A great way, especially for families, to save on groceries is meal planning.

“Having some sort of plan really does save you money,” Miller said.

She also added that frozen and canned foods are another great way to stretch your dollar.

To make a need-to-use bin, start with a clear bin that fits in a prominent section of your fridge and then clearly label the bin with tape and a sharpie.

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