The 10 minute “Eat Me First” shelf in your fridge

The Eat Me First Shelf


The 10 Minute Monday Challenge:

You are 10 minutes and 10 steps away from creating your Eat Me First shelf in your fridge. The best ever way to reduce your food waste. Go!



A bowl of hot water with washing up liquid.

A clean cloth

A clean tea towel

Two scraps of paper and a pen or pencil

Your phone

Your fridge


1. Open the door and take a photo to send to us.

2. Take out everything that’s on the shelf immediately in front of your eyes and the one immediately above or below it.

3. Get some hot soapy water in a bowl and a clean cloth.

4. Give the shelves a wipe over.

5. Dry the shelves with a clean tea towel.

6. Now you are going to start putting things back in this order.

  • pick out everything with a Use By date. If the Use By date is after today put it on the clean shelf above or below eye level, scribble down what it is in the middle of one of your scraps of paper. When putting things on the shelf below, start in the middle, then go left if the date is earlier than what you just put in (and make a note to the left and go right if the date is after and make a note to the right.
  • put any fruit and vegetables to one side
  • if it is in a packet, unopened and the Use By date is after today, put it on the above/below shelf.
  • if it is in an open packet put it on the eye level eat me first shelf
  • anything that has a Use By date of today goes on the eat me first shelf.
  • anything past its use by date (unless it is eggs) or mouldy (unless it is blue cheese!) put to one side
  • now check the fruit/vegetables and if they are looking a bit tired then they are going into soup today. If they will live to fight another day, but maybe not two – it’s the Eat Me First shelf. Otherwise it’s the shelf below / above.

7. Before throwing anything away, take a photo of it and send it to us and jot down everything you throw away onto one of your bits of paper (your audit sheet).

8. Take everything else out from the next shelf, putting it onto either the eat me first or the other shelf that you cleaned following the rules in point seven. Repeat until you’ve checked over every shelf and the vegetable drawers/door racks and everything that needs eating soon is on the new Eat Me First shelf.

9. If you are doing this before lunch, then select your lunch from the eat me first shelf. You’ll be making dinner from here too. Get creative and it doesn’t matter how unusual dinner turns out to be. Send us photos of what you create. Contact us on social media if you need ideas.

10. Don’t forget to tell the rest of your household what the new shelf is all about and the rules about the rest of the fridge.

Use By and Best Before dates

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Anna Pitt

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