Do you refrigerate everything after opening? Growing up my family and grandparents put a lot of things in the fridge. From fruits and vegetables, meats and leftover takeout to batteries, cigarettes and chewing tobacco. I grew up under the impression that refrigerating everything made it last longer and besides, that’s what they do in the morgue.

But if you’re like most people who shop at Wal-Mart, you’re tired of getting your shopping list checked by the greeter on the way out as if you stole that loaf of bread or the fact that it is more expensive to eat healthy but you feel guilty for buying too many processed foods that don’t need refrigerated.

To be fair, a lot of foods do need refrigerated, both healthy and unhealthy. Frozen foods, well that is another article because things like ice cream and popsicles must go in the freezer because that would be wasteful.

SO I am going to keep this list to things that are a little more common, to the foods that we think should be refrigerated but don’t know any better. There is a whole lists of foods that taste better when kept out of the refrigerator and a few lesser unknowns that don’t belong there altogether.

11. Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries

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If you picked the berries fresh off the vines or got them at a farmers market there is no need to stick them in the icebox. They ripen and test best when left out on the counter (make sure your kitchen is not too hot) as long as you plan on eating them over the next few days.

Here is the secret to avoiding mold. Once you wash your berries you need to stick them in the fridge or dry them with a bow dryer. Well just really dry them. If you trust the source, there’s no need to wash unless you are eating them the same day.

10. Hot Sauces

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Tabasco sauce that is vinegar based like Frank’s Red Hot can be stored in your cupboard for months safely. I used to keep mine in the refrigerator until I learned that the cold temperatures actually make the hot sauce weaker. I first noticed this at a local Mexican restaurant.

9. Cookies, Donuts, and Pastries


There’s nothing wrong with covering your pastries and sticking them in the fridge. I sometimes have a craving for a nice frozen brownie or chocolate chip cookie. But when you keep them in the fridge they don’t last as long. Why? The cold temperatures can cause baked goods to lose flavor and go stale faster. Cakes for example, absorb aromas lingering in the fridge.

8. Oils

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I don’t know why you refrigerate your oils but some people do. Some nut oils (hazelnut oil) must be kept refrigerated. For me, I don’t have room to spare for oils and if I did I wouldn’t bother. The problem is that when refrigerated, oils will harden or become cloudy. This means that you will have to wait for them to warm up before they regain their taste or viscosity.

7. Bread

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There is a reason why someone invented the breadbox. Storing our bread in the freezer helps preserve the texture but thawing it can leave you with soggy bread. Some choose to stick it in the fridge to slow down the mold process. If you are in a hurry, you will not have the patience for your bread to warm up or defrost. Just keep it in the box.


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Putting your tomatoes in the refrigerator causes them to mush easily. Cold temperatures actually break down the cell walls inside the tomato flesh. There’s nothing worse than biting into a rotten cherry tomato. For best results, keep your tomatoes somewhere room temperature and avoid direct sunlight.


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My coffee bag says to in a tight container in a cool place. That doesn’t mean stick it in the fridge. There is an art to storing your coffee. The condensation inside the refrigerator or freezer will cause your beans to go bland. This means they will lose flavor and you will need to add more of that fattening flavored creamer. Instead, keep your grounds or beans stored inside an airtight container in a cool dark cupboard.

4. Condiments (Ketchup and Mustard)

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Can America’s favorite really be left out in the open? I know that the label states to refrigerate after opening, but you really don’t need to keep processed condiments refrigerated. Have you seen the ketchup on the tables at your local diner? Yours will do just fine in the cupboard.

3. Salad Dressings


Remember what we said about storing oils earlier? Many oil-based salad dressings can live just fine outside of the fridge. Those that are not oil-based may need to be kept. For the most part though, salad dressings contain preservatives and can be treated like processed foods. I’ll let you use your judgment on this one.

2. Batteries

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Growing up I remember putting batteries where we the eggs would usually go in the fridge. I was told that it would make them last longer. I never really understood that though because most batteries have like a 4 year expiration date. Batteries are best kept in the closet or drawer. Storing them in cold weather or extreme heat will only give them a shorter lifespan.

1. Nail Polish

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Did you learn from your mom to keep your nail polish in the fridge too? This is a bad idea because the cold temperatures will cause nail polish to thicken. Keep your nail polish away from the direct sunlight (avoid windowsills) and store it at room temperature for best performance.

Do you have any other foods or weird things you’d add to this list?


Nabeel Ahmad is the founder and editor-in-chief of Lone Mind. Apart from Lone Mind, he is a serial entrepreneur, and has founded multiple successful companies in different industries.

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