We hope you’ve enjoyed our pieces on pantry and freezer staples as much as we have. We couldn’t help rounding out the survey and approaching the centerpiece of the modern kitchen: the refrigerator.

On average, we open the fridge 15 to 20 times per day, whether to grab a snack, gather ingredients for a recipe, or just to ponder what’s there.

Today we’re looking inside other women’s refrigerators to see what items they consider staples and how to put them to good use.

The incredible, edible egg

For the women in our survey, the most popular item in their fridges is eggs. One woman told us, “They’re versatile and inexpensive and a good source of protein. (And nobody around here minds having breakfast for dinner!)” Another woman cited eggs’ frequent use in other recipes. Someone else hard boils her eggs for an easy breakfast.

Try: Simple Shakshuka

The many virtues of half and half

Dairy products landed high on our list, too, with half and half taking a decided lead. More than one woman said she kept it on hand for her coffee (cold brew coffee also made the list, no surprise there). As it turns out, half and half can be watered down to substitute for milk in macaroni and cheese—which means mom and the kids both win.

Try: Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken

Dairy in all its forms

Cheese, in a range of flavors and cuts, was a popular choice, owing to its versatility in being added to meals and snacks. One woman argued the same for sour cream, saying, “it is delicious and improves almost any meal. My toddler agrees.”

Yogurt was also noted as a crowd-pleaser for kids and adults alike. One respondent told us, “It can combine with other things for a snack, breakfast, or lunch.” Last, but certainly not least of the dairy selections, butter made the list for its roles in both cooking and baking.

Try: Curry Yogurt Marinade

To salad or not to salad

While one woman said she keeps salad packages on hand for quick meals, another confessed that she has “an unopened box of spring mix that is silently judging me.” I often fall into the same situation! She makes a good point that sometimes we buy what we think we should eat, rather than what we really will eat.

If salad is not your thing, other options for healthy noshing include hummus and cherry tomatoes. One woman told us she eats hummus “on carrots, chips, etc. It’s a great staple and side and helpful protein when I need a snack.” As for the little red gems, another woman stocks cherry tomatoes because they are “a great snack by themselves, a perfect addition to a salad, and they make great sides, like guacamole!”

Try: BLT Panzanella

There are always a few wild cards on these surveys, and when we asked about the fridge, we learned one woman’s mother eats rice pudding “constantly.” Another woman keeps a tube of crescent rolls in the icebox, “because they are a delicious side to any meal—breakfast, lunch or dinner!”

We’re so grateful to the women who shared their shelves with us. We hope you now have some new ideas to change up your next grocery list and enjoy even a basic culinary item in a whole new way. 

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