I am, and always have been, a beverage girlie. My love for novelty drinks—think sparkling water, Diet Coke, Kombucha, the occasional adaptogenic sparkling soda—has spread to my family, which means my fridge is typically somewhere around one-third food, two-thirds drinks. In my old kitchen, which had a huge drink drawer and a can dispenser in the door, that didn’t seem like a problem. But when we moved to a different house with a smaller fridge last year, I needed an organizing solution ASAP.
I’ve tried all the in-fridge tricks, including stackable wine bottle racks and can organizers. They definitely help, but most of the time, I end up with rogue cans and bottles in the door and on the shelves, which makes it hard to close the fridge and even harder to dig for leftovers. Recognizing that we consume more beverages than most, my husband and I decided to try something we’d been talking about for years: buy a beverage fridge to create separate storage for drinks.
I recognize an appliance isn’t exactly an inexpensive or practical solution, but it’s definitely been on our minds for a while. I grew up in Wisconsin, and my relatives always had a separate fridge in their attached garages for beverages (read: beer) and meat. It also felt reasonable to get a separate fridge because we usually buy drinks in bulk at Costco. We like to have a selection of cans and bottles that are already cold, especially for when we have guests over.
We ended up spending $250 on this Insignia mini-fridge that we keep in our mudroom—our garage isn’t attached to our house—and so far, it’s been more than worth it. On top of indulging my novelty drink habit, the separate storage creates so much extra space inside my main fridge, so I don’t stress nearly as much when unloading or organizing groceries.
I haven’t kept tabs or anything, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the beverage fridge ultimately ended up paying for itself. Sure, I may be buying more fancy drinks these days, but I’m also using the food that once got lost on my fridge shelves. For me, an organized fridge isn’t just about aesthetics and convenience, but also sustainability. When I can easily see and grab the food I need, it’s less likely to go to waste and I’m less likely to order takeout because I think I have no food. Hey, I’ll raise a glass to that!