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Words of Wisdom:

Part of managing to lower food costs [without refrigeration] comes by figuring out how to plan meals so that you use up a container or fresh food before it has a chance to go bad. – Almost There1)
…I urban-camp almost exclusively, so I can let the supermarkets store all my groceries and just go pick up what I need as I use it – lenny flank2)

Going fridgeless

While some 'dwellers love their refrigerators, others prefer a simpler and less expensive approach.

Vegetarians are one subgroup associated with fridglessness since they don't need refrigeration to keep meat. Fridgeless eating is also popular with folks with minimal or no house power system.

Further reading: using insulated coolers.


Going without refrigeration:

  • saves space – unless a refrigerator is packed full it is wasting space you could use some other way.
  • eliminates a $400-$1000 purchase – compressor fridges are very expensive.
  • consumes zero power instead of the 20Ah/day consumption of a good compressor unit.


Fresh vegetable, fruits, meats, and leftovers can't be kept for very long. It may be best to eat fresh foods the day you bring them home from the market.


  • Romaine lettuce lasts longer at room temp than iceberg lettuces.3)
  • “certain produce lasts longer than others – apples, bananas, oranges, other citrus, carrots, celery, a small bag if spinach will last 3 days, tomatoes, potatoes”4)
  • a damp cloth over items will help keep them cool through evaporation5)
  • unwashed fresh eggs are not refrigerated in most countries. Cook thoroughly!
  • “Buy supermarket deli food, eat the same day” – Skyl4rk6)
  • retort (pouch) packaged meat is light and easy to store. Tuna is the most common bagged meat but chicken is increasingly common.
  • substitute:
    • oil (canola, olive) for butter
    • powdered milk for fresh milk
    • instant mashed potatoes instead of fresh potatoes. The instant pouches are surprisingly good.
  • If you urban camp, let the the supermarket store your fresh foods until you need them.7)
  • store your foodstuffs out of the sun in the coolest part of your vehicle8)
  • grains, legumes, and beans store well without refrigeration

what to eat

  • dried fruits and vegetables
  • dried grains and beans
  • hard cheeses require little or no refrigeration
  • granola
  • oatmeal
  • peanut butter
  • canned or retort (pouch) packaged foods
  • potatoes
  • pasta
  • crackers
  • protein powder9)

other approaches

Canning is a way to make your own shelf stable foods.

Dehydration greatly extends shelf life of fruits, vegetables, and meats.

Sprouting gives you access to fresh vegetarian food on the fly.

further reading

food/no_refrigeration.txt · Last modified: 2022/12/10 11:04 by frater_secessus