I Tried a Mini-Fridge and I’m Never Storing Beverages with Food Again
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Mini-fridges aren't just for dorm rooms. Here's why one Taste of Home editor loves her mini-fridge.
I recently moved into a new home. The kitchen features both a full-size refrigerator and a nearby under-the-counter space for a mini-fridge. At first, I wanted nothing to do with a mini-fridge. Two refrigerators—why?
I thought about filling the space with a bar cart. But then I saw this Frigidaire retro-inspired mini-fridge and I changed my mind about the bar cart. Now that I’ve had a mini-fridge for a few months, I’m never going back to storing food and beverages together again. My regular refrigerator has never been so clean, organized and spacious—and it’s all thanks to the mini-fridge.
What Is a Mini-Fridge?
A mini-fridge (sometimes called an under-the-counter refrigerator) is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a small version of the typical-sized refrigerator found in every American kitchen. The differences are the size, a smaller electricity cost and a freezer compartment—some mini-fridges don’t have freezer space (mine doesn’t). In my opinion, a mini-fridge is a chic way to store chilled beverages at the correct temperature, and away from the food you eat.
You might think mini-fridges are just for dorm rooms and overpriced fancy snacks in hotel rooms. Wrong! Mini-fridges have been popping up in interior design magazines and celebrity homes. Khloe Kardashian famously has two mini-fridges in her bedroom. One mini-fridge holds wine and rosé and the other houses almost every soda brand imaginable. (Goals.)
Mini-fridges come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors. The previous owners of my home had a glass-front mini-fridge they used to store and display wine. Larger stainless steel mini-fridges are popular for both beverages and operating as a chilled food overflow storage for parties and holidays. Some really small mini-fridges are meant to keep skincare products or medicine cold and organized. You can also find mini-fridges with small freezers if you want to keep extra ice on hand.
Of course, a mini-fridge doesn’t have to live in the kitchen. If you have an in-home bar, movie room or, heck, even a garage where everyone loves to gather—a mini-fridge is a no-brainer. No more running to the kitchen to keep everyone hydrated and happy.
Why I Love Using a Mini-Fridge
Initially, I bought the Frigidaire retro-inspired mini-fridge because of the cute aesthetic and space in my kitchen. But even if I move to a tiny studio apartment, I’m taking my mini-fridge with me. The main reason I love using a mini-fridge is how much space it has cleared up in my regular refrigerator.
Soda cans, sparkling water, wine and beer bottles take up a lot of premium refrigerator real estate. Now that I keep those beverages in the mini-fridge, I have space in my regular fridge to keep everything way more organized. There’s space for my huge salad spinner with freshly washed arugula, a lazy Susan filled with condiments and mason jars of cut veggies. I even added refrigerator bins to store hummus and salsa where I used to stack cans of sparkling water.
I love entertaining with the mini-fridge. Sending a guest to the small fridge for a beer is way less intimate than directing people into my food refrigerator. I keep the mini-fridge at a colder setting than my regular fridge. Temperature adjustment is convenient for getting rosé extra cold without impacting the cheese and leftovers in my regular fridge.
Another perk? It feels cleaner to keep bottles and cans stored separately from freshly washed berries.
Where to Buy a Mini-Fridge
Ready to join the mini-fridge club? Khloe Kardashian and I are here to welcome you! Mini-fridges of all shapes and sizes are available at big box stores like Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club and Costco. But I think ordering a mini-fridge from Amazon is easiest. (Who wants to put a mini-fridge in a shopping cart?) Just be sure to measure your space first, so you know the mini-fridge will fit. You’ll also need an accessible electrical outlet!
I have the Frigidaire Retro Mini-Refrigerator, because I love the matte black color and retro lines and handle. The interior has ample space for multiple sizes of bottles and cans and I like the adjustable thermostat.
The Homelabs mini-fridge is state-of-the art with a digital thermostat and space for 120 cans.
For a smaller mini-fridge, the Cooluli is ideal for stashing cold water next to the bed or on the bathroom vanity loaded with skincare products.