I have appeared to be dragged into an argument with my landlord about refrigerated space and he mentioned about having adequate space in a combi fridge freezer. So that spurred this question to the chefs of the world (or anyone in matter of fact) is how much would you assume to be enough space for a single person in a shared house?

As an example - being 22 years old, cooking lean and green meals (salads and pastas) I normally have:

  • Milk - 1L
  • Bag of salad - 150g
  • Tomatoes - 300g
  • Cucumber - 200g
  • Mushrooms - 300g
  • Peppers - 2x75g
  • Ham - 300g
  • Cheese - 200g
  • Coleslaw - 250g
  • Orange juice - 1L
  • Chicken Brest - 500g
  • Mince - 500g

That is roughly 2L and 3kg worth of food stuff for a week and I'm happy with that, and that takes up just over half a shelf and 2 spaces in the door.

What would you think would be enough both space and weight wise if you were not sharing food with others for this exercise. Is half a shelf enough for just you raw food?

  • At that age when single I normally filled a fairly large combi fridge freezer just for myself, although a few shelves were normally reserved for beer :)
    – PeterJ
    Sep 29, 2014 at 13:08
  • 5
    I don't know that this question is answerable in its present form -- how many meals are you preparing yourself vs. ordering out? Where do you live? (different cultures have different needs for refrigeration). Do you cook every meal fresh, or do 'once a week' type cooking?
    – Joe
    Sep 29, 2014 at 13:32
  • 1
    Hello ssherrar! We are not a discussion forum, but a Q&A site, and have quite a few restrictions on the type of question we accept. Yours is very different from our usual scope (which is mostly help with cooking techniques, explaining how they work and what to improve), and I'm afraid it can lead to the type of discussion which doesn't work well on our site. I created a discussion whether we should allow the question to stay open, meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/1969. Everybody is invited to partake in the discussion.
    – rumtscho
    Sep 29, 2014 at 14:41
  • The meta discussion is now more than a day old, has a positive vote number, and all answers are in favor of closing. So I'm sorry, but it seems that we have an agreement: This type of question is not in scope.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 1, 2014 at 9:19

2 Answers 2


I'm surprised you're getting that much stuff on half a shelf, so unless the fridge is enormous with very wide shelves, I can only assume you're stacking it up, which isn't how food should be kept in a refrigerator. For one thing, raw meats should be stored at the bottom of the fridge so that they don't drip or contaminate cooked foods or food that will be eaten raw. Secondly, a fridge keeps food cool only if air can circulate properly between the foods stored - if they're stacked high, and everyone else is doing the same so that the fridge is crammed, any foods inside won't be at the required storage temperature of 5 deg C or below.

Otherwise, as the others say, it's difficult to answer your question - the average combination fridge/freezer supplies up to 250 litres of storage space within the fridge, possibly more in the States, but it varies according to make. My own one provides 180 litres, and it's not really big enough to store all the stuff correctly when I've done a weekly shop, even though I live alone.


I don't think I fully understand the question ?

IMO, food need "personal" space in a fridge.

You do not want to constantly have to move stuff in and out to be able to take something out of the fridge; and you do not want to stack up stuff just for the sake of saving space.

You will also have leftovers that will take more space than the raw ingredients.

So, what does that mean ? I'd say 2 shelves +/- space in the freezer (ice cubes excluded).

I always depend on the size of the fridge; width of the fridge and the shelves "height" (can you put a milk carton on a shelf standing up or does it go in the door ?


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