Solving the big issues: The saucy one

Now this one will divide the people, no doubts about it. I know that people are very stuck in their ways on when it comes to the placement of sauces, mustard’s, condiments in general. Yes, yes I am tackling the big issues here at the moment.

Rob and I are actually on the same page (for once) on this and probably has a lot to do with our happy & harmonious state of marriage. We are the kind of people who leave sauces in the cupboard. Tomato, BBQ, hoisin, name a sauce and you will find that bastard in our pantry. Mustard’s used to live there too, however they have found their way to the fridge after Rob’s Mum kept moving them there every time she came to stay. We keep jam in the fridge once opened (extra supplies sit waiting in the pantry). Peanut butter and vegemite will stay in the pantry because, quite frankly, that’s where they belong.

I must have had the same sauce rules in my own house growing up and in my almost 35 years on this planet I can’t say there has been a sauce keeping related illness…yet. Surely they don’t need to be in the fridge right? I know others will tell me otherwise.

So tell me. Am I right? Or am I right? Or could it be that I am badly mistaken? And will you be able to look at me in the same light because of this confession?

Off you go.


  1. kelwoodford says

    Everything you mentioned is kept in the fridge in our house. Except of course the bottles next in line to be opened, which are in the pantry.

  2. totes right.
    in. the. pantry.
    and if the Mustard was there too there’d be more room for the Pork in the fridge!
    first things first ploise.

  3. Growing up everything was in the fridge – but since I moved out I have kept them all in the pantry,they seem to be better.
    Now I can not stand to have cold tomato sauce.

  4. The BF and I have had this discussion (which has turned into several fights) over whether sauce goes into the fridge or pantry.. my view is pantry as it’s not a perishable item once it’s opened.. plus the thought of cold sauce on hot food makes my stomach churn.. he on the otherhand feels it should be kept in the fridge which is where it lives when we’re at his place.. you are definitely in the right for having sauces in the pantry but mustards and jams in the fridge once opened.. it’s just RIGHT!

  5. Rob 'Harmonious Marriage' Mac says

    I must say I rest far easier now the mustards are in the fridge. If I remember correctly I used to put them in there only to find them in the pantry next time I looked. Glad Mum was around to fight that battle for me. I eat with a clear conscience now…

  6. A lot of things I would have kept in the pantry in the past now live in the fridge. The things your sacrifice in the name of a happy marriage. If we have to keep the vegemite in the fridge, then he can deal with me eating it on crumpets.

  7. I would love to think you’re right Beth, mainly because I have the world’s smallest fridge, and it would make my life easier if I didn’t have it full of sauces! I’m a stickler for the ‘refrigerate after opening’ fineprint. Tis my downfall.

  8. haha I love this! I change mine up a bit! It depends on if I like the sauce cold or not, not on wether it is food safe.

    Sweet chilli sauce is a definite cold please!
    BBQ and Tomato are pantry, unless I am planning on having hot chips, in which case the BBQ has to go in the fridge before hand
    Mustards are cold
    Hoisons, Soy, Fish and all things asain are in the spice cupboard, where they so belong!
    Mayo, Dijonaise and all things for salad dressings – cold!

  9. Ok so, we keep the sauces ie. Tomato, bbq, soy, hoisin etc. in the fridge.
    Opened mustard and jam also in the fridge.
    Peanut butter, vegemite and anything unopened live in the pantry

  10. Tomato sauce has no flavour cold, much like cold tomatoes.. so that settles it.. cupboard please!

  11. totally, exactly, 100% right. no question that sauce lives in the pantry, jam lives in the fridge, pb and vego lives in the pantry…mustard should reclaim it’s rightful place in the pantry my friend…make it your mission, truly tackle the big issues.

  12. BBQ, tomato, soy, fish, peanut butter all in the pantry.
    Chilli ( hot & sweet) , mustards, vegemite, jam,Tabasco all in the fridge.
    Controversal to some. Normal for us.

    Now while your solving all the BIG issues can you please solve the issue of what to use to stop things eating your clothes in your closet without smelling like a nana? I am at my wits end as I am yet to discover what is putting the same 3 holes in the same spot of every mofo shirt I own that’s hanging in my closet!!’ I know your peeps will have an answer/opinion on this – HELP ME!!!!

    • Reannon, I am INTRIGUED by these three holes. Are they on the front down the bottom? I get that on ALL MY TSHIRTS. For reals. WHAT IS IT? I heard it was the Caesar stone kitchen bench that catches it. Could it be moths? NEXT week. For sure.

    • THEY ARE!!!! I am driven mental by them! I thought moths but am yet to see one anywhere. Tim’s closet is next to mine & all his shirts are fine!

      I too have stone benches….it’s a bloody mystery! Where are the scooby doo kids when you need ’em

    • aaarrggghhhh. I have this problem too!!!!! on the front just below belly button kind of area?????? i thought it was moths. then i thought it was my watch (which i stopped wearing – shame really rather fancy pants watch it is too) but they are STILL there. and not on ANY of my husband’s clothes who shares the same walk in closet. Please please please someone solve this mystery for me?

    • i too have a stone bench top …

    • It’s the caesar stone benches!! I had this for three years til somebody gave me the answer. I couldn’t work out how the moths always picked the same spot on the clothes. Duh! Am looking for some lovely aprons right now (read your comment about your fave apron today Beth, you know you’ll be going to NYC to buy one soon don’t you? So, another post you have to write. What to look for in a good apron! 🙂

    • it COULD be the answer Shelley. My husband does not really know his way around my kitchen – sorry, OUR kitchen …. hmmm. apron time.

    • no, it’s not the benches, it’s your jeans. I get the little holes at around metal button/ edge of metal zip level. They rub against the fabric. I am still getting the holes and am currently caesarstone less.

    • Holy guacamole I get these holes too! I am a povo laminate kitchen kind of gal, so it must indeed be the jeans. How is this not common knowledge???

  13. Reannon, do either of these possibilities ring true (from Column 8 in the SMH):

    Lisa Green, of Australian House & Garden magazine, has weighed into the tiny-holes-in-shirts imbroglio, telling us that ”Shannon Lush, she of Spotless fame, told me that the holes around the waistline in T-shirts are caused by the cotton reacting with the copper on the buttons of jeans. Sounded plausible to me.” Meanwhile Roger Crawford, of Barrack Heights, reckons we should have paid more attention to our grandmothers and kept a clean hanky about our persons. ”I reckon the holes are caused by using that part of the shirt to clean our sunglasses.” The theories keep rolling in, but a solution seems as far away as ever.

  14. Reannon! Oh my god yes! I have silver fish in my house and I am at my absolute wits end trying to get rid of them! I have done EVERY.THING! they leave holes everywhere but their most favourite spot is right at the front of every top I own and there is about 3 or 4 holes, every time!


    • I have not seen a silverfish ( not even sure what they look like) but its only MY shirts that get the holes. Not hubby’s or the kids. Is it because mine smell nicer due to liberal use of perfume? We will get it sorted…otherwise my head will explode !

    • They are disgusting little critters! Our whole neighbourhood is riddled with them! they fall out of the trees! But I must admit my partners and my daughters clothes are all in pristine condition and I have always found it so unfair! So maybe its not actually the silverfish and it is in fact this stone bench top theory, as we do have stone in our house too!


  15. AmandaT says

    Hi there, long time reader, first time commenter, as to the sauces they go in my fridge once opened, I don’t know if we just have messy bottles but if we put opened sauces and condiments in the pantry the ants would be all over them. As to the holes in the shirts, don’t get me started, it shits me no end and I have come to the conclusion that when I stand at the caeser stone bench that I lean against it and when I move back and forth, as you do grabbing this and that along the bench, that my top gets rubbed between the pants and bench, hence the holes.

  16. Ok not so good at leaving comments but had to put my 2 cents worth…..if it say’s (in very small writing on the back) Refrigerate after opening – it’s probably a good idea to Refrigerate after opening.
    I keep everything thing in my fridge except Vegemite! X

  17. how on earth do you spread your peanut butter on your toast if it’s been kept in the fridge, and then resembles a concrete like substances? Pantry all the way for peanut butter, sauce in the pantry!!

  18. Anonymous says

    I had to reply about the mystery holes in the shirts thing. Every single one of my husbands t’shirts have multiple holes across the front. It took us forever to work out what was causing it and drove me mad because he kept ruining his new tops. But we finally realised it is the caesar benchtops rubbing against the t’shirt, belt buckle and his jeans!!! He does all the cooking so I have had to stop complaining about it or I’m going to end up back behind the stove top!

  19. I for one am loving the Big Issues you are covering Beth. Didn’t comment before but am definately with you on the placement of sheets and cutlery in the dishwasher etc. Must confess hadn’t given the concept of where do sauces go much thought till now, have always put them in the fridge. Good to get some differing opinions though. Was about to put my hand up and say maybe your underwire is poking holes in your t-shirts, but looks like the silverfish have that covered. Is just my own dreadful falling apart bras which are ruining my clothes. Must get onto buying some decent ones asap. Have a great day!

  20. Anonymous says

    Long time lurker, first comment. Love your work by the way! We keep our tomato sauce and mayo in the fridge – why – because it is closer! Simple really. Kids now don’t complain about fetching them. Tammy

  21. We are a hybrid household. Jam, fish sauce, mayo, soy sauce in the fridge. Oils, vinegars, peanut butter, Vegemite, honey, mustard, salad dressing all in the pantry.

  22. Tommy K, Mayo and Barby in the fridge once opened along with Jam, apple sauce , mint jelly etc.. as for all the Asians.. I keep in a little spot in the pantry.. I am laughing at myself right now, saddo x

  23. I do exactly the same as you. And no-one’s died yet so I figure it’s ok.

  24. Anonymous says

    Everything in the fridge except peanut butter… I have this idea it keeps it fresh… I am a freak bout it actually and my mind can never be changed 🙂

    Sarah jane

  25. Right, right, right!

  26. I only just realised recently that you’re supposed to refrigerate tomato, barbecue etc sauce once it’s been opened. Just so happened to read the label on the back which told me so. For years I’ve kept all my sauces in the cupboard, unless it’s something creamy like tartare sauce. I also keep jams in the fridge once opened, but vegemite and peanut butter stay on the shelf. Such a complex issue lady, thanks for tackling it xoxo

  27. Oh HUGE life issue. I grew up with an English mummy – EVERYTHING in the pantry & Australian father – EVERYTHING in the fridge. I’ve spent most of my married life in Darwin, EVERYTHING is in the fridge or freezer up there, due to heat, ants, moths, crazy!! Let’s say it’s where my Tupperware addiction was cemented. Love Posie

  28. Can I just say that I love the fact there are over 40 comments here about where to put sauce? Yes vegemite etc absolutely belong in the cupboard – my husband puts it in the fridge (tomatoes too!! Noooooo!) and I’m forever pulling them out. Tomato sauce, jams etc belong in the fridge once opened. Our fridge is about the size of an esky (seriously) so this is proving to be a problem.

  29. Dude, you are bang on, on all points. Cumulatively speaking, I’ve never had a sauce incident either, so 32 + 35 = 67 years of unblemished storage of condiments.

  30. Totally important. Agree. Happy harmonious home when things are where you agree they should be.

    We would be a sauce in the cupboard / pantry family APART from the fact that we now live in QLD – where things get MOULDY really quickly. And anty.

    Not so good to get some mould with your sauce on your freshly baked pie. Erk.

    So sweet chilli sauce, tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, mustards, jams, whatever really (even it it has a high acid content) straight into the fridge once opened. Peanut butter and vegemite in the pantry.

  31. 100% correct in my pantry/fridge world….thanks for setting the masses on the correct path 🙂

  32. I am an obedient soul, if it says refrigerate after opening, thats what I do. Sad huh?

  33. Oh the arguments in this house about the Vegemite. At one point we had a cold jar and a room temp jar just to ensure peace….

    Anyways – the gospel here is – tom sauce (must be rosella) and BBQ sauce, vege and peanut butter etc in the pantry. Mustards, jams and mayo etc in the fridge. For some reason Soy sauce seems to occupy no mans land and move aimlessly between the two.

    It is indeed a big issue….

  34. Love this discussion!

    Somewhere along the way, I was told that there is a link between how old/fuddy-duddy you are and how much you refrigerate your sauces (especially vegemite). May have been in a comedy sketch, so obviously dependable info. Therefore, I steadfastly keep most of our condiments in the pantry. I am Still Young & Hip, godamit!

    And I HATE it when someone comes over and moves any of my sauces from pantry to fridge. So rude. Once it’s made cold, I have this thing about having to keep it cold, like the change in temp will make it go off.

  35. I’m with you on the sauces living in the pantry. There’s surely nothing worse than cold tomato sauce on a hot pie. Ugh!

  36. Haha Beth. Rob’s comment not cutting the mustard? No sauce for you tonight! 😉

  37. Sauces, jam and mustard are in the fridge. Vegemite, peanut butter and honey in the cupboard. I basically go with what it says to do on the bottle. It does cause serious consternation with my bouyfriend though who can never find the soy sauce (even though it has lived in the same place for ages).

  38. Hey I live in Tasmania and right now the pantry is just as cold as the fridge so it doesn’t really matter where things are kept 🙂

  39. Same rules as us

  40. Anonymous says

    There are presently 3 open bottles of tomato sauce in my fridge. There is no good spot for them in the door so they bug me all day everyday falling all over the top shelf. There are 3 because I would prefer them in the pantry and when I find them all unopened there I open a new one without looking in the fridge (doesn’t matter that an open one fell on my foot 10mins ago from the fridge – matters that Mum keeps sauce in the pantry and I lived with her 15 years ago) Your decisions today will impact the girls’ married bliss – will they have a fridge or pantry mother-in-law? Important Stuff.


  41. Only you could make talk of sauces so interesting Beth! Agree on all accounts here.

  42. I do the exact same thing – sauces & spreads (apart from open jam) in the cupboard. But mustard is in the fridge – though the mustard is only used to smear on childrens tongues when they use bad words.

  43. I’m sorry but I’m still reeling from the knowledge that Neighbour won’t wash a tea towel in with her undies. WTF?

  44. But dude, those sauces need to be in the fridge, STAT. It even says on Soy to refrigerate after opening. Weirdo.

  45. Everything in the fridge here – including flour and pasta because the beauty of the tropics is that we have weevils year round. I even brought back a pack of pasta from the shops that were already weeviled the other day. So if the dry goods die in the cupboard I can only imagine what the tropics does to everything else… So into the fridge it goes!

  46. hobnobing says

    You know, I read once that the manufacturers put “refrigerate after opening” on sauces as a marketing ploy. Apparently we open the fridge much more than the pantry, see the products more, use them more, so apparently buy more. With the high sugar/salt content in most sauces they keep fine in the pantry. But I draw the line at fish sauce and keep that in the fridge. You know, cause it’s made of fish. And I had a nutella disaster the other day when that went in the fridge- all hard and waxy and terrible!

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