When I was a kid, there was Winter, with freezing temperatures appearing in our area in mid-September and continuing until the third week of May or so. (Not constant, of course there were warmish days and thaws and freaky hot spells.) Every house had a basement, and those basements were climate-controlled coolers. Thus you bought your bushel of apples from the orchard owner in September, and stored them in the constant coolness of the cellar. Carrots and cabbage might also have been stored there in that way. And your potatoes from your garden.
Last year, potatoes from my garden got the fridge in the garage to keep cool enough to eat as we used them up. If I buy a big bag of apples, it's likely to be in there, too, beside the carrots.
Mom did keep some carrots in her little refrigerator. We never ate cooked carrots, but if my sister and I whined for snacks, Mom could always say, "Eat a carrot." Carrots were not a staple, but an expedient.
But there was never spinach dip (or fresh spinach, for that matter) or kalamata olives; no hummus or refried beans, or chimichurri, or garlic cloves; no avocados, no sour cream, no Greek yogurt. A 16-oz jar of mayonnaise, yes, but not a big-ass jar of it like we have -- mayo was used only thinly, and mostly in macaroni salad or BLTs. I'm not certain we always had a jar of it open.
All those specialty items needed no room in Mom's little fridge.
And as my mother had no use for corned beef, she would never have bought up five packages of uncooked corned beef as I did a couple weeks ago when it was on sale for $1.88/lb. They took up a lot of room in the garage fridge. Also, from a discount store in Modesto, I buy my sandwich cheese five pounds at a time, which also takes up room. In addition, the bottom shelf of that old GE holds two flats of eggs (that would be about 4 - 5 dozen) -- I buy them cheaply from the poultry farm out the road.
Not only did Mom not cook any extra-big batches of stuff, or keep or make specialty stuff, she also didn't shop per se. She got what we needed (plus her morning ration of sweet stuff, which oddly enough, I don't do) and that was that. I, on the other hand, ran into a "Today's Special" at the store in which they were trying to get rid of legs of lamb for a jaw-dropping $3.99/lb, down from the $7.99 it was a month ago. I brought home two whoppers that about filled the garage fridge before I deboned them and froze the meat.
Today we re-filled the garage GE with a slab of spare-ribs the size of a Radio Flyer wagon, for tomorrow's dinner. And fresh corn on the cob, which was also on sale. Crazy. Mom is probably looking down from her space in the afterlife and yitching, "That's why you're all fat!" But she had no interest in food, really, and even as a spirit, likely has no understanding that those ribs will be lunch for a few days (the corn will all go) or that the brisket I trim off the top of the rib-slab will become pulled pork for sandwiches ... or tamale filling.
My guess is that by tomorrow night, we'll find enough room in the inside refrigerator for what remains of the ribs. And have some room to spare.