11 July 2014

Keeping Track of the Food in the Freezer

Hannah was so excited when we arrived home on Saturday night. She could hardly wait to tell and show me what she had done on the Friday. And when she told me I was so excited I was like a bee in a bottle.

She had defrosted and re-organised the freezers!

Now I love my freezers. The big one is a 550 litre chest freezer, large enough to hide a body or two as I was once told. The little one is the one over the fridge. What I don't like is having to defrost and rearrange them. That chore is up there with ironing on my "jobs to avoid if at all possible" list.

The big freezer actually does hide a few bodies - of beef, lamb and chicken. This freezer is my main frozen food storage so it holds the roasts, steaks, diced meat, chicken fillets, whole chickens, chicken pieces, chicken wings, corned beef, legs of lamb, lamb chops, sausages, mince, packets of frozen vegetables, frozen stewed fruits, frozen berries (for jam), tomatoes (for sauces), diced onions, diced celery, diced and sliced carrots, sliced beans, pizza dough, pureed sweet potato, whizzed oranges for Whole Orange Cake, packets of rice, lentils, dried beans, flours, leftovers, heat'n'eat meals - all the things that won't fit in the freezer over the fridge.

The little freezer over the fridge holds bread, muffins, crumpets, pastry, spices, butter, nuts, coffee beans, lemon and orange zest, biscuit balls and cakes.

The small freezer is frost-free and easy to keep clean. Keeping it tidy and organised though is another matter. My family love to go digging for treats so there were times when it was a jumbled mess.  If you are not very careful a messy freezer means wasted food and wasted food means wasted money - the complete opposite of what we hope to achieve living the Cheapskates way.

The problem was solved easily. The top shelf is for bread, rolls, crumpets and English muffins. The bottom shelf holds everything else in ziplock bags, labelled with a sharpie. It's easy and efficient and keeps us all happy.

I've mentioned before about how I organise the chest freezer using "green" bags:
  • Red - red meat
  • Green - vegetables
  • Yellow - chicken
  • Black - roasts/silverside
  • Pink - fruit
  • Blue - sweets and pastry
Each bag has a label attached to the handles so I can see at a glance what it holds, especially as there are at least two of each colour.

I printed the labels using the Freezer Labels template, laminated them, then cut them out, punched a hole in the top and tied them to the bags.

The freezers are clean, frost free and tidy. I can see straight away how much I have of each thing and what needs topping up, which is a good thing because Tasman Meats have a great sale on this weekend and we can use more mince, chicken fillets and roast beef. Can you guess where we'll be on Sunday morning? 

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