I am running behind this week and did not get my menu posted! Part of it was that we have an interesting week of meals planned!
Why? Well, in our effort to continue our decluttering and organizational projects, we decided to clean out our freezers! We have the freezer attached to the fridge and 2 chest freezers in our basement storage room.
We needed to clean them out and see what was left in there to use! The sad part is that we were not rotating our freezer foods! It is very difficult to do this with chest freezers! We hadn’t dove into those freezers for quite some time!
We decided to be smarter this time by taking inventory of what was in there as far as meat goes! This is a big area of disorganization!! One of our chest freezers is solely devoted to meats!
I didn’t think to take a picture of it before as I wasn’t necessarily planning on sharing it – but since our menu was mostly due to “treasures found” I thought I would share – plus, there are a couple of lessons to learn from our mistakes!!
So imagine a mishmash mess of stuffed full freezers, and all of them stuffed to the gills and not allowing us to add hardly any more items – can you picture it?? Yea – a little scary!
So we cleaned them out and have a new plan!
Upstairs freezer has now become our “this week’s planned menu items” freezer! Which I am so excited for!! We have devoted 2 shelves to this – one for the odd and end items needed for meals (i.e. veggies, chicken nuggets, etc.), then one shelf for the meats for the week (so I can more easily get them out to defrost!). The rest of this freezer contains frozen foods that have been opened, but not fully used yet!
Then the first of our two chest freezers houses all other frozen foods, cheeses, veggies, desserts, meals, yogurts etc. the place where the odds and ends go!
Finally, the last chest freezer is devoted to all of our meats! WE NEEDED TO GO THROUGH THIS BADLY! As we have been purchasing meats for cheap, they just got thrown into the freezer on top. We would then just grab things on top instead of digging down below for the oldest! BAD IDEA!!! That is why we decided to share this post with you!
Thrifty Al is the expiration date police! He has has a rule about no frozen meats to be consumed that are over 6 months old!
Here is the sad part……… we had to throw out A LOT: 8 blocks of cheese, 3 packages of bacon, several pounds of beef and chicken, 5 loaves of Zucchini bread that I made from our garden veggies (I totally forget about these and love to eat Zucchini bread 🙁 and other misc. freezer foods. YIKES!!! It was a wake up call that we need to be more on top of our freezer situation! I love the chest freezers, but I really dislike how foods get organized! And even after throwing a bunch out, the meat freezer is still very full! We organized both chest freezers to where the oldest foods are now on top!
So in an effort to stay on top of it and be more organized – and honestly more frugal and thrifty by not having to throw things out, we made a meat inventory. We dated everything so that we know what to use first!
We will be posting our inventory soon if you want to see it!
So with that being said – we had 6 lbs. of London Broil that was on the verge of crossing the 6 month threshold! Wow – what a task before me to use that much meat in one week!!
So here was our plan for the week in no particular order (I know, not our traditional menu post!)
- Before you see us consuming all of this red meat this week – take at peek at our Sunday Salad Bar to make both you and me feel better 😉 We love having salad bar at our house – great way to clean out the fridge too!
- First grilled all six pounds of meat and had a BBQ the first night
- Second night made a double batch of Cowboy Chili for dinner and lunches this week
- Next, using the rest for beef stir fry!
- Finally, hoping to eat something other than beef – specifically London Broil!
Anyway, this is just a quick run down of what we are planning to eat this week!
We had Cowboy Chili earlier this week – one big pot of yumminess! It is one of our favorites!
So the moral of the story and why we decided to share this post with you is ……… ROTATE! And even more helpful is to take inventory of what you have! Our inventory will hang on the fridge and we plan to update it as we shop and use things! Also, don’t tell Thrifty Al ……. but we now have room for lots more freezer foods 😉
Here’s hoping to better use of our freezer items!
What a timely post! I have a chest freezer too and have the same problem. I would love to know how you organized yours to better rotate items. I have put cardboard boxes in mine to better sort things, but it is awkward to have to always lift one box out to get into the one underneath.