Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Confession #2 - I keep an inventory of my freezer...

Really, I do. Those of you who know me are shaking your heads right now, because I’m sure this revelation isn’t really that surprising to you. Now, I should clarify. I don't just mean the over the fridge freezer (although I inventory this too), I mean our mini deep freeze.

Our trusty deep freeze. One of the best birthday presents ever. Serious.
Deep Freezes can turn in to an abyss. There are times when you just don't know what you're going to find in the deep, dark corners. But freezers can play an important role in keeping your grocery bills low. An initial investment of a couple hundred dollars can help you save hundreds over the long run.

If you have a freezer, don’t just use it to hold your frozen pizzas and hard liquor (although, you’ll find both in my freezers), use it to store perishables you’ve picked up on sale. By buying multiples of items you regularly use when they’re on sale you save a lot of pennies which can be used for other things. You can also buy larger quantities of produce when it is in season, and more reasonably priced, and store it in the freezer for out of season use.

Blueberries and Cranberries - washed and frozen, ready to be used.
Case in point, during the cooler months of the year we often enjoy a roasted chicken on the weekend. When they're not on sale, a whole chicken, can run you between $10 and $15. However, about once a month or so, they go on sale at our grocery store for $5 a piece. So, I buy two or three and put them away. Over the course of a year, this saves us about $100. For us, this wouldn’t be possible without a deep freeze. However, if an over the fridge freezer is all you have, keep it organized, and you'll be surprised at what you can get in it.

It might not look organized, but it is! :o)
So, you’ve used this strategy, and you have a fully loaded, packed to the brim freezer. But now you can't remember what's at the bottom. You can only remember the most recent thing you put in... dundudadaaaaaaaaaa! FREEZER INVENTORY TO THE RESCUE! (Picture an 8*10 sheet of paper with a list on it, wearing a red and black cape and mask here)

We try to make a note of what goes in and out of the freezer, and how much of each item remains. This way, when we're trying to plan out our meals for the week, or our groceries, or even just our next meal, we can just have a peek at the list, and go from there, rather than digging through the deep freeze unnecessarily and forgetting to put something back in. (This happens, ask me why on at 8am one Saturday morning last fall I roasted two large roasts of beef, only to put them back in the freezer…)

The Inventory. A little worse for the wear, but still very useful.
Taking a few minutes to make an inventory also gives you an opportunity to pitch those unidentifiable objects, and to make note of things you didn’t know you had. Keep your inventory however you like. Maybe you only need a list of things that are in there. I like to divide mine in to four sections: Meats, Fruits and Veggies, Prepared Foods and Bread. Probably unnecessary, but that’s how I like it. Keep it somewhere visible, like posted on the fridge or a bulletin board, and refer to it when you need to.

From my computer, where I’m thinking about what to make for dinner, to yours: Happy Inventorying!


  1. Awesome job Erin!!! I'm enjoying reading your thoughts. You were always such a good writer; that's why you were always my proof reader in high

  2. Thanks Tina! I'm going to put up a new one tonight! Was also thinking that if you wanted to contribute that would be cool! A cake recipe maybe?