Monday, February 8, 2010

Fun in the Freezer

I heard recently on a radio advertisement that the automatic washing machine ranks as the number one time-saver ever invented. I'm inclined to agree, but I would think that the freezer ranks close behind it.

I clean houses on a part time basis and I know--because I've cleaned many a freezer over the years--that people often use this nifty space as the repository for occasional tv dinners or a box or so of ice cream. But boy, oh boy, a freezer can be your best friend...well, maybe you're not THAT lonely, but it sure can save you time and big bucks.

Here's my freezer, crammed with stuff from my once a month shopping trip (we'll talk about that another time.) I have spent around $150 total (this includes all the canned and dried goods as well) for a month's worth of food for the two of us. Here's what we have that's on the cold side:
1 bag of popsicles...because those are a necessity!
1/2 ham
1 package of bulk pork sausage
2 packages of corn tortillas, 1 of white
a bag of onion rings
5 tupperware containers of homemade bean soup
10 chicken thighs
3 bags of zucchini that I grated up this summer
1 half of a cake, which I plan to make into a trifle
2 pork loins--these are so good!
a bag of frozen garden tomatoes--whole tomatoes freeze so well, and are as good as canned
1 bag of frozen bananas--I use these for banana bread all the time
1 bag of bread crumbs--can be used for meat-loaves, etc.
10 chicken breasts
1 brisket
a tupperware container of homemadetaco casserole
two containers of homemadeitalian soup
8 pounds of hamburger
4 pork chops
a tupperware container of homemade spaghetti sauce
two bags of mixed vegetables
a bag of turkey soup bones, recycled from Thanksgiving that make a great pot of soup!
4 salisbury steaks
a package of turkey lunch meat
a tupperware container of homemade chicken primivera
a tupperware bowl of homemade chicken and rice soup
a tupperware container of homemade pork and rice
a tupperware container of homemade sauerkraut and sausage

I buy most of my meats from a discount store that sells things that are slightly irregular, scratched or dented. We have seen no decrease in quality or safety buying these items. This is where I buy at least half of my meat--which is often already frozen, and most of the time, half the price of any store in the area.

I like to double up when I cook, and freeze half. Hubby and I have decided that this year we're going to work on eating at home at least 90% of the time, and these doubled-up meals really help me when I'm sick to death of cooking. I can just take something out the freezer, pop it in the microwave, and voila, a home-cooked meal!

I figure we've saved at least half on our grocery bill, just by using the freezer to it's full capacity and shopping more carefully.

So, I'm dying to know, what's in YOUR freezer?

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