I had just started to do the usual weekly menu plan on Monday, when I realised that rummaging about in the freezers to see what we had was making my poor little hands freezing cold AND more importantly letting all the nice cold air out of said freezers. So I hatched a plan.
Or rather I made a plan!!
It was of course a lot rougher than this until I sat down at the computer yesterday and neatly typed it all out. Now whenever I am making up my weekly menu or even thinking about what else we might want to eat I have it all there in black and white.
Well green, black and white ....but you know what I mean.
And of course a good side of this was that now all the freezers are nice and neat and everything is well organised, so when I do go in there for the food for each evening meal I should be able to find exactly what I want within seconds and then close the door again.
But, of course I must remember to cross things off my list as we use them or we will be very disappointed when I next make up a menu!
What shocked me the most was the sheer amount of food that we have in stock and it has made me resolve to eat our way through all this food before we do anymore shopping.
It is a good job we have all this though as we have seriously gone into 'saving mode' now, and the plan this month is to pay off our credit cards. We usually do this in full every month but last month our spend was pretty high due to unexpected bills and we only paid off half of one of them so the other half, added to some spending after we paid the bill means that this one is pretty high again and we are simply biting the bullet and paying off the lot, which will take away most of my housekeeping money.
You may ask why we have credit cards when we are living simply and frugally, well it's simple the cards we have M&S and T*sco give you points for every purchase in every shop, and when we buy petrol. They reward you with vouchers every quarter that you can use for shopping or double up for treats, so we tend to put everything on the cards and pay them off each month so we have lots of voucher pounds at the end of each quarter.
Well for the next six weeks it's going to be cash all the way, as I want to watch every penny. I have to sit down and work out how much cash I will actually have, but I know now there's not a lot!!
Still it will get me practising for next year and my £2 Challenge.
It's amazing how much food you store in the freezer that is so easy to forget about, isn't it? Am intrigued by your £2 challenge though...do tell :-)ReplyDelete
It was a real eye opener, writing it all down.Delete
All will be revealed on 3rd December when I open my Sealed Pot.
Have I missed something? What's your £2 challenge?ReplyDelete
I started off with good intentions about a year ago, like you, made a list of everything in the 2 freezers....well, it was ok for a couple of weeks but then I kept forgetting to cross things off/add whatever else I'd bought, duh!! So now, about every 3 weeks or so, I go through them and make a new list, referring to the current list to make meals. I do cross things off when I remember (which isn't often!), although rarely remember to add new things.
I must remember to cross things off.Delete
You'll find out my Challenge in a few weeks.
I need to clean out my chest freezer again. I also use a credit card for the same reason you do to get points.ReplyDelete
Gill in Canada
It was lucky I decided to do the stocktake as I found one of the freezers was on too low a setting, so I've saved myself some money on electricity too.Delete
Great idea on the freezer list. I periodically do the same, but find that if I get busy I forget to mark things off...lol. I really need to do the same thing. The last one really helped me realize what things I was rotating in and out pretty quickly and what things were lingering. I'm hoping that knowledge will make me a better planner in the future.ReplyDelete
You do save money by planning ahead I find, that's why I'm sticking to my weekly menu planning.Delete
Wow I wish I had that much food!ReplyDelete
It was a shock to find out how much we actually had....lol.Delete
Doing a freezer inventory has been on my to do list for ages, I usually make a spreadsheet then immediately forget about crossing things off or adding new stuff until its totally useless. WE have been living from the freezers and store stuff this month and haven't yet made a dint in things so I will continue with a low spend November. I'm also wondering what your £2 challenge will be.ReplyDelete
All will be revealed soon....I promise!Delete
I really need to do a list for mine at the moment - I was making good headway on working through them, but some batch cooking this week has put paid to that!ReplyDelete
On the credit card front - we do the same as you, but with a Capital One card - in fact, we've just switched and are currently using the new one in OH's name to get the benefit of three months cashback at 5% (introductory deal) - we spend all our "regular" spending (diesel etc) on the card, pay off in full, and get the benefit of all that lovely cashback!
Thank you for adding me to your blog list, by the way - much appreciated! xx
Batch cooking does fill the freezer quickly, I'm just about to process a lot of Spinach so it's a good job I made space in there.Delete
Impressed with your organisation Sue. Our only freezer is about the size of your first picture, and I still don't always know what's in it.ReplyDelete
You can't beat a bit of organisation. I find I tend to get all organised and then let everything slip and have to start all over again.Delete
It sounds like you have control over your credit cards and are using them responsably - we use ours for airline points and try to pay them off every month - but in case of emergency they are there to use. A list of what is in your freezer is a great idea so everything is eaten in good time. Very organized!ReplyDelete
We have learnt to be organised the hard way though.Delete
I used to have lots of credit card debt and systematically went though them all paying them off and then snowballing the payments onto the next.
It's nice when you get in control.
A lesson well learned I think.
My freezer is only a small chest one, and it's so difficult to find anything, you can't even organise things in it. If I could find one with shelves, I would get rid of that but I'm not buying a new one, to sit in the garage. I just have to take everything out to see what's at the bottom. I did try putting things in little baskets, but it just didn't work!ReplyDelete
I dislike the chest freezer for that very reason, although I have most things in large boxes you can guarantee the thing you want will ALWAYS be in the box at the bottom of the stack!Delete
I get Raynauds Syndrome and I only have to walk into the chilled section of a supermarket and my hands drain of any warmth, so I stopped buying freezer food unless I had gloves with me (a sad sight in July I can tell you!).ReplyDelete
Luckily my freezer at home is small (yes, my own fault as I mis-measured the space prior to buying) so huge stocks can't accumulate.
SNAP!! I have Raynauds Syndrome too. I got it under control by learning to keep my body rather than my hands and feet warm. I used to do the opposite with thick gloves and socks, now all though I like cosy socks I tend to wear lots of layers and ALWAYS a nice cosy bodywarmer (gilet) when I go shopping. But the sooner I am out of the chiller section the better, even in Summer.Delete
That's a well stocked organised freezer ! I have a tint freezer & this week had a look at what was in there !ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment, sadly we get shop lifting in our charity shop too...find little piles of hangers stashed in corners !
You had me for a moment there - 'tint' = 'tiny' everyone!!ReplyDelete
I used to like having a tiny freezer in our house back in Cumbria, it kept me under control, we usually just had icecream, frozen veggies and a few packs of emergency meals, it was much easier to eat up and then re-fill on a regular basis.
I think it's so sad that so many folk steal from charity shops, other customers are always so shocked it goes on but it always has. I had one rather 'posh' looking elderly lady that used to help herself to a new skirt every week, she would go in the changing room and put it on OVER the one she was already wearing. Until the week I asked her " are you going to pay for the skirt THIS week then?" She never came back, although I'm sure some other charity shops started losing their skirts!!
We have a list pinned to the outside of our freezer so we know what's in it - definitely makes meal planning a LOT easier! But, as you said, you do have to remember to cross things off (and add them on, where necessary) to save disappointment! We started this list when we had our first 'No Food Fortnight' challenge - we were only allowed to buy fresh fruit/veg for two weeks; it's amazing how well you can live from the freezer/fridge, garden and store cupboard when you put your mind to it!ReplyDelete
We bought a new chest freezer today. A larger one this time. I have an upright one, and a smaller chest freezer plus the one above the fridge...sounds like a lot, but they are all full at the moment, hence the bigger purchase. I will probably not use the others now, if everything fits in this new one okay. I find that growing my own food requires a lot of freezer room. A lot of produce goes in there!ReplyDelete
I love your freezer organising skills Sue, and I hope to replicate them when I pack my new one up tomorrow. I am sure I will possibly be throwing quite a bit out to the chooks (chickens) tomorrow if it is inedible...I really must use up what I have in the freezers and an inventory is a great idea. Will do that too when unpacking the full ones...