Maybe what we're doing wrong is being too much like my hoarder family. In the name of food allergies, finicky palates and frugality, their freezers (plural!) look like this:
|click to enlarge the horror!|
But my life shouldn't be about them, it should be about me. Only last month did I start to look at my freezer with an eye for hoarding habits. Sure enough, I felt a need for the freezer to be FULL:
Why do I think I need to have a full freezer?
1. My frugal brain tells me it's cheaper to buy stuff on sale. But for me that's a myth because stuff gets freezer burn and spoils in my freezer typically before I dig deep enough to remember that it's there. When it's so full that I can't see what's in there, I end up buying extra because I think I'm out of something.
2. My starved eating disorder brain worries about not having the right food around when I want it. Just because it's not in my freezer doesn't mean I'm going to starve or be painfully deprived. I can always go out and get what I want.
3. My first world brain wants choices. Maybe today I'll want raisin bread and tomorrow I'll want wheat, and Monday I'll want white. But why should I worry about keeping a smorgasbord in my freezer when I live a few blocks from a grocery store?
4. My eco-friendly brain says that it's more energy efficient to keep a full freezer than an empty one. That only works if I don't end up throwing out spoiled food.
|better than last month! sorta|
My sister-in-law keeps a list of the freezer's contents on the door. I'm not sure I'm diligent enough to keep up with the list. But making it this once might give me a better idea of what I have, and what I can use in our meals this week.
1. 6 qts frozen peaches (will go into jam tomorrow)
2. 1 pre-made lasagna (can keep this at work for emergencies)
3. 1 qt frozen grapes
4. 1 container fudge
5. 1 bag of coffee
6. 4 pounds of butter
7. 1 pt raspberries
8. 2 slices pizza
9. frozen banana slices
10. bag of green beans
11. bag of carrots
12. bag of stir fry veggies
13. bag of mixed veggies
14. bag of blueberries
15. 1 pound sliced cheese (freezer-burned, tossed out)
16. ginger root
18. bag of pre-made raviolis
19. oatmeal cookies
20. 25 cadbury eggs (they're seasonal!)
21. a tray of yogurt starter
22. flank steak
23. hot dogs
24. 2 pork loins
25. 5 pounds hamburger
26. raspberry ice cream
27. 3 pts of sofrito
28. 2 jars of strawberry jam
29. 1 jar of pear jam
30. 2 soy burgers
31. 1 chicken patty
32. 2 pounds of margerine
If that's what I can stuff into my freezer, then it's a crying shame how much food is going to waste in my family's freezers. My goal this month is to reduce the freezer contents by about half. Hopefully that will also help reduce our food bills. My ultimate goal is to be able to look at the freezer and not have to move things to know what is stored.
How do you keep your freezer organized? Does buying in bulk work for you or do you prefer an empty or half-full freezer?