At the beginning of January, I decided that we would ‘eat the freezer’ to the point where it was nearly empty. I imagined that this would take a couple of weeks, 3 at the most. Well, almost 6 weeks later, mission accomplished. It’s been awesome! Apart from a few Sunday roasts, I’ve hardly done any cooking. I do use the freezer a lot. I cook in bulk, particularly over the winter months when we eat more stews and casseroles so there are always spare portions to be frozen.
Using the freezer is great and can help reduce food waste, but only if you remember to eat what’s in there. Sometimes, we treat our freezers rather like a bank. We make deposits for a rainy day or ‘what if’ scenarios, but if we never make significant withdrawals, our assets and our money is literally frozen. Think of eating your freezer as good cash flow. Depending on where you live, it may also be worth considering that for most of us, storing food for that ‘what if’ scenario is an outdated concept. Today, we can buy food 24/7 and even shop for it without having to leave the house.
At the beginning of my own Eat Your Freezer time, my family didn’t even notice since I just defrosted home cooked meals and served them up. The realisation came one evening when we had lasagna, but everyone had a slightly different version. There were a few surprises too. I thought I knew what was in there, but turns out I had been madly buying prawns. Prawn & Pea risotto is a great stand buy as you can make it without using fresh ingredients. Two half used bags of smoked haddock meant I managed to cook Cullen Skink (a delicious Scottish soup that’s almost a stew) the other night & all I had to buy was 1 leek!
Now that my freezer is empty, I can start again, making sure it is well organised and I know what’s in it. My aim is to use it as short term storage and regularly use up what’s in there. Remember, food does NOT go off in the freezer, ever, so it will always be safe to eat. The guidelines on how long to store food refer to the quality and texture, a bit like Best Before dates. Over time, the quality and texture of some foods may deteriorate in the freezer, but it will always be safe to eat. For more information about this, read my blog The Freezer & Common Myths
Now that we’ve eaten the freezer, I’m embarking on a similar thing with my store cupboards. We all buy things and forget about them from time to time. If you find yourself in a similar situation, remember that Best Before dates are solely about quality not safety so don’t throw food out without trying it first. For more information on this click here.
So, fancy a rest? Why not put your feet up, eat your freezer and save money. It beats dashing round a supermarket.