FREE WHOLE FOODS
See part two of the series HERE
As I shared earlier in our weekly grocery budget check up post, my grocery budget stays way more intact when I use what's in our freezer. (Anyone else feel that way?) And, since I picked up a few more penny pinched DiGiornos this weekend, it was time to get my freezer under control. Here's where we started. . .
And here's the end result after about fifteen minutes of work . . .
I think I might just have room for nine more Digiornos . . . yayyyyy! 🙂
If you have a small(er)? sized family (like our family of five), I really do think it's reasonable to have enough room for your stockpile even using just a standard sized freezer. We've always managed to make do with just our regular fridge, and even the temptation of those Digiornos didn't push me over the edge. (My husband on the other hand would love an extra freezer, but I don't know where on earth we'd put it!}
Here are a few tips that have helped to make the most of our freezer space (watch for more ideas tomorrow ~ the list went on and on!)
- Remove boxed food from it's packaging. I removed all of our frozen pancakes, pizzas, and ice cream treats from their boxes and sorted them into baskets for easy access which I purchased at the Dollar Tree (for a dollar!) 🙂 This gave me a ton more space in my freezer and those huge Digiorno boxes are now filling up the recycling bin.
- Save any baking instructions from the boxes by attaching them to that item in the freezer. Since I had several Digiornos and quite a bit of meat (Omaha Steaks my husband received for Christmas) that came out of boxes, I hung on to their labels so that I'll know how to cook every thing when we do use them.
- Buy like-sized storage containers that fit well into your freezer for storing cooked meals (i.e. cooked meat, soups or sauces that you can save for an extra meal down the road.) This way you can more easily stack the items you do store in your fridge using the most of even a tight space. (I really love these Rubbermaid containers because they stack well, and most of the items in my freezer are stored in them.)
- When making casseroles to freeze ahead of time, grease well with cooking spray prior to freezing, and then once the food has frozen pop it out of the casserole dish and store in heavy duty plastic bags. Make sure that the casserole dish you use will fit in freezer sized bags ~ I've found that square baking dishes work best to fit into gallon sized freezer bags.
And of course, when that freezer starts getting way too full, it's time to get to cooking. I baked up a batch of our favorite Almost Homemade Cinnamon Rolls this morning (to give us a little more room in the freezer? right?) Using what you have in the freezer is a great way to keep it from getting too packed, and then you can replenish your stockpile as new deals come around.
I'll have a few more suggestions on how to manage your stockpile with a regular sized freezer tomorrow, but would love to know what other suggestions do you have for making extra room in the freezer? And do stop back tomorrow for a few more tips.
See part two of this series HERE.
Looking for more ways to get organized? See previous 25 Days to a More Organized You:
- 25 Days to a More Organized You Day 1: Stop Procrastinating
- 25 Days to a More Organized You Day 2: Handling Paper Clutter
- 25 Days to a More Organized You Day 3: Set Up a Spot For Kids Artwork
- 25 Days to a More Organized You Day 4: Simplify Lunch Duty
- 25 Days to a More Organized You Day 5: Shine the Sink (I promise, it works!)