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The Great Freezer Clean-out!

momto6

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I debated on putting this on the board side, but since it's all about food, and there are already a few on the boards about that, here it is... And I don't know where I would put it on the other side.... BS6-7 maybe, because that's the step we're on, but really, it's more about life than BSs.

Water Cooler maybe.... It's about budgeting sure, more because of the pantry aspect. I save a lot that way. Buying in bulk. But like everything else it comes with it's own set of "rules". You HAVE to rotate your "stock".... even if it's free, if you won't use it before it spoils, it doesn't save you anything.... You have to have some kind of system to keep it organized, otherwise lots gets lost and then spoils, and then it costs you..... And although it's not a rule, it's a good idea to go through everything every now and again... And for me that time is now.

 

Pantry rotation time!

Once a year, I take a look at my freezer and decide that it's time to do a clean out. THIS is that time!! We rotate always, but there's usually something that gets pushed back to the back, or lost in the bottom somewhere, so this is the time to discover all those items and put them to use before they go bad.

The goal.... cook from the freezer and pantry for the month of January. Buy as little as possible. I would like to be able to see the shelves of the freezer by the end of the month. AND reorganize the pantry, which is always easier when it's emptier. =0)

What will have to be purchased....

Dairy... milk, sour cream maybe, yogurt maybe, OJ for sure....that should be it.

Produce.... potatoes, onions, celery maybe, bananas, maybe apples....

Frozen.... maybe a few veg, but hopefully not

Meat.... nothing

Pet food.... well yeah, they don't eat out of the freezer!

Breads.... maybe, we'll see.

Snacks.... have to do an inventory and see if I have the stuff to make granola, otherwise granola/breakfast bars....

I think that's it.

Now... what do I need to do?

1. Inventory. I already have a rough idea, but it wouldn't hurt.

2. Browse my cookbooks for specific cuts of meat.

3. Make a meal plan (list) of 30 meals.

4. Shop for those necessary items that don't stay in the pantry. (above list)

5. Plan second trip to the grocery mid-month.

6. Plan for a time to take stuff OUT of freezer each day. (I know it sounds weird, but if I don't pull Wednesday's meal out on Monday, it doesn't get cooked on Wednesday. I plan two days out. And if I don't figure out a time of day to do it, it sometimes gets lost in the day to day stuff.)

7. Just DO IT. =0)

What do I need to use up specifically? Beans, I purchased a whole lot of dried beans last year, and I am not using them as frequently as I thought I would. (cans are just so easy!) Need to use up some of those. Meat, my DH wants to be a big meat eater, so I buy for his big meat eating desires, but then when it comes to cooking, I prefer a "meat as a flavoring" style, so don't cook nearly as much as I thought I would. Pasta... We haven't been eating as many pasta dishes as we normally do, and I didn't adjust my shopping quickly enough, so I have a surplus of pasta.

I need to figure out how our suppers have changed.... the amounts, now that the boys have moved out and are only home for meals once every couple of weeks, and the two older girls are not eating at home as much either..... the type, my girls do not consume as much of the high starchy things, nor as much meat as the boys did.... hmmmm... gotta do more thinking on that.

I figure between now and the new year, I will be pulling the bits and bobs out. You know, one single pizza, or fish patty, single person leftovers, or a couple of this or that. Should make for some interesting meals. =0)

Anyone want to join me in the insanity?!? *L*

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I make mine in the crockpot without soaking also.  I think that I'm just lazy.  I throw them in the crockpot, cover them with water, add seasonings and set it to cook.  It takes all day (I don't usually cook less than a lb of beans at a time) but if I'm doing it overnight or while I'm at work, it doesn't matter to me. 

How do you make them in the crockpot without soaking?  That may work better for me than the whole soaking thing!

 

OK.... maybe not.... have you heard of this....http://www.choosingvoluntarysimplicity.com/crockpots-slow-cooking-dried-beans-phytohaemagglutinin/ ?

 

 

Okay -- just read the article you linked to. Maybe I had better not continue with my lazy practice.  

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I talked to my mom about this and she says it depends on your crockpot.  If it boils, you should be fine, but if it doesn't you might want to boil them first.  

 

I did NOT get my beans in to soak.... *Sigh*  I don't suppose that it will matter if you soak them longer?!?  So that I could put them in in the day, when I remember....

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I did beans today with the quick soak method then on the stove. I like the crock pot method better because the beans end up with a better texture. I think my crock pot is safe because it does simmer and the beans only take two hours from dried no soaking.

 

 

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You know, I forgot about the quick soak method for beans.... I didn't know why.  Then I decided to do it for last night and just make the chili anyways.... and the beans did not soften enough until about 10 pm!!  Now, I remember why I forget the "quick soak", and THEN I still had to add the tomato products.  *sigh*  Soooooo.....

 

I finally made some of the beans!!!!  Yay!!!

They'll be for dinner tonight.  *sigh*.... no wait!  I don't have to cook tonight, just reheat!  Yay!!!

We had leftovers last night for dinner, no eating out because dinner didn't work the way I expected.  Yay!!

 

So we are now at the almost 1/2 way mark and still going strong!  Using up some of the fruit in "yonanas"... like icecream only not icecream.  Using up some of the meat, even if I do have to add in non-meat meals sometimes when I go on meat overload.  Other than being organized, I can't really see the difference in the freezers yet.  But then again, I'm not  actually LOOKING in the freezers much, since I have the inventory and meal list.  =0)

 

The second grocery shopping is set for this weekend.  Milk is the only dairy I need.  Probably end up picking up some more fresh fruits (since they are being eaten by the college students on their way out the door in the morning!), GOTTA get trash bags!!!  Forgot them at the beginning of the month!  And before I go I need to check my dwindling supply of heat and eats..... Other than that, not much!  Yay!

 

So it's midway and all's well!  *L*  

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That's weird that the beans took so long. You don't salt the water do you? That would make them not soften.

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I think they were just old.  It's been a while since I bought them =0)

 

And no, no salt, and no tomato until they soften.

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ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT!!!!  Sounds kinda like a sales pitch huh?  *L* 

 

Let's see.... on the one day that I gave cooking over to DH, we had pizza.... It came out of his blow money, not grocery, because he knew that I was trying to eat out of the pantry for the month.... but he didn't want to cook either.  *L*  Usually he "cooks" once a week.  I haven't been letting him do that this month, because we haven't had the stuff that he usually "cooks". On the other hand, he's been taking lunch to work, so he had lots more blow left than he normally does.  Sooooo.... We ordered out once this month.

 

Other than that, still going strong.  Still using up the freezer.  I think I may have to stretch this another month to get to the bottom of the freezer.  BUT I will also have to start shopping the sales to start replacing what I'm using or I may seriously end up with no food in the freezer at the end of that time.  This is still fun though, so I guess it's still a win.

 

Did you ever notice that when you start a concentrated effort to clean one thing, that all of a sudden you start to clean out others?  So my kitchen cabinets have been cleaned out.... drawers that were giving me trouble (sticking) repaired, everything organized.  Weird huh?  *L*

 

So we're 3/4ths the way done.... How are you all doing?

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And today is the last day.  Had the one eating out, and the rest out of the freezer/pantry.  Didn't use as much meat as I thought we would.  I guess I'm just not that big on meat.  I'm going to have to keep this in mind for future stock ups.  Didn't save as many dollars as I thought I would since my DH was diagnosed diabetic, and I ended up shopping for snacks and the like that he would eat and would fill him up and weren't high in carbs, and didn't have too much fat, and... and.... and..... those were some hard working snacks!  But because of the last minute, have to have something NOW, didn't save as much as when I can take a breath and start shopping for them ahead of time and buying the sales and, and, and....  I assume that it will get better and become part of the family.  *sigh*  

 

And now I learn a whole new way to shop/cook/eat.  I am going to continue to eat down the freezer... Since my mind is still reeling from the diagnosis... the priority this month is figuring out how to cook differently.... how to make this new thing work.  *sigh*  I guess it's a good thing that we simply do not have a bunch of connivence foods in the freezer.... or anywhere else.  =0)  Nothing to throw out.  =0)  Wish me luck.  Today is shopping day.... and it promises to be a looooooong one!

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Good luck, you can do this!  Changing the entire diet of a member of the family because of a diagnosis is tricky, but it can definitely be done.  The first month is the hardest.

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