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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Freezer cleaned out

The upright freezer was the next thing to be cleaned out.  I had far more food than one person could eat before it got too old.  I bought food like I was feeding a hugh family instead of only me.  Fear about the economy contributed a lot to my over stuffed freezer.  I was also buying food as if I was still shopping only two or three times a year instead of once a month. 

Well, my intentions were good.  Part of the food was supposed to be for my daughter but she rarely took any of it.  I was guilty of not eating it too.  I would get so busy on the quilting machine that I'd forget to cook which was a contributing factor in my health problems. 

I've lost everything in the freezer three times in a row due to power failure.  I was heart broken each time I watched all the food go into a garbage can.  My insurance company refused to pay for the food because I couldn't document the purchases.  DUH!  Why didn't I keep receipts after the first time loosing the foods?  Hmm.... never thought it would happen again so soon.

I asked myself a really DUH question a few days ago.  If I'm afraid of loosing a whole year's worth of food again due to loss of power, then why am I keeping a year's worth of food in the freezer?  Why not keep only a three month supply of  frozen food and bank enough money to restock if I loose it again?  It will be much easier and cheaper to restock a three month supply than it would be to restock a year's supply.  Three months should be enough to see me through any financial crisis if I ever have one.  If not, there is always the money saved in the bank.  It's also easier to get an insurance payment for a three month supply of food than it is for a year's supply.

I got this as an early birthday present.  I debated a long time about returning it.  I decided to keep it even though I feel the bags will be too expensive.  I can offset the cost of the bags by reusing them.  There is also a really neat gadget I plan to buy to go with this.  It's a jar sealer attachment.  I will use canning jars to vacuum seal food I dehydrate. 

Here is the freezer before the clean out. 

My daughter came to get enough of it to fill her own freezer and a neighbor came to get a lot too.  Some of the food is thawing out in the fridge.  I plan to make a few heat and serve meals.     

There is still more than a three month supply for one person left in there.  I won't buy any freezer foods until I've used most of these.  Everything except the veggies got repackaged into vacuum sealed bags. Then the vacuum sealed bags got put back inside numbered bags again.  I'm still using the numbered bags because I really like being able to look at my inventory sheet and quickly pull out what I want by it's number.

The freezer is much emptier now. 

Hmm... the new readers may not know about how I use numbered bags and keep an inventory list on my freezer.  Here is what my inventory sheet looks like.  The columns are:  bag number; date put into the freezer; what is in the bag; weight; original pricet; and actual price I paid for it.

Once a month I update the sheet by deleting what has been removed and add new items going into the freezer.  The numbered bags are reused over and over again.  I line my foods up like books on a shelf to make it easier to find a numbered bag and remove it.   I used to update the inventory sheet on the computer once a week but found this was not necessary since I shop once a month. 

Once a week I look at the inventory sheet, decide what I plan to cook for the week, open the freezer to take out all the bags for that week, and move those to the fridge freezer.  I use the oldest items first and this keeps the inventory rotating.  When I move something to the fridge freezer I remove the numbered bag so that it's ready to reuse when I shop again and mark through the number on the inventory sheet.

I keep my grocery receipts and an updated inventory list in my bug out binder just in case I have to leave my house during an emergency.  The list and receipts are enough documentation for insurance purposes.

I'll keep the old inventory sheets to know how much is being used, how much it cost me, how much I saved, and so forth.  If you want to read more about my freezer inventory you can read about it in this post.  The post is a little confusing.  I do use packing tape to make the labels but the tape must be put onto the bags before using them.  The tape labels should be attached to the bags right out of the box other wise it may not stick. 

To be continued......

1 comment:

jillyヅ said...

Wonderful system you have for your freezer. I like the inventory sheets, especially since I can never remember what is what.

After my husband and I married we had a few "go-arounds" about all the food he had in his freezer. He wouldn't use it, for fear it would be gone!!! It took awhile but it came down to him going hungry many times as a child and how as a hunter, he doesn't know from one year to the next if he will get a deer or elk. I'm that way about milk. I mix dry with whole to get 2% and freeze extra. And then I don't drink it.

Keep up the good work and I sure wish I had a cute ladybug like you to help me. What a sweetie pie she is.