It may not look like much of a difference to you when you see my pictures, but trust me on this one. My freezers were completely disorganized and full of frost. I didn’t know what I had in there, much less where anything was.
Before I show you my before and after pictures, let’s establish this right away: No one ever accused me of not having enough food on hand. No one ever said, “Laura I think you should really consider buying more than one pound of meat at a time.” No one ever said, “Have you ever considered buying in bulk?”
“I sure hope the Coppingers can find something to eat today,” said no one ever. I’m thankful for the abundance, and you’ll read more about how we afford full freezers below.
Instead, this is what people say:
“If ever there is a food crisis, we will go to Laura’s house.” and “What are you guys, carnivores?!” and also “I would never have time to do all that freezer cooking.”
That final statement always makes me bang my head on my freezer since time is something I often feel that I am severely lacking and freezer cooking is what saves my meals (and ironically, my time).
So how do we afford to buy so much at once? True statement: We can’t afford not to.
Buying meat, cheese, nuts, grains, and butter in bulk and when we find good deals is the only way to feed a family full of teenage boys (and guests) without breaking our bank. If it’s a good price, I buy a cartful – which is a lot of cost upfront but saves $1,000’s in the long run.
How do I find time to do freezer cooking? I make time, spending an additional two hours or so here and there to save a dozen or more hours of cooking later. Or my favorite tip of all, when I’m making one casserole to eat at dinner, I typically make an additional one or two while I’m at it. Same effort, same amount of dishes, twice or three times the eats. It only makes sense.
So let’s take a look now at my freezers, and then let’s encourage Laura not to buy any more meat for a while. Seriously.
First I will show you (because I love splashing my disorganizational skills all over the internet) my two frost-filled, haphazard freezers in which one can only hope to reach in to grab a chicken and actually come away with a chicken.
Operation defrost and reorganize the freezers began Saturday afternoon.
Half the fun of this project was actually discovering that I had over 12 prepared freezer meals scattered all over the place. Thinking a better idea would be to put them all one one shelf so I’d know just where to look, I…you know, put them all on one shelf so I’d know just where to look. Brilliance. I’ll be saving these meals for the first few weeks of school/soccer season. This is what sanity is made of.
I put all the chicken on the top shelf, all the beef on the second shelf, all the butter in the door, and all the frozen fruits and veggies on aisle 4.
Freezer #2 then only contained only our lamb meat, nuts, and a couple packs of cheese. But wait. There’s more.
On Tuesday, Matt picked up the grass-fed beef we had ordered from local farmer friends. Did we need to order beef right now? No, we still had some. But our friend’s cows were ready right now…and later would be too late. Saying no now would have made us run out of beef before next spring/summer, so we ordered before we needed it. I think we’re set on beef for a while. Although we will go through this faster than many would think. You’ve seen teenagers eat, right?
In other freezer cooking news, I made a batch of Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts for an easy lunch once school starts. I also cooked 3 pounds of hamburger meat (seeing as I had some to cook). We’ll use it on the pizzas and for other easy meals.
I have more to share about how I used my Eat Right Away Beef and Chicken Slow Cooker Editions (my fav so far!) to make many meals in a tiny amount of time – but that’s another post for another day.
I also planned to make a bunch of muffin batter for the freezer, but I am completely out of eggs (and beef is a poor substitute). We will be getting several dozen eggs today from our friend with chickens, then the muffin-batter-for-the-freezer plans will commence.
So now you tell me about your freezer(s). And about your beef. And about your eggs. And about your experiences in watching teenagers eat.