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Using up everything out of the freezer.

(101 Posts)
Witzend Sun 03-Jan-21 09:51:57

I don’t make NY resolutions but am going to do this. We don’t have a big one, just an under-the-fridge job, but it’s full of all sorts, from quite a lot of big prawns, to tubs of home made chicken stock and half a packet of fish fingers left over from a visit by Gdcs.
Not to mention a plastic bag of crumble mix (I’d made far too much) and other odds and sods, inc. some leftover pastry - enough for a small quiche, except that dh broke my small flan dish and I haven’t been able to find similar in any local shop.
(I feel a google coming on....)

At any rate it will contribute to a relatively frugal January. 🙂

GagaJo Sun 03-Jan-21 10:31:15

I am doing something similar. Charged to look after 2 children at school over Christmas and have MASSIVELY under estimated how much a teenage boy can eat. I am delving deeper and deeper into the freezer to find things to cook. By the time the catering staff come back, it'll need a complete restock!

M0nica Sun 03-Jan-21 11:08:03

GagaJo It is impossible to overestimate how much a teenage boy can eat. Every parent of a teenage boy has discovered

SpringyChicken Sun 03-Jan-21 11:12:51

And they continue to eat massive amounts in their twenties.

GagaJo Sun 03-Jan-21 11:17:17

I can't believe how much he can pack away. HUGE plate of pasta and then his puppy dog eyes look up at me and he says, 'I'm still hungry.' I have never known anything like it.

M0nica Sun 03-Jan-21 19:01:16

DS went from being a finicky faddy eater, who was underweight at one point to being a one of those garbage hulping machines, almost overnight. I came closer to putting padlocks on the larder and fridge. It was not unusual to come home from work to find DS had eaten several key ingredients needed for that nights supper.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 03-Jan-21 19:06:55

My daughter makes pasta dishes which would be a large meal for us, but they are sat in the fridge as snacks for her two sons. She churns these out week after week, as a healthier alternative to what they would choose.

varian Sun 03-Jan-21 19:08:19

I think it is best to keep the freezer nearly full - it runs best that way and it is a safeguard against unforeseen shortages.

Charleygirl5 Sun 03-Jan-21 19:12:51

I will be having some strange meals over the next couple of weeks I think. Odds and sods cooked and frozen as well as a fair amount of prawns and fish. I need to empty each drawer and then restock it.

Hetty58 Sun 03-Jan-21 19:19:46

I have two freezers. I can run one down and cram things into the second - to defrost and clean the first.

They waste electricity if they become iced up. They need a regular clean, too, as we store food in them.

Things don't keep forever in them, so a regular cycle of using up and restocking is necessary.

I'm puzzled (and somewhat horrified) when people say they keep them full. Don't they clean them?

GagaJo Sun 03-Jan-21 19:24:08

I have had to start locking the kitchen door. Happy to provide food, but yes, he keeps eating ingredients for the next meal!

Mogsmaw Sun 03-Jan-21 19:25:24

We got a new freezer recently, it’s the undercount sized one I use to store meat and fish. I got a black one because it was cheaper than a white but I put a sheet of sticky back blackboard plastic on the door. I now have a complete, up to date inventory of what’s in it. It’s so easy to update with the chalk pens. It’s the best thing I’ve done.

Soupy Sun 03-Jan-21 19:26:23

We have an old 3 drawer freezer in the garage plus 3 drawers in a fridge/freezer in the kitchen.

I like to move things from the garage to the kitchen freezer with the intention of emptying the garage one but that rarely seems to happen!

varian Sun 03-Jan-21 19:30:49

It is quite possible to empty the freezer, keep the frozen food frozen in insulated bags for a short time, defrost and clean the freezer then return the frozen food to the freezer without any of it thawing out.

Kalu Sun 03-Jan-21 19:31:47

We have had some unusual meals of late. Killing two birds with one stone, firstly, an opportunity to clear out the fridge freezer and a freezer we have in the garage and secondly, one less outing to the supermarket. Makes for interesting meals 😀

V3ra Sun 03-Jan-21 19:33:52

My friend has three daughters, I have two sons (and a daughter).
She couldn't believe me when I said they got through a loaf of bread a day as teenagers.

V3ra Sun 03-Jan-21 19:36:33

Oh and my Mum once found that my brother had scoffed the big bag of dried fruit she'd bought ready to make the Christmas cake 🤣

Notinthemanual Sun 03-Jan-21 19:37:32

I had a light bulb moment last year. Instead of trying to use up everything in my freezer, I pack most of it in my insulated picnic box and it is all still frozen by the time my freezer is defrosted. The older stuff that doesn't fit I use up the following couple of days.

midgey Sun 03-Jan-21 19:41:25

If you use a hairdryer the ice is melted very quickly before anything can defrost!

merlotgran Sun 03-Jan-21 19:47:56

I'm puzzled (and somewhat horrified) when people say they keep them full. Don't they clean them?

A full freezer uses less energy because frozen food keeps the temperature low.

I only clean mine once a year when I defrost it. Why would frozen food need cleaning?

kittylester Sun 03-Jan-21 19:51:45

I don't think it's necessary to clean the freezer very often. In my main frost free freezer everything is packaged really well so is not in contact with anything else. The packaging that is reused, eg Tupperware type stuff, is washed.

I also have an American fridge freezer in the kitchen which I use as a half way house and for stuff that I use regularly.

Casdon Sun 03-Jan-21 19:54:59

I think it depends who you live with! My son is forever going in the freezer for stuff and spilling crumbs because he is too lazy to take the whole packet out, he just takes out what he wants. I’ve got a frost free freezer, so I tend to empty one drawer at a time and wash it out rather than do the whole thing.

Jaxjacky Sun 03-Jan-21 20:00:56

I resolved early last year and have kept it, to stop storing bits and bobs in the freezer. We use up leftovers either the next day, or the day after, I got fed up with small containers of stuff that just got moved around. Our freezer is frost free, it doesn’t take long to empty and wipe around each tray individually with no risk of defrosting.

SueDonim Sun 03-Jan-21 20:08:45

I don’t eat everything out of the freezer before cleaning it. I sort through the drawers, cleaning as I go, then clean the inside of the cabinet then put everything back. It doesn’t take much more than half an hour.

It leads to some interesting meals, as someone said. Yesterday I had children’s cottage pie ready meal, left over from a GC’s visit. It was fine with some baked beans to pad it out! grin

I also made an amazing soup with various ends of bags of vegetables that had accumulated. It lasted two of us for three days. I also used up apples from two years ago and made this Christmas’s cranberry sauce from a pack of frozen cranberries that I also unearthed.

MissAdventure Sun 03-Jan-21 20:12:46

I only clean my freezer when it's so full of ice that I have to dig out a hole to put something in.