As we’ve discussed a time or two, I have a bit of a Type-A personality. I like to make a menu plan each week, and I like to make sure I’m using everything I have in the freezer.
There’s nothing worse than finding a gross, freezer-burned steak or roast that’s been buried in the depths for a year. What a waste!
That’s why I jot down a quick freezer inventory every few months. It only takes a couple of minutes, and it saves time in menu planning and saves money because I don’t waste food.
Here’s a shot of the most recent inventory–each square represents a package.
- Cooked shredded chicken x3
- Pork shoulder
- Ketchup (bought in super-bulk at Costco) x3
- Mini chocolate chips
- Oats, 4 lbs.
- Strawberry freezer jam x2
- Apple butter
- Sticky rice, 10 lbs.
- Mandarin orange juice x3
- Pork chops
- Bread crumbs x2
- Hamburger x4
- Shredded parmesan
- Shredded mozzarella x4
- Flour, 10 lbs.
Seeing everything listed together helps me decide what to make–for example:
- Cooked, shredded chicken + mandarin orange juice + sticky rice = quick homemade orange chicken (make sauce, pour over chicken)
- Pork chops + bread crumbs + parmesan = parmesan breaded pork chops
- Flour + shredded mozzarella + hamburger = the beginnings of homemade pizza
- Mini chocolate chips + oats + flour = half the ingredients for homemade granola bars
I post the inventory on the freezer, and as I take something out I check off the box. When I really have my act together, I remember to add new things as I put them in the freezer. That doesn’t happen too often though.