It’s long past time for me to take stock and clean out our freezers. I am the WORST about buying meat because I forget to thaw something for dinner then having something come up and not cooking the meat so instead of wasting it, I throw it in the freezer. I decided for the month of January I would make a point of cleaning out the freezer which also means I made a goal of cooking most nights at home instead of grabbing something while I’m out and about or just going to a restaurant.
The first thing I did was grab a notebook do an inventory. This took me about 30 minutes. I took everything out, wrote down what I had, then organized the freezers so like items are together.
Once the inventory was taken I printed a calendar, marked the dates I knew we wouldn’t be having dinner at the house, then started meal planning. I also just got an Instant Pot so most of my searching consisted of looking up Instant Pot recipes. As I made plans for items in the freezer I marked them off the inventory list.
I’m not going to do a full inventory list here but I will say I have SO MUCH meat and frozen vegetables in the freezer I can make everything on the plan calendar that calls for meat and/or veg without hitting the grocery store. We also have several large bags of frozen fruit, my husband went through an “l’m going to make smoothies phase”, and I have 3 bags of Jalapeño Pesto from an earlier “What’s Cooking” blog.
A quick note about the Instant Pot
Ah the Instant Pot…everyone I know RAVES about their Instant Pot. Me…to be completely honest, I’m still on the fence. One pot cooking makes it easier to clean but most nights I’m still having to get at least one other pot out to make a side. Also, Instant is the brand not how fast the thing makes dinner. Can it make chicken in WAY less time than the crock pot, yes. Can it make a meal in less time than an oven and a few pots and pans, eh…I don’t know. Regardless, EVERYTHING I made in the Instant Pot was amazing taste wise (even though I got the burn message a few times), maybe I just need more practice.
Food Photos! and Recipe Links
Here are a couple of things that will be added to the rotating recipe deck. Not to say everything wasn’t great, I’m quite the cook ???????? but some things are just better than others.
The end of the month came fast, I feel like last year January just dragged and dragged but this year it was over before it started! Overall, I did ok with the plan and was able to clean the freezer out of 98% of the meat and frozen veg we had stocked up. We also had a 33% decrease in our grocery bill for the month. Now I know that’s only a one month savings since I’ll have to replenish what I used but if I shop smart and buy some meat in bulk to divide up I can restock for much less than what we spent buying small packs of chicken one at a time and freezing them forever.
The true perk of making a point to cooking more at home…spending just a little extra time with my sous chef!!