Monday, December 5, 2011


December 5, 2011
I’m not sure why, but our freezers go out on a pretty regular basis. I don’t have trouble with any other appliances dying quickly, but it seems like every 18 months or so our freezer dies. It just did so again, we lost pretty much everything in it.

This time it was the last straw. The proverbial camel’s back was broken. I refuse to replace it. WHAT? You say. A person like me who is definitely into food storage refusing to purchase another free standing freezer? Unheard of, but that’s my decision.

Seriously I did the math and what little we saved on buying and freezing in bulk we lost in having to replace a freezer every time we turned around, dry ice costs to keep the foods safe until the new freezer was delivered and oh the work that went into maintaining that freezer.

So for the first time in my entire life, literally, I am without a free standing freezer. It’s definitely going to make a difference in how things are dealt with around here.

I’ve developed a game plan that hopefully will work out well for us and in the long run save us a lot in money and lost food all the way around.

I’ve gone back to shopping once a week, for just the foods I am going to need for the PLANNED MENU for the week. I’ve returned to couponing. However, I am still very big on food storage. Just not frozen food storage any more. So here’s how the first week went.

Last Sunday I sat down with the sale ads for the local groceries and discovered no one had any meats on as loss leaders. So I chose my main meat for the week to be a roast, knowing that I can often pick those up on Monday mornings at a discount at our local Wal-Mart.

I then made my dinner menus for the week. Here is week #1’s menu:

DINNER MENU PLAN 11/28-12/4/2011

MONDAY 11/28/11

Baked fish fillets (Gorton’s or Mrs. Paul’s)--coupon

Baked potato—from food storage

Green beans—from food storage

Leftover pies or cake for dessert


Crescent rolls—coupon and sale combo

TUESDAY 11/29/11

Roast with vegetables-large discounted chuck roast

Homemade bread

Leftover pies or cake for dessert


WEDNESDAY 11/30/11

Grilled Montreal Seasoning chicken breasts—food storage from fridge freezer

Chicken Rice a Roni—food storage

Asparagus—dried from food storage

Homemade Dinner Rolls

Homemade Brownies


THURSDAY 12/1/11

Stew made with leftover roast and vegetables

Cornbread( leftover from making stuffing for Thanksgiving) or crackers—food storage

Cookies—from fridge freezer

Milk or tea

FRIDAY 12/2/11

Pinto bean soup—food storage


Fried potatoes—food storage


Leftover desserts

SATURDAY 12/3/11

Beef and Bean Burritos using leftover beans and roast

Mexican rice with corn in it

Homemade Sopapillas

SUNDAY 12/4/11

Potato Soup or leftovers

Crackers—food storage

Homemade Gingerbread

Milk or tea

As you can see I purchased very little on that Monday morning trip. It’s a basic menu and what happened with the leftovers is what changes the system.

I started out the week, like most everyone in the nation with leftover turkey. This was deboned by Sean then sandwiches and turkey salad were eaten by all family members early in the week for lunches.

Then the leftover turkey went a few different directions. Some was pressure canned in turkey broth made from double boiling the carcass for future sandwiches, salads and casseroles. Some was dried for jerky treats for the dogs, some was fed to the cats, except Lizzie B. who doesn’t like turkey. The rest was made into a week’s worth of dog food for our three 50# dogs mixed with rice, vegetables and turkey broth.

As you can see we ate three dinners off that one $19 roast. What you don’t see on that menu is the lunches the next week made with the ground up leftover roast made into sandwich spread for Gary’s lunches.

Nor do you see that the vegetable beef soup/stew made such a large amount I canned up several jars of it in lunch size servings for the food storage.

The pinto bean soup was a LARGE pan full. The leftovers were divided up. Three cups went into making the refried beans for Saturday night’s dinner, which had leftovers that will go into bean burritos for lunches for next week. Two cups were placed in the refrigerator for Beef and Beans that are on next week’s menu using ground beef as the main meat for the week. The remaining beans were canned for food storage.

There was still room in the canner, so I dug packages of frankfurters out of the small refrigerator freezer (thus freeing up room) and made homemade Beans and Franks, which I canned for Gary’s lunches as well.

Two things came out of the refrigerator freezer and only one thing went in this week. That one thing was a single fish fillet patty that went in because we only needed three and the packages contained two each. My goal is to get away from using the two and ½ (camper) freezers for anything other than freezing items that cannot be safely canned or frozen, such as eggs.

While I used several things out of food storage I also added beef soup, canned beans, canned beans and franks and canned cooked turkey to the food storage. A total of 2 pints and 25 ½ pints of food went into the food storage.

On my grocery list now are replacements for the non-freezer food storage items I used. I will purchase two for every one I used to build the food storage system up. Because I’ve been doing that pattern for awhile I can afford to wait for those items to become loss leaders, have a good coupon, or grow in the 2012 garden.

I plan on running the canner and/or dehydrator 1-2 times a week to can/dry up leftovers. I will also run it full each time by canning things like dried beans, beans and franks and other “convenience” foods for those days I don’t have time to do a major cooking job. Or by drying things like rice, or dog treats to fill the dehydrator to max.

This next week, unless tomorrow’s ad has a great loss leader meat product, will be a ground beef week, I’ll purchase a 10# chub at Sam’s club, because it’s cheaper that way and then do similar to this week. Planning my leftovers for future meals or for canning or drying for food storage. Since we won’t eat anywhere near 10# of ground beef in one week I’ll also make up taco filler and can that as well as plain browned ground beef for the food storage.

It’s a system that I think will eventually get my food storage to a decent level and reduce food loss to a bare minimum.

Jan who thinks that living without a freezer is going to be just fine in OK

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