Nov 27, 2010

Freezer Inventory - Past due!

I've been kicking myself for the past few months because we bought meat in bulk for the freezer and I never wrote down what was going in (or what was coming out), and lost track of what I did and didn't have in the freezer. I have a medium sized chest freezer in my laundry room (just off the kitchen) and a large bottom freezer in my refrigerator. I didn't have a clue what was in either!

What a mess!
So I took the time today to empty out both freezers and inventory what was in them. If you do this, make sure and wear gloves! As I removed items from both freezers, I sorted into piles - Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, prepared meals, fruit, vegetables, breads/desserts and a Miscellaneous category that turned out to be odd cuts of leftover meats that I'd put aside for future soups/stews/casseroles.

Luckily, we save cardboard boxes of all sizes in our basement. So I found suitable sizes for each freezer category and, after writing down the contents of the package on my Inventory Sheet, put the package in the appropriate box. Frozen vegetables go in the wire baskets at the top.

Nicely organized freezer!
I'm delighted to find out I have about 88 meals worth of food in my freezer! That does not include another whole turkey -- and we know I'm going to get 15 or 20 meals out of that! It does include many meals I've made extra and frozen -- soups, stews, casseroles, the turkey TV dinners, etc.

I now have an Excel spreadsheet with my freezer contents listed, by category and then alphabetically, which shows me how many of each item I have in stock. I can use this to do my menu planning and grocery list each week. In fact, I think I'll probably start doing menu planning for two weeks at a time now. I placed the Inventory sheet in a large manilla envelope and taped it to the outside of the chest freezer so I don't forget to mark off whatever I take out.

My kitchen freezer is now reserved for frozen soups, breads, and breakfast meats (sausage, bacon). Anything for breakfast or lunches went in there as well. 

And now - it's on to the "pantry"! I have three sets of metal shelving (4 to 5 shelves each) in the garage where I store canned foods. When our local Kroger had their Mega-Event sale a few weeks ago, I stocked up on canned fruits, soups, sauces, and more - in addition to my normal stockpile. So -- off to inventory and organize those as well!

2 comments:

Dekorasyon Ankara said...

Thank you for this clever and useful kitchen idea.

Ilene said...

Wow, I'm so impressed, it all looks great!

I have a 23cf chest freezer and a small chest freezer that I don't know how many cf it holds. Maybe 15. And then there's the freezer in my refrigerator. In my refrigerator freezer I tend to keep things that get "lost" in my big freezer. I used to organize the freezers with cardboard boxes but lately I've been buying up wire baskets as I see them at garage sales. Some fit and some don't. The ones that don't, go in my kitchen or in the sewing room. My big freezer came with two tiers of baskets and a big open space in the bottom. That's where I kept losing track of things. Now I have two big wire baskets sitting on the floor of the freezer. They hold meat. There's room between the long wall and those baskets for Folger's plastic tubs, and they hold broth, or chopped bell peppers. Then there's room on top of the motor housing for pint containers of strawberries and pumpkin, etc.

My smaller freezer holds baked goods, casseroles, pot-pies and other things that can be a quick meal for those days when there's no time or I just plain don't feel like cooking.

I've tried to keep a list and I seem to lose track of it somehow. I'm always taking something out and forgetting to change the list.