We got through shopping. One cheat I forgot was buy a oven dinner for this night. You’re gonna need it.
Now, remember I mentioned a deep freezer? Great if you have one! If not no worries, you’ll just play tetris like the rest of us.
If you don’t know that reference, it’s a video game. Google it.
Anywho, we shall start with the meat. I buy ground turkey, chicken and a seasonal meat. All choices made are very versatile, and I welcome meatless dishes too.
I buy my meat in bulk or close to it. 12 to 15 pounds of ground turkey. Jennie O has them in 3 pound containters. I get my ziploc freezer bags, get my hands dirty and separate the meat in bags. This is key, which will make sense in a minute.
I buy frozen chicken in resealable bags. Easy storage.
Your third selection of meat can be stored how ever you want. If its ground meat, I separate it out to 1 pound each. If its pre-bagged, leave it.
After all this, you either play tetris with your small freezer or begin to fill your big freezer.
Grab your bleach or cleaner, clean the surface, we move on to fruits and veggies. General rule I was taught is if you see it in the frozen section in the store, you can buy it fresh, wash it, cut it up and freeze it.
I buy a lot of: peppers (red, green, yellow, and orange), strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, broccoli, and one new veggie and fruit to experiment with.
First, I make my fruit and veggie sink wash (fill up your sink with warm water and one cup of vinegar, doesn’t matter is apple cider or white). Drop the veggies and fruit in for 3-5. Gets all the dirt off and since you pre washed, saves you time on cleaning food. Pull them out, rinse and air dry. Cut off stems and leaves, grab for ziploc bags, and play more tetris.
Lastly, I fill the freezer with my bread and milk. I haven’t been able to do this step due to a small freezer. If you can, keep track of how much you average. We go through a gallon a week, so if I had space, I would buy 6 gallons, freezing 4. When you are half way through the second gallon, grab the next and defrost it in the sink. When defrosted, shake it up and refrigerate it, and you’re good to go.
Bread, my rule of thumb is 8-12 loaves. Freeze majority of it, and leave out 2 or 3 loaves. Once you get down to one loaf, pull out two to thaw. They are fine, as long as no one smashes them. If that’s the case, just got smashed bread which sucks, but great for bread pudding!
I have invested in tupperware and rubbermaid bins for storage of dry goods I use a lot of. Especially sugar and flour. 25 pound bag of each. Doing that, saves me money, and one less thing to worry about.
Doing this, leaves room to buy other things I’m curious in trying out, like mangos or squash. Also if you have leftover food when you go shopping the next month, like I do, its key to label and date them. Write on the ziploc bag contents and date. So then when your doing this process, you rotate the food out, putting the older stuff closer to you to grab and newer stuff in the back/bottom.
Yes, it’s time consuming, but saves time and money. You’re also freaking out about space. That leads us into part three, weekly cooking. Here’s where it gets fun…..