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Deep Freeze – Freezing Sale Items To Help Stretch Your Grocery Dollars

by Debt Destroyer on February 18, 2009

freezer-packed-countertopNow that I’m trying to limit my family’s Grocery spending to $450 a month, I’m looking for ways to get the most for my money.  I’ve already mentioned a few ways I’m doing this in a couple of previous posts (here & here).

But earlier today I realized that I had another tool at my disposal that I probably haven’t been using effectively enough.

Our Deep Freeze!

At lunch time today my daughter informed us that she wanted burritos.  My wife looked in the fridge and said we were out.  But that triggered my memory of buying  a bunch of burrito packs when they were on sale a month ago.  Sure enough we had a couple of more packages ready to go. In no time at all my kids were eating burritos (well one was the other one was feeding it to the dog).

This got me wondering, what else is in there?  I knew it was full of Hot Pockets (whenever my store puts them on sale for less than $2, I stock up.) And just last week, my in-laws gave some some free mystery meat (I’m never sure what they are handing out).

But when I took a deeper look I found many forgotten treasures.

  1. Tator Tots – These must have been on sale a while ago, because I have 3 bags of them.   This is good because they are one of our favorite side dishes.
  2. Broccoli – There was a time when my daughter ate broccoli like it was going out of style.  I must have stocked, because now she won’t touch it.  It’s still a popular side.
  3. Roasts (mostly pork) –  I’m just guessing but I think these came from my Mother-in-law.  As mentioned above she frequently gives us random frozen meat.
  4. Random stuff – There’s a boxed lasagna, ice cream, desserts, corn, apple sauce,  chicken breasts, and breast milk.

After surveying our new found booty, the Mrs & I have decided that we’re going to try to mine at least two meals a week out of the freezer.  So before sitting down to type this I cut up some potatoes, carrots, and onions, and combined them all together in our crock-pot.

Hopefully it will taste as good as it smells.

After a few weeks we should be ready to fill ‘er up once again.  Hopefully this time we’ll remember to keep better track of what’s in there and plan our meals accordingly.

For example this upcoming week we’ll have:

  • Monday – Tator Tot Hot Dish
  • Tuesday – Chicken & broccoli
  • Wednesday – Lasagna with some sort of Breast Milk dessert

On second thought maybe we’ll just have a nice side salad.

Now that you know how I use my freezer, how about you share some of your favorite itms to stock up on?

Until next time,

-DD

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Xander February 19, 2009 at 9:44 am

We have a deep freeze in our garage that sits completely empty. We got it with great intentions, but always seem to forget to buy those sale items to put in there.

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celticbuffy February 19, 2009 at 1:18 pm

I have to chuckle at the “mystery meat”. Now that I’m vegetarian I no longer have to take home “mystery meat”. Although I took my fair share in years past & have to say thank you to MIL because it did save me a lot of money during hard times. But yes, it is truly a guessing game sometimes as to what she’s passed along to you. :)

I plan to use our deep freeze next fall to freeze veggies from our garden, along with storing hamburger patties and a few steaks for our “meatasaurous” Anime. I also like to stock up on frozen veggies at the store (the kind that you can microwave in the bag).

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Scott @ The Passive Dad February 19, 2009 at 9:18 pm

I love tater tots but our kids just won’t touch them. I guess it skipped a generation. We need to be better at using up our frozen meat before going to the grocer store for more chicken or hamburger. I’ve noticed that the freezer has almost become this permanent storage locker and never utilized for meals.

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Jonathan@Friends&Money February 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm

It’s amazing what you find when you take time to have a clear out and it also offers the opportunity to get create again in the kitchen

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Ishan February 21, 2009 at 7:16 am

This is a very good tip. I also prefer to stock up whenever something goes on sale. The savings keep on adding up, and become a big chunk by end of the year. This ensures that I still get to eat what I want to eat, and still pay less for it.

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Frank February 23, 2009 at 1:47 pm

We used to have the same problem with not knowing what was in our deep freezer. We actually let a lot of stuff go to waste because it would be buried in the bottom and we wouldn’t find it again for … well… I don’t know… a long time. :-)

We now have a stand up freezer with shelves and I have to say, I love it. All the benefits of being able to stockpile food and be able to find it.

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Debt Destroyer February 25, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Thanks for comment. Sorry it took me so long to respond, but I’ve been super busy lately.

@ Xander – Remember, a full freezer runs way more efficient than an empty one. Unless of course it’s unplugged :)

@ celticbuffy – We are planning on having a little garden this year too. i better get crackin’ on the plans before it’s too late.

@ Scott – Let’s hear it for Tator Tots!

@ Jonathon – Sometimes “freezer finds” allow us to get too creative :)

@ Ishan – Yup. I just stocked up on Chicken Nuggets my last trip…those puppies hardly ever go on sale. We should be set for 2+ months.

@Frank – I’m jealous of your stand up. That would help with forgetting what is lurking on the bottom of the freezer. I’m thinking of making an inventory sheet and taping it to the lid.

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Ron Russell April 12, 2009 at 9:36 pm

We have a garden, would not even have it if not for the deep freeze. Its full by the end of the fall. All winter long we enjoy veggies we grew in the fall and summer. Later when we get room the bargins at the store are taken full advantage of my buying in bulk. Great thing the freezer.

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gardener May 5, 2009 at 9:13 pm

It definately makes to freeze any extra produce you may have grown in your garden. Amazingly most vegetables still taste great when they are thawed out or cooked.

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