Thursday, 31 January 2019

Eat the Stores - The Freezer Challenge - Final Day


So the Eat the Stores Challenge has lasted for the last month, during which we started off eating our way through the contents of the leftover from Christmas fresh items in the fridge, adding them to  things taken from the cupboards to make meals until I was able to give all the cupboards a really good tidy.  Once the cupboards were all nice and neat ... as shown on this post ... I decided to concentrate my efforts on the food storage that was annoying me the most and that was driving me mad in it's messiness ... the freezer.

And so the challenge within a challenge ... The Freezer Challenge was born.

The top photo shows the freezer as it looked on 4th January, the day I worked my way around the kitchen photographing all our food stores.


This photo shows it last night ...


... and this one this morning.

When I finally lost my temper with the garlic breads that kept falling out at me every time I opened the freezer door and decided to stash them with the equally tall packs of pastry in one of the door pockets ... with the curry sauces holding them upright.

Now to run through the shelves in the main body of the freezer.  The before photo each time was  taken on the 4th January and the after one was taken this morning.

Shelf One before.

Shelf One after.


Shelf Two before.

Shelf Two after.


Shelf Three before.

Shelf Three after.


Shelf Four before.

Shelf Four after.

Some quite dramatic differences in my opinion, and it does show that if you concentrate on a particular area for a Challenge you can make a huge and very satisfying difference.

The freezer drawers are still exactly the same as when I showed them here, so I won't bore you with more photos of them.

So that's it my Eat from the Stores and The Freezer Challenge over and done with and a brand new month starting tomorrow, how did January whizz by so quickly, its amazing how fast the time is going. 

 What am I doing next I can almost hear you asking ... well the first job of today is a good tidy up of what's left in the freezer, write out a shopping list and then a quick visit to the shops to give us a standby supply of bread and fresh foods.  We do need some back up supplies with all this bad weather we are having, and I have to get the car out of the drive while we have it gritted and I can actually get down the slope safely.

What I won't be doing however, is overstocking with anything as I am still in use it up and wear it out mode, so we will continue to keep our spend low and our cupboards, fridge and freezer feeding us before any dashing off on shopping expeditions just for the sake of it.

Oh, and talking of spending ... we spent just £32.18 on additional foods during January. 


🍲



20 comments:

  1. That's a huge difference and a mega saving on cash. You must be delighted with the results.
    xx

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    1. We really are. Thank you for following along :-)

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  2. Have just appreciated the benefits of a chest freezer out in the garage..........nothing falls out when I open it and I can keep things in bags to separate them!

    Good low spend food month for you.

    Now you need to stock up for the Armageddon that is Brexit!! ( Just in case of readers from overseas - I am joking here!)

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    1. It's a really good idea to keep things in bags in a chest freezer. One that I'm going to pinch I think. Maybe a bag for fruit, one for veggies, one for meat products and one for miscellaneous.

      I'm nicely re-stocked in the fresh basics now, but we are still going to be eating down the stores a bit more over the coming month.

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  3. Yes a huge difference Sue, you've done very well indeed, and on the low spend. I just can't get our spending that low....I'm clearly not trying hard enough!

    I do need to defrost our big freezer, but am kind of torn between running the stocks down, and keeping it well stocked to cope with any shortages - which will no doubt be caused, not by Brexit itself, but by the media scaremongering and hyping everything up just to sell papers. And of course gullible consumers believing everything the papers say and rushing out panic buying.

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    1. Well we had lots in stock at the start of the month, so it's not been too hard to keep the spending down.

      It's a hard decision to make isn't it. I've come down on the side of sensible amounts in the freezers and a background supply of rice, pasta, tinned tomatoes, tinned fish and dried fruits, nuts and baking supplies.

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  4. Well done on your low spend, can't say I've done as well, but I do have a very good stock of salmon now. Looking forward to see what you are doing in February and seeing what other hints and tips I can learn. Helen S.

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    1. Thank you for following along, it's always nice to have a good stash of one of your favourite foods isn't it.

      I'm throwing the choice for the next Challenge over to my readers, watch out for the post in a couple of days.

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  5. Well done, especially the low spend. I do find that I take a home cooked meal out of the freezer and replace it with next home cooked meal but I suppose it is turning it around. I just find it so much easier to cook two meals at a time (as there are only the two of us) and eat one, freeze one.

    I look forward to seeing what your next challenge is.

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    1. I think this Challenge worked so well, and the contents of the freezer went down so quickly purely because I was determined that nothing went back into the freezer.

      It's all too easy to take out some vegetable, make a big pot of soup and then freeze all the spare portions. While this is something that I would normally like doing, for the sake of emptying the freezer this time we just ate what I took out and nothing went back in.

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  6. You have done really well! I have at least made a dent in my freezer and the only protein I intend spending any money on in February is some fish or seafood, which will likely be frozen - but at least I'm on a better rotation system now.
    I too need a few items from the shops but I'm leaving it until tomorrow so it will go on my February spend total. I need only a few basics of fruit & veg and I have a few tinned items on the list for the pantry as I'm low on a couple of items that I use regularly. I have enough milk & bread for the week although I will buy 1 pkg. of Crispbread as I like having a few on hand "just in case". It feels like Minus 30C out there at the moment so I like to be sure and have a few things on hand to eat in case the power goes out!
    Looking forward to the next challenge.

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    1. Thank you.

      Yes, it's February tomorrow and a brand new month and it sounds as though you are managing your food supplies really well, I bet you've got another nice low spend month coming up.

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  7. Sue you've done so well in reducing both the cupboards and your freezer. It's exciting as to what your next challenge will be....... I'm continuing from low spend January into Frugal February lol xx

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    1. I think I will be keeping my spending down as low as I can too. There is still lots in the cupboards to see us happily through the next few weeks.

      If my next Challenge is food related it will be shopped from the cupboards where possible.

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  8. My hint - write a full and detailed list for my ideal food stores. Every couple of months I stop just clicking on the same buttons for on line shopping and double check my list against the cupboard. That way I stop over ordering things and make sure I have those odd ingredients that let me cook some different recipes.

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    1. A good tip:-)

      I never shop online though, although I do use mysupermarket.co.uk to plan my shop.

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  9. Wow, quite a difference between the two sets of photos. You did very well.

    God bless.

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    1. Seeing the photos together made me realise what a difference we have made to the freezer, that's a lot of food gone over the 10 days of the Freezer Challenge, although tomorrow's post will explain some of the gaps :-)

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  10. Wow that's an amazing difference! Shoes what you can achieve when you put your mind to it, but does require a conscious decision. Many congrats on the low food spending. We came out just under £200 on groceries for our family of 4.

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    1. That's not bad spending for a family with children, well done :-)

      It is a good difference isn't it, but I think it's because I chose to concentrate on the freezer. If we had carried on eating from all the cupboards AND the freezer it would have still been as much food gone but would have shown up as less of a difference in the photos.

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