Frugal Toolbox: Freezer Inventory

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I buy lots of loss leader meats. When it’s on sale, I buy it–usually in the large “family pack” serving, although there are only two of us at home. Most of the time I bring it home, plan weekly meals around it, and freeze the excess. What happens when the freezer’s full?

I took inventory today. Long overdue…I should be doing this monthly, but the last few months of full-time work and evening graduate school kept me way too busy. But I’m not busy now, and here’s what I found in my freezers…(we have a fridge with a freezer compartment, but we also have a chest freezer which saves us a lot of money on good meat deals.)

When I took inventory today, I found some things I’d forgotten: some frozen meatballs I bought buy-one-get-one-free. I love to make my own pasta sauce, but sitting on my pantry shelf I have some ludicrously cheap spaghetti sauce I picked up on sale. Voila! Spaghetti and meatballs, and the pasta jars can be repurposed to hold my future batches of homemade pasta sauce.  I also have a 10 pound bag of chicken leg quarters. We will barbecue, have friends over for dinner, and do all kinds of cooking with those chicken leg quarters. Some steaks I bought on sale which will be wonderful for Father’s Day and for those days when we feel deprived and want a treat but don’t want to blow the budget by going out to dinner. We’re stocked!

My inventory isn’t at all complicated. I just list the item and the serving size. I like to update it once a month or so.

The good news? I won’t have to shop for about a month–and when I do shop, it’ll be for add-ons to my main dishes. Some rice, maybe some beans, refill my cumin stash, some buy-one-get-one-free pasta. I have plenty of food to last us for a good long time.

How about you? What’s in your freezer?

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Friday Frugal Challenge: The Wonderful World of Resale!

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If you’ve never experienced the joys of resale, you’re missing out. Your Friday Frugal Challenge: to explore the wonderful world of resale.

There are two sides to the resale coin: buying gently used items and selling your own items. This Friday, I challenge you to either purchase something used or to sell something of your own. When you buy used, you save money and save landfill space. When you sell something, you put cash into your pocket and you cut clutter.

This week, I’m looking for a food processor to buy used. I’m scanning Goodwill, garage sales, and I’ll check out Craigslist. In addition, I’m going to sell some nice work clothes that I just don’t wear any more and some DVDs we’ve had forever and never watch.

What will you buy—or sell—this week?