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Clearing out the freezer & cupboards challenge

(245 Posts)
jenduck Sun 20-Jan-13 10:56:43

So, I am having a very expensive month (car failed MOT, cat got in another fight, birthdays etc) & it has struck me that I have 2 freezers & an understairs cupboard full to bursting with food that needs to be eaten! So, I am challenging myself to see how long I can go without buying anything (other than basics)

Who would like to join me? We could perhaps give each other inspiration for recipes for the random ingredients that we find?

Tonight's dinner is Fray Bentos pie (blush but yummy!) with mash, veg from freezer & gravy - warming, delicious & easy on a day like today!

Ugh to pie (but my dp would probably like to come to your house for tea!).

Thinking off the top of my head, I could probably rustle up the following from what I have -

roast potatoes, veggie sausages, savoy cabbage, Yorkshire puddings, carrots - today's dinner

dahl and basmati with a cucumber minty salad

veggie chilli and either rice, homemade wedges or homemade flatbreads

chickpea curry and homemade flatbreads or rice

a leek and potato bake

lentil soup

pancakes and berries

cheese on toast

rice pudding and or/bread and butter pudding

apple crumble or pie and custard or baked apples

Lots of porridge

Probably a few more random things that don't go together v well.

I would need to buy onions, bread and milk.

wheredidiputit Sun 20-Jan-13 11:51:12

I using the snow as an excuse not to go shopping and eating whats in the freezer.

Today we having Roast Lamb (what was leftover from we had on new years day).

The freezer needs defrosting anyway so we going for an odds and sods week/fortnight.

Mum2Fergus Sun 20-Jan-13 13:59:46

Im with you Jen...move house soon so saving pennies and dont want to be carting loads of food with me! Sooo, stewing steak in slow cooker, puff pastry and sprouts from freezer and potatoes and carrots from veg drawer...left over profiteroles from yesterday and ice cream/cream for dessert. Off to raid freezer/cupboards for tomorrow...back to let you know what I can rustle up!

drinkyourmilk Sun 20-Jan-13 14:04:42

After reading your post I had a quick look in the freezer. We have two lamb shanks, a ton of king prawns and duck breasts! We are going to be eating like kings this week smile
Of course tonight we are having the chicken kievs, because I love 'em

Mum2Fergus Sun 20-Jan-13 14:10:27

Ok, Mon will be fish/scampi and chips, Tue Pasta n Sauce with some chicken...need to shop for bread a milk tomorrow. Ive 2 onions and a red pepper need using soon...thinking caps on!

HearMyRoar Sun 20-Jan-13 14:12:30

Hello, would you mind terribly if I joined but with a slight amendment. I don't mind buying stuff if needed but really want to avoid throwing away any food. So trying to use up odds and ends before they go bad and save all left overs no matter how small.

Today I've got some left over pastry from a quiche I made yesterday that I'm going to make some tarts with using some nectarines that are on the turn.

I'm also going to start a veg stock bag in the freezer for veg ends and slightly manky bits I would usually chuck. We're having pheasant for dinner so the bones from that will go in my meat

Gosh, I'm super excited about this thread. Good shout jen ! grin

CrazyOldCatLady Sun 20-Jan-13 14:17:34

I started this on the 1st of January. We haven't bought any food since then other than milk and bread. I think we could keep going till about halfway through February, though I'm starting to crack at this stage - I miss fresh fruit and veg!

It's freezer surprise tonight - I defrosted it for lunch on Friday thinking it was soup, but it appears to be some sort of beef and mushroom tomato-based casserole. I think.

It's my birthday on Wednesday so I think I'll go mad and get a takeaway, and some grapes for dessert.

Mum2Fergus Sun 20-Jan-13 14:19:15

Pheasant and quiche Roar...Im now thoroughly embarassed by my scampi and pasta sauce efforts lol

I happened to watch a Sky+d programme this morning, What A Waste...nice timing for this thread following that. Ive cut down on a lot of waste by getting my portion control better ...

jenduck Sun 20-Jan-13 14:32:15

Ooh, glad this thread is gathering speed! Mum2 I think my Fray Bentos pie is still the most blush offering!

Right. Have been clearing out the understairs cupboard of doom and found some dried chickpeas, so think I will try & make hummous. Am a hummous virgin, so any tips there gratefully accepted. Also have 1.5 boxes of Paxo sage & onion stuffing, so need to think of what to do with that (not stuffing fans hmm)

Bows to CrazyCatLady seriously impressed!

HearMyRoar Sun 20-Jan-13 15:02:01

Humus is one of my cooking failures. I know in theory it is really simple but no matter how much I try I just can't get it right. Dp valiantly put up with my efforts for months until cracking and politely suggesting we just buy it. Bless him grin

So I am also all ears if anyone has any magic tips on humous making.

northender Sun 20-Jan-13 15:35:12

I did my cupboard clear out a couple of weeks ago. I rescued manky looking dried apricots and prunes, soaked them in tea and used them instead of sultanas and currants in a tea bread recipe. The tea breads are now in the freezer.
jen I found dried chickpeas too, mine were very out of date blush. After extensive research (including an American "survivalist" site grin) I soaked them overnight, then cooked them in the slow cooker for several hours, then drained and froze them to be used in stews, casseroles etc. I've had mixed results with home made hummus, dh loves it, I'm not so sure.

So I think my priority is to make sure these things don't languish in the freezer now grin.

Loquace Sun 20-Jan-13 15:38:19

I think this kight be a good place to ask, is there and app or website where you can put in what you have got in the house and then it spits out meal suggestions ?

I've tried one or two claiming to do that, but the answers seem to be "what you have got, plus nineteen million extra ingrediants that you DON'T have", thus defeating the point a bit.

Is there anything out there that really sticks to what you do have ?

HearMyRoar Sun 20-Jan-13 18:28:59

Not heard of av decent one loquace, have you tried just putting them in Google with recipe and seeing what comes up. In fact I might try it now...

HearMyRoar Sun 20-Jan-13 18:34:36

I just tried searching 'chicken, aubergine, celeriac recipe' and got some pretty good suggestions. I'm actually rather impressed as I thought it was a reasonably random selection.

jenduck Sun 20-Jan-13 20:11:16

Well, dinner tonight was a hit, just right for this weather smile

For tomorrow I have found some meatballs in the freezer, so will do these with pasta & tinned toms from the cupboard. May have to buy some cheese to grate on top, though.

Have also found some broccoli in the freezer & have Stilton in the fridge so will make soup for lunch tomorrow. Yummy smile

Loquace have you tried lovefoodhatewaste?

rainbowsprite1 Sun 20-Jan-13 23:53:40

something you all might find useful if you find a pack of dried pulses. Cook the whole pack and then freeze in portions. it is a much cheaper way of doing it. 1 tin costs nearly a pound, I have found a pack that costs the same does 4 portions. we regularly have meals that are bulked out with whatever frozen "beans" I find at the bottom of the freezer

rainbowsprite1 Sun 20-Jan-13 23:54:21

* by portions I meant you get 4 tins worth

wheredidiputit Mon 21-Jan-13 09:19:35

We are having spag bog from freezer (made last Oct.)

CrazyOldCatLady Mon 21-Jan-13 12:29:46

Last night's dinner turned out to be a curry, and very tasty it was too : )

Tonight it's a sort of pork hotpot thing, made from pork shoulder pieces from the freezer, some spuds (we had a huge sack to get through so still haven't found the bottom!), and apple juice, chicken stock, mustard, sage, fennel, and some flour to thicken it. It's all bubbling away in the slow cooker while we're in work but I have high hopes. It should feed us tomorrow as well, and I've green beans in the freezer which should go nicely with it.

Soup for lunch today, it's beef and veg made from leftover christmas spiced beef so it's very warming, perfect for the weather!

multitask Mon 21-Jan-13 15:13:37


Loquace Mon 21-Jan-13 17:14:48


It works, it works!

Loads of options with a 100% of what I have got.grin


<goes on hunt for mathcing app>

HearMyRoar Mon 21-Jan-13 19:19:40

Left over quiche and potatoes for lunch. I put mince bulked out with tomatoes, lentils and pearl barley in the slow cooker this morning before work so just cooked up some rice to go with it when I got in.

Tomorrow will be some of the mince with some sauce added for spaghetti. Tuesday is the day both me and dp are at work so I need something super quick.

alemci Mon 21-Jan-13 19:30:25

sounds excellent idea. Had roast pork last night, tonight cold with chips and beans.

Not driving 'cos of weather so it may save a bit of money buying bits and pieces.

Aethelfleda Mon 21-Jan-13 19:30:30

Watching with interest! We are hoping to move next month and one of the many jobs on the to-do list is to eat up cupboard and freezer stuff so that we're not paying movers to transport 99 tins of beans. It's also worth saving some cash in the run-up to the hideous expense of moving!!
It's odd (We started this after Christmas) as I'm so used to having a super-stocked cupboard, I often bulk-buy and cook all manner of stuff...
Not replacing the stocks is so weird!

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