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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!

Aethelfleda Fri 22-Feb-13 09:16:48

Whoah, thread killer! Has EVERYBODY run out of food??!!

I'm down to one freezer drawer and a half empty cupboard. I actually had enough room (and motivation) to completely deep clean the fridge/freezer the other day- this is unheard of as usually I do it surrounded by huge piles of freezer stuf in boxes!!

However, there is discontent in my cupboards as the remaining stock is clearly aware something is afoot. The tin of Spam is watching me with suspicion. And I think the last packet of Fishfingers may be planning to tunnel out before they are selected....

Aethelfleda Mon 18-Feb-13 15:24:36

Hiya, fell off the thread due tO house-moving woes...but it's all back on again so here I am!
Cupboard clearing and freezer emptying going well here, we had christmas pud and custard for pudding yesterday smile have another one still to use so it's all festive over here!!
Tonights dinner will be pre-frozen homemade chicken curry and rice as I have two portions left, the DDs have been admirably tackling many portions of macaroni cheese and pasta pesto: I always make double/triple and freeze leftovers with stuff like that cos then I can defrost DS a portion in 90 seconds. And how many fishfingers do YOU have lurking in yor freezer? I confess a habit of bunging in a packet to the trolley automatically as they are so cheap and easy and I luffs them ...

I have until next week to finish the stocks, but would like to defrost the freezer before we move if I can....

BiddyPop Tue 05-Feb-13 10:08:09

Where, I could do that, but I had a large slice last night (after dinner though, so not as bad as last week) and there is only 1 large slice left that I'll probably eat tonight straight up with my cup of tea.....

I am not putting on pounds despite this badness - but I need to get rid of it (that's the last cake) so that the LOSING pounds regime kicks in again (I have at least a stone to lose before a wedding in May).

wheredidiputit Tue 05-Feb-13 07:27:31

Could you use the lemon cake as pudding with custard.

BiddyPop Mon 04-Feb-13 13:02:57

HearMyRoar blush you read right. I was too depressed after the bad week and my mum on top of it...

Yesterday, we had the chicken and mushrooms in white wine and cream sauce.

Today, we are having lamb meatballs with pasta, tomato sauce and lots of veggies.

Tomorrow, DD and AP are having battered fish and oven chips (DH and I are having a nice pasta dish as it is our anniversary and we cannot get out for it alone tomorrow, last weekend, next weekend or all this week - it will actually be maybe the Friday night of 2 weeks time!! or else the night before he goes away again in 3 weeks).

AP is cooking Wed.

Thurs, I am planning on chicken fajitas, and Fri will probably be something quick and easy but from stocks rather than takeaway.

The only meat I bought this weekend was some sausages (don't get to that supermarket regularly and they make a lovely dinner - and can be frozen). And spent very little on other stuff too.

Last night, DH and I finished off the last of the chocolate cake DD and I had made last Sunday - just heated in microwave for 20s and it was fine! I still have about 3 slices of the lemon cake to use up.

HearMyRoar Sat 02-Feb-13 19:25:41

Well, I just prepared some strawberry ice cream using some squashy strawberries I'd put in the freezer before they went bad. I'll put it in the ice cream maker tomorrow. Now I get to eat ice cream and feel virtuous. grin

chasingtail Sat 02-Feb-13 19:04:48

fab...marking place

HearMyRoar Fri 01-Feb-13 18:36:56

For a minute there biddy I read that as you are having lemon cake for dinner grin

Sausages tonight, pizza tomorrow. Yay!

BiddyPop Thu 31-Jan-13 09:51:31

I am so busy this week that I am not actually eating properly - so I am using up a lemon cake from fridge rather than dinners. I had planned on things like lamb meatballs with pasta, and chicken (fajitas 1 night, w/mushrooms in white wine sauce another) last week - none of which happened. At least I was able to freeze the meats with space cleared in freezer.

AP made a veggie curry last night, which looks nice (I will eat some tonight, I had to talk to DMum last night so put me in too bad form and made DD's bedtime difficult, so I just went stratight to bed at 9 once DD was settled). Used up a sauce and lots of veg from fridge.

I will make something from freezer tomorrow (DD and AP are having pizza using bases from fridge and odds and sods they find), and DH is taking us all out to Milanos (our version of Pizza Express) on Sat to celebrate his homecoming. I might do the meatballs and pasta on Sunday.

ethelb Thu 31-Jan-13 09:28:18

@neither another MN'er referred to cubgrub days which were factored into her meal planning!

grin at cubgrub ethelb

NotQuitePerfect Wed 30-Jan-13 19:22:15

Thanks Leilandri re: frozen stir fry, will look out for that.

Fresh stir fry seems to go off before you've even returned from the shops, & since the point of stir-fry is usually to use up odds & ends from the fridge it would make sense to have this veg mix on hand in the freezer!

Done freezer reconciliation, binned ancient fish fillets & several unidentified items. Found enough meat, veg & various sauces to last until next week.

But still managed to spend far too much at Sainsburys this afternoon shock. Need to get more of a grip!

ethelb Wed 30-Jan-13 16:59:04

@redmayne that kind of occurence is often covered on contents insurance.

ethelb Wed 30-Jan-13 16:50:21

Oh and I am already panicking about the cost of the shop I am going to have to do on February 15th!!

(to add to the above lunches are veg soup and hm bread/crackers, bfast is toast/museli/porridge)

ethelb Wed 30-Jan-13 16:48:56

Finally found out when DP will finally get paid, and its not until 14 feb, so we are extending the cubgrub challenge.

Here is the meal plan (confession: we spent £20 on essentials last night)

Tuesday: spag + garlic + chilli (yesterday)
Wednesday: fish And veg
Thursday: leon aloo gobi
Friday: lamb curry
Saturday: chicken and veg
Sunday: beef and veg
Monday: beef sanwiches
Tuesday: bunny paella
Wednesday: chilli con carne
Thursday: yorkshires and veg and gravy
Friday: chickpea curry and dahl
Saturday: fish finger sarnies
Sunday: something on toast
Monday: veg something
Tuesday: pancakes!!
Wednesday: chicken and veg
Thursday: cottage pie
Friday: pasta bake

FellatioNels0n Wed 30-Jan-13 03:00:42

Minestrone is a great user upper of leftovers. You can use all or any of the following: the stock from a boiled up chicken carcass, a dry old lump of parmesan rind, any veg that's a bit past its best, shredded up small (can be a winter minestrone with root veg, cabbage etc, or a summer one with lettuce.) A good way to use the last few frozen peas or green beans in the bag as well. A GREAT way to use up dried beans and pulses. And either small leftover bits of bacon, pork or ham. And any stray bits of pasta, when you are left with not enough to make a proper pasta meal. You can make loads then freeze it.

I used up my old blue cheese in soup - made enough for dinner last night and tonight, and another 3 portions went in the freezer for work lunches. I finished the last of the cous cous for lunch today. Tonight I will be finishing the rice and beans from the weekend, along with some mushrooms that were getting wrinkly in the fridge which I cooked with onion, garlic, lemon juice, paprika and chilli.

My problem is I love to cook, so I get things out of the cupboards/freezer to use up, and end up making enough for a small army and needing to freeze the left overs.

HearMyRoar Tue 29-Jan-13 20:23:49

Forgot to add, left overs quiche had yesterday used for lunch today and probably tomorrow. Chicken and random roast veg using up the bits in the fridge before I buy fresh stuff. Anything not included in that will go in some soup as I want to have some to go in the freezer for Tuesdays which as a bit crazy dinnertime wise and need something super quick ready.

HearMyRoar Tue 29-Jan-13 20:19:30

Restocked my freezer over the weekend so it is now full of meat and bread. It is only little though so I get to restart the freezer emptying challenge every few weeks grin

wheredidiputit Tue 29-Jan-13 19:51:24

Have listed what's in out 'big' freezer - and added 2 lots of chicken stew.

Will do the small freezer in the kitchen and cupboards tomorrow then I will do a menu plan using as much as I can from what we have.

redmayneslips Tue 29-Jan-13 19:32:33

We had the meatballs with cherry tomato sauce last night and will finish it off tonight - may steak a couple of small portions for the freezer for dd as she really liked it and it is so handy to have a proper instant dinner for her for nights when we are having something she is not mad about.

I had some very nice croissants I picked up on sunday, but it was after breakfast / brunch time and they were just wasting away in the cupboard to today I made cheese and ham croissants for lunch - they were delicious!

I nipped into M&S (fatal mistake for me!) after work to grab some fruit and came out with waaaay too much gorgeous food as always - so hard to resist in there! Got a meal deal thingy too, so might have that tomorrow night, had been planning Nigel Slaters Sausage & Mash Supper as it is so delicious and is a winner with all of us. MIght still have that and have the honey roast gammon Thursday night instead.

I need to get more inspired for lunches though, or start to make more soup. I have to make it the night before and I am tired from work these evenings so rarely feel like making the effort to cook lunch as well as dinner.

They were selling lots of stuff off in M&S so got things like mini pork pies for buttons and a few things for the freezer. I also bought their frozen rice and veg for making egg fried rice and another one - veg and potatoes for roasting, it has a basil dressing according to the pack and looks like a handy thing to have i the freezer!

I am trying not to let my freezer get too over stocked, ever since the time we went away for 2 nights, came back to find something had tripped the socket and the entire contents of my freezer had to be dumped, I cried as I had stockpiled some fillet steak (on offer), a whole wild salmon (bil is a fisherman), 2 whole free-range chickens, tons of homemade cakes etc and all of it went in the bin. Now I try to buy what I will use within a week or two.

Leilandri Tue 29-Jan-13 18:56:19

Notquite I always buy it, as I forget to use fresh stir fry veg and it goes off so quick. The one I buy is from Morrisons, and is good. Has water chestnuts, peppers, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, onion in. £1 a bag. Great added to some noodles/rice and only takes a few minutes to cook through smile

Lasagne tonight. With garlic bread made from some frozen foccacia rolls

NotQuitePerfect Tue 29-Jan-13 08:20:06

Leilandri is frozen stir fry veg ok? Didn't even know of its existence but sounds useful!

Today I'm going to
a) go through freezer & make list of what's in there/ chuck out undesirably ancient stuff then
b) make list of what to buy to make use of what's left

Thanks for tips biddy and putit !

wheredidiputit Mon 28-Jan-13 21:43:34

Tomorrow we are having chicken soupy stew or stewy soup depending on your choice of words grin.

Made from leftover chicken and chicken bone stock from dd1 birthday on sunday.

Leilandri Mon 28-Jan-13 20:34:33

Was supposed to be lasagne for tea tonight (took mince out of freezer ready) but DS1 went to a teatime Bday party which ran on, so got home too late to be arsed to cook it. We have chicken stirfry instead, which was on the menu for tomorrow. Left over chicken from yesterday, bag of frozen stirfry veg, noodles and sauce from cupboard.
Guess it will be lasagne tomorrow instead smile

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