January has been a very special month for me. Not because it’s the start to a new year, nor because it’s been a kind winter month, nor because it’s my birthday month (weeeeeeeee!!). It’s because I have spent only £100 on food this month.
So how did we manage to fork out less than half of what we’re normally hit with? Well, it’s because I decided to have a winter Spring Clean.
Pride of place in our rather little kitchen is enjoyed by a rather big fridge/freezer. On 1 January I decided it was time to clear it out, defrost and start over. Since then, not a day has gone by when we haven’t enjoyed some forgotten ingredient or meal: mince, steak, peas and veg, pastry, pizza, fish, pork, chicken in all its forms – including stock, bacon, milk, bread… All consumed, none of it bought fresh!
I now have a lighter freezer and a heavier purse, and am looking forward to starting to stock up again. Here are my tips on making the most of your freezer:
- Buy meat/fish on special, use some, freeze the rest for a cheap meal another day
- Buy in bulk if it’s cheaper and you know you can freeze some
- Keep stocked up with your freezer basics: bread, milk, butter, peas, ice cream, meat and fish, pastries, pizza
- If something is approaching its use-by date and you won’t use it, chuck it in the freezer
- If you’ve cooked too much, freeze some for a quick meal another day
- Cook double portions so you can freeze some family meals!
- Freeze things in individual portions so you can take out just what you need
- Label everything so you know what it is and when it’s time to use it, and try to have a good freezer organisation system so it’s easier to access things
And finally, as a little non-food bonus, you can use your freezer to make cooler packs for tired eyes or heads (fill a – clean! – old sock with rice), or pretty frozen table decorations (thanks to Becky-Goddard-Hill for this idea – love it!)
So when I was (gently) asked why we needed to buy a new fridge with a big freezer when we moved house last year, you can guess my answer…