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    • Gwendolyn
    • By Gwendolyn 20th Sep 16, 1:44 PM
    • 48Posts
    • 387Thanks
    Filling your freezer - fresh or frozen
    • #1
    • 20th Sep 16, 1:44 PM
    Filling your freezer - fresh or frozen 20th Sep 16 at 1:44 PM
    Hello. It's been a very long time I'm afraid. I will re-introduce myself elsewhere but I wanted to start with a filling the freezer thread.

    I am getting back to my OS ways having fallen spectacularly off the wagon. I decided to start with the freezer. I have cooked nearly everything edible out of there. However, I had to throw away a number of unidentifiable items and a job lot of fish that I bought in 2010.

    I want to slowly refill with food we'll actually eat. Things like mince and chicken. My query is what will last longer - meat or fish bought frozen or freezing fresh food. I noticed on the last pack of mince I bought frozen that it had a life of about 3-4 months.
Page 1
    • Farway
    • By Farway 20th Sep 16, 2:08 PM
    • 4,846 Posts
    • 4,036 Thanks
    • #2
    • 20th Sep 16, 2:08 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Sep 16, 2:08 PM
    First I would ignore the life shown on frozen foods, it will last for years frozen, at least not be a killer

    The worst that can happen is the texture / taste may not be quite the same as supplier intended, but TBH who will notice in a mince & onion pie, or chicken & mushroom casserole for instance?

    I would get frozen, just to save the bother of preping & freezing it yourself, unless you have a job lot at a bargain price availble
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 20th Sep 16, 2:15 PM
    • 13,584 Posts
    • 105,400 Thanks
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 16, 2:15 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 16, 2:15 PM
    Think of your freezer as putting food into a suspended animation state
    Quot Libra,Quam Breve Tempus.

    3/28 NSD so far this month
    Budget for month £60.00, spent £41.48,left in purse for food£18.52 and only 10 days left in the month
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 20th Sep 16, 2:52 PM
    • 2,763 Posts
    • 4,909 Thanks
    • #4
    • 20th Sep 16, 2:52 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Sep 16, 2:52 PM
    I think you can never avoid the occasional Unidentified Frozen Object (we would have the odd dinner off them)

    I also think it's worth keeping a bit of space although I know it should be fairly full to be efficient. But it's good to be able to freeze something that's a bargain.

    I have written on here several times that I keep a 'stock drawer' (or box, when I had a chest freezer). Into it go the onion peelings, leek ends, soft carrots, tough celery bits, parsley stalks, chicken / pheasant carcasses and bones from any roast. When full, I boil it all up, make delicious stock, reduce it and freeze in small bags. I honestly think that is one of the most MSE things that I do, as really good stock makes all the difference.

    I also find that freezing ' building blocks' is useful. I make double the base for moussaka or lasagne, and freeze in correct size portions, then that's some of the work done.

    But I think that the best advice is KEEP A LIST even if you get it a bit wrong sometimes, it really helps to remind you and prevents waste.
    • Slowly57
    • By Slowly57 20th Sep 16, 3:09 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 206 Thanks
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 16, 3:09 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 16, 3:09 PM
    I've been eating down my freezers (one in kitchen, diddy one in cellar) in order to give them a good defrost and to restock with things that are cheaper/glutting now - but will be pricier come the winter months. So fruit (berries/apple pie filling)/sliced peppers/tomatoes that taste of something lol). Also lots of DIY ready meals for quick eats. We call the fridge/freezer the infinity cupboards lol

    Gwendolyn - I buy my meat + fish from the market so no sell-bys. I portion it up into 500gsm slabs for easy storage and then I can get out a chunk and have a slow-cooker session. Double-wrap everything and write on the bag what it is/month/year (labels come off) - if you use a permanent marker it is freezer-proof.

    Do you know what rating your freezer has? It should have a star rating - Google frozen food star rating (cannot post link).

    I find that wrapping things well helps them stay usable longer. I also pack everything in 'take away' boxes (9 for £1 in our local poundshop + cheap in Wilco). Because they are all a standard size you can pack loads of boxes in a drawer. I have a meat/fish drawer, veggie drawer and so on (and the lids are great for labelling/putting reheat/cooking instructions on). Bonus - you can recycle them!
    getting my ducks in a row and my parachute ready Oct GC £19.00 / £200 28/9/16 - 26/10/16
    Saved nearly £100 each on car + home insurance 2016 by telling my insurer about better quotes elsewhere - feeling assertive - yay!
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 20th Sep 16, 5:05 PM
    • 2,386 Posts
    • 24,282 Thanks
    • #6
    • 20th Sep 16, 5:05 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Sep 16, 5:05 PM
    My freezer is a mixture of fresh, frozen and cooked then frozen. There is only me and my son so if I buy a larger pack of meat because it's better value like the braising steak that I bought last week I will cook half and freeze half. I will use the half that I cook to make 4 meals and cook enough potato to go with all four meals too, so there will be dinner for the two of us plus two home made ready meals for the freezer for a night when I don't have time or just don't feel like cooking. I tend to buy frozen veg as it's a lot easier to take out just the amount needed.

    I have several bags of rhubarb that I've chopped and frozen as I've brought it in from the garden. This goes through the same process. I will defrost it, make rhubarb pie then cut the pie into 6 or 8, eat some and freeze some. It saves having to eat the same food for two or three meals on the trot as there are only the two of us.

    Finally, buy some bags with sections that you can write on, some disposable meal cartons or cheap plastic boxes/old butter or marg tubs and keep a sharpie (permanent marker) in the kitchen nearby. This means no more UFOs (unidentifiable frozen objects). If you feel the need you can date as well as label but of something is well wrapped it shouldn't get freezer burn.
    • Gwendolyn
    • By Gwendolyn 22nd Sep 16, 9:31 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 387 Thanks
    • #7
    • 22nd Sep 16, 9:31 AM
    • #7
    • 22nd Sep 16, 9:31 AM
    Thank you all so much. I feel more confident to sort out my freezer now and restock.
    My freezer has 4 stars on it and appears to go down to -30.
    I tend to batch cook but then try to eat it all within the space of a week - meaning the family is bored of 3x the same meal in a week. So at least if I can freeze we can have more variety.
    I still have to tackle the bread section. Some of the pastries have been in my freezer for two years? I might heat them up and see how they are! They're taking up a lot of space.
    I intend on doing a full defrost when the whether is cold as the ice build up is making it really hard to fit things in.
    • nanny beach
    • By nanny beach 23rd Sep 16, 10:18 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    nanny beach
    • #8
    • 23rd Sep 16, 10:18 AM
    • #8
    • 23rd Sep 16, 10:18 AM
    Label stuff, and date it. I have your "usual" fridge/freezer in my kitchen, an upright in the conservatory, because I grow lots of my own fruit veg. I dont waste anything (Greg Wallis would love me) I batch cook, cakes, crumbles from fruit in season, plus the fruit. buy joints of meat - fresh on "special" in the shops, I dont eat meat so it goes in the freezer till family or friends come round. Even with the best before dates from ready bought frozen food, it is only that " best before" it just means some of the taste or vitimin content may have gone down, not that its going to poison you.I like the suspended animation for food!!!!
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