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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Stocking Up and Filling My Freezer -- My Large But Frugal Grocery Shop (Part 2)



I have a freezer, I have a freezer, I have a freezer! I want to sing giddily over and over again. You have no idea how long I've wanted a spare freezer: pretty much from the first second I started learning about and beginning to stockpile. I could stockpile dry goods, but all those fresh goodies that I found on sale, I couldn't buy in advance, and I couldn't buy more than the bare minimum of frozen foods I found on sale either. I really wanted a spare freezer, but Mike wasn't on board, especially in our old tiny place.

 When we moved to our current place, our old fridge was broken so we bought a new nice fridge, but then we managed to fix our old fridge. We kept it in the backyard, but it broke repeatedly.

Additionally, though the plug was covered, every single time the weather changed, it would cause the electricity to short and the food in the fridge and freezer would spoil. But when it worked, it was amazing to have more freezer space than just the freezer portion of our fridge. I'd fill it with gluten free bread, frozen veggies, some foods I made from scratch. It was nicely sized but not as big as a a complete freezer would be, but because of the frequent outages I realized I couldn't put anything expensive in there, so it was only marginally useful.

But then that totally died, and I ended up back with one freezer, which meant that I barely had any space- because if I bought a few packages of frozen bread, I had room for maybe a few packages of meat and that't it.

I looked into getting a spare freezer, but it seemed really expensive, and then once I'd have to figure out transportation it wasn't worth it. However, when I went to Ikea, a friend and I rented a van together, and the night before we went, I found a perfect condition tall and narrow freezer with 7 drawers being sold quite cheaply, and I am really exited about it. But not long after I bought it, we went abroad, so I didn't really have a chance to use it.

Yesterday, though, when I went to the supermarket and decided to pay for a delivery, I decided to use that time to buy things on sale and actually take advantage of and stock my freezer.


So I bought a lot of things. Things that are much cheaper there than they are anywhere else. Things that I would use anyhow, but now I am able to keep them at home instead of needing to go back to the store, or even worse, buy them overpriced from my local store.

Here's what I stocked my freezer with:

I like fish, frozen fish is very convenient for me, easy and quick to defrost, and the perfect base for a healthier meal. My favorite type of convenience food. I don't really care what kind of fish it is, as long as it doesn't have bones; I just like cheap, all the white fish really taste the same to me. They had pollack for $2.03 a pound, which was cheaper than any other white fish, so I bought 3 2.2 lb packages for a total of $13.37.

My friend gave me a recipe for homemade roast beef, so I bought 2 small hunks of beef at $4.53 a pound, not incredibly cheap, but not too expensive either, total $21.05.

Next stop was the cheese counter. There is a yellow cheese they sell there for $4.14 a pound, which is only slightly more expensive than the cheapest cheese I can get from the cheapest store, at $3.88 a pound, but my kids aren't a fan of that cheese, but they do like the slightly more expensive cheese. My kids eat cheese nearly every day, for sandwiches for school, or with pasta, or pizza, and it adds up. So I decided to buy a lot of cheese and just freeze it to be used as needed.
I bought 6.94 lbs of cheese, 2 lbs grated and packaged in smaller bags, and the rest sliced, and divided into a few packages, so I can freeze most of it, defrosting as much as I need at a time. This cost $28.75.

I bought their last two pieces of brie cheese for $9.09 a pound, which makes each hunk cost only approximately $2.50 instead of the usual $4.90 I usually pay for it (and yes, I bought one of those too for a specific recipe), so a total of $9.79 for the brie.

I bought blue cheese and parmesan cheese from the cheese counter for much cheaper than I can get it packaged, for $4.90 and $6.54 respectively.

All those cheeses went straight into my freezer other than one package of sliced cheese.

I bought a large container of cottage cheese for $2.05, and a large package of quark cheese for $2.60, not for the freezer, but to use for school lunches.

Oh, speaking of school lunches- I hate running to the store just to get bread for school lunches, but its a regular occurrence. So I decided to buy 3 loaves of sliced bread to keep in the freezer to defrost for school lunches. These cost $1.69 a loaf no matter where I buy it, since its price controlled (as far as I know).

I still need to buy chicken and ground beef elsewhere, but it wasn't cheap in this store so I wasn't going to stock up there.

However, I did stock up on frozen veggies.

I know I can make my own french fries, but honestly, its a lot of work, and french fries are an easy dinner. So I bought frozen. I almost bought the bigger bag, but then I looked closely and saw that the smaller packages actually worked out cheaper per pound so I got 2 at $2.54 each.

I had these incredible artichoke heart tacos that I want to try to recreate, and I found frozen artichoke hearts on sale for $2.26 a package (small packages), so I bought 3.

Frozen green beans were $2.49 per package, not as cheap as a store that I usually get them at, so I bought 2 just to have at home, and will actually stock up on them at the cheaper store.

Last but not least, I got a package of frozen okra for $2.37.

I still have plenty of room in my freezer, but I love that I was able to buy these things and not need to make nearly as many trips to the grocery store because I can stockpile things in my freezer.

Oh, and I have some celery and carrots that I found in my fridge after my shop yesterday that I plan on chopping up and freezing, ready to go for soup.

Total for the frozen things and dairy- $113.33. Not bad, especially for the amount that I got!

Do you buy a lot of frozen foods? If you have a spare freezer, how long have you had it? What do you keep in your spare freezer and what do you keep in your regular one?

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post. I do buy frozen but I haven't gotten an extra freezer beyond my side to side fridge. With there being only 2 of us in the house, I noticed I waste a lot of frozen foods because they get lost in there. So now, pantry challenge in effect, I hope to clean out my freezer and start filling it up with more healthy options. Perhaps when I'm able to homestead and grow my own veggies then I'll need a freezer for the winter months. But that's years down the road.

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  2. I have an extra freezer that I got for free, used, and have had it now for over 11 years. We store extra meat and gluten free bread, mostly. Right now I also have some homemade tomato sauce from tomatoes from my summer garden and some sliced peaches I got in bulk this summer. It is definitely nice to have extra freezer space! In my inside freezer is a bunch of different things. It actually needs to be cleaned out and organized. Happy New Year Penny! I love reading your writing and look forward to more blog posts in 2020!

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  3. when I have more veg than I need, I put everything required for a pot of soup into a bag and put it in the freezer. Then I can just dump the lot in the instant pot with stock, switch it on and leave it. It prevents waste. I have started to do a fridge clearance like that when I go away, so stuff isn't wasted too. Ends of dairy products, cream/soft cheese/yogurt get stuck in the freezer too for finishing the soups.

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  4. I try to triple everything I make and freeze. So if I'm making cookies, soup, kugel, meatballs, I will have extra and of course label it. I also have sliced bread, but one of my kids likes rolls so I pre-slice it and freeze it. I also freeze wine, make lots of fried onions and freeze in little baggies, bananas, cut up apples for a shake or pie, frozen pizzas when I dont want to cook...

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