We haven’t had a ‘preventing food waste / reduce your food budget’ challenge for a little while, but now’s the perfect time for a new one and so I’m starting a brand new Empty the Freezer challenge. My kitchen garden is starting to become productive and it’s time to start clearing some space for stashing those surplus crops.
It isn’t just the kitchen garden and allotment growers who’ll benefit from a mid-year project either – I noticed the other day that we still had a few Christmas leftovers stashed away at the back of one of the drawers! The shame of it, eh? Well, I’m willing to make an educated guess that I’m probably not the only person who has this going on in their kitchen, and I think most of us have some older food stocks knocking around that could do with being used up as soon as possible.
If your freezer is straining at the seams too then please join in with me. Although frozen food does keep for a long time it doesn’t stay in great condition forever and eventually the textures and flavours will go downhill. After a certain point it stops being safe to eat as well, so let’s look at what needs to be used up.
The Empty the Freezer Challenge Rules
All the best challenges have simple, easy to follow rules, and an Empty the Freezer exercise is no exception. If you haven’t tried one before (or you need a quick reminder), here’s all you have to do:
- Make a list of your old frozen food that you want to use up
- Move the old food to the top or front of your freezer drawers
- Use it up in at least three different main meals each week until it’s all gone
That’s it! Super easy, I hope you’ll agree.
You get bonus points if you can also make some extra meals, snacks or desserts during the week, but three main meals is all you need to do if you’re busy. Have fun with the challenge, get creative, and remember to cross items off your list as you go along so you can keep track of your progress and know exactly what’s left.
While taking part in any challenge of this nature, it’s also helpful to avoid putting too much on your weekly groceries list. That should help to cut your food bills as well, which is always welcome.
If you want to share your thrifty freezer challenge meals, tag them with #EmptyTheFC so other people can find them on Twitter, facebook or Instagram. I can’t wait to see what you come up with, and I’ll be sticking some of my creations on my Insta page so feel free to give that a quick follow if you’d like to keep in touch.
My list of frozen foods to use up
I’m splitting this list into meat and veggie alternatives, fruit, vegetables, and bread and cakes, so here goes:
Meat & veggie
2 1 packs of streaky bacon(belongs to Beau and possibly dates back to the last Ice Age) 4 2 chicken portions 200g 100g prawns 2 pork and onion sausages 24 16 8 4 fish fingers 2 cod & parsley fish cakes 12 8 4 2 veggie herb sausages 8 7 5 4 3 Quorn ‘chicken’ fillets(don’t even remember buying these?) 2 plain veggie burgers
400g 200g mango and pineapple 350g 250g 100g cherries 400g 300g 200g 100g blueberries 250g 150g 50g raspberries 4 3 2 1 bags of cooked rhubarb
1kg 850g 750g 350g peas 150g grilled vegetables 500g chopped spinach
Bread, cakes, etc
12 8 4 flour tortillas 3 1 raspberry muffins 5 4 2 cinnamon pecan pastries 5 sheets of filo pastry 2 1 portions of pizza dough 200g potato gnocchi
I think this will keep us going for a few weeks, so look out for the meals on social media with the #EmptyTheFC hashtag and let’s try to cut our grocery bills and our wasted food as much as possible.
Will you be joining in too?