My Empty the Freezer Challenge for 2016

The Empty the Freezer Challenge Penny Golightly

Last week I managed to use up all remaining surplus food in the storecupboard, and now it’s time to move on to what’s lurking in the freezer – yes, it’s the Empty the Freezer Challenge. There’s some seriously strange stuff in there, and it will be nice to clear some space so that there’s room for crops from the kitchen garden.

Much of the weird stuff that was in the cupboard came from me picking up things on clearance, or being sent samples either with purchases or from PR companies. Turns out I like chia seeds, after being scared of that packet for a few weeks… Anyway, I digress. Quite a lot of what’s currently in the freezer is due to Beau compulsively picking up random things when it’s his turn to do the grocery shopping, so if the list looks weird you can mostly blame him this time around. Heh heh.

Empty the freezer challenge rules

  1. Make a list of your older frozen foods that need using up.
  2. Move the older foods to the top or front of your freezer drawers.
  3. Make at least three meals per week using foods on your list.

My freezer contents for the challenge

I won’t bother including stuff like ice cubes and cool packs, but here’s my list of things to use up:

  • 250g 150g of economy mixed berries (with the strawberries picked out)
  • 30g lemon sorbet
  • 80g raspberries
  • 1 & 1/2 7/8 1/2 1/4 sliced loaves of wholemeal bread
  • 6 4 2 1 English muffins
  • 6 4 2 croissants
  • 3 2 Chelsea buns with sweet mincemeat
  • 2 large wholemeal burger buns
  • 2 crusts of sourdough bread
  • 8 4 flour tortillas
  • 1 large portion of pizza dough
  • 2 chicken portions
  • 6 pork sausages
  • 6 4 veggie sausages
  • 2 Quorn ‘beef’ pies
  • 2 Quorn escalopes
  • 2 portions of white fish in breadcrumbs
  • 6 fish fingers
  • 200g 100g economy prawns
  • 2 1 bags of veggie casserole base with pearl barley
  • 2 portions of chickpea & aubergine curry
  • 125g potato gnocchi
  • Unidentifiable bag of something weird where the label fell off

There are also three portions of supermarket macaroni cheese that are Beau’s ‘little problem’. They’re not included in the challenge because I refuse to eat them due to their rankness.

  • 2 1 boxes of buttered courgettes
  • 1 box of poached rhubarb
  • 1050g 950g 800g 600g 400g chopped spinach
  • 500g 420g 320g 220g peas
  • 150g broad beans
  • 500g 400g 300g soya beans

That’s a fair amount of old stock to shift, but I think we can do it without too much trouble. I’m aiming for three main meals per week made mainly with freezer ingredients, and ideally they should be healthy and thrifty wherever that’s possible.

This week’s meals

I’m going to try to get off to a good start this week with bangers and mash, prawn and vegetable noodles, veggie sausage casserole, and a mini chicken roast (chicken for Beau, escalope for me, roast potatoes and some frozen veg). There might also be a smoothie, dessert, or snack thrown in too, but I’m not sure about that yet.

That’s more than enough to get things coming in out of the cold! If you want to join in on Twitter, send me your pictures using the #emptythefreezer hashtag, which is used by cooks all round the world.

Are you trying to use up the contents of your freezer too? How long do you think it’s going to take, and what’s the oldest or weirdest thing you’ve found in the deep freeze?

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  1. I’ve been trying to do this for sometime, but I find things reduced that I know I’ll get to eat sometime in the future.

    As I do a big shop fortnight, second week is usually find something in the freezer week.

    Most of things that really need eating is bread, only way to eat frozen bread is toasted.

  2. I definitely need to do this! My freezer is full of stuff and yet I keep buying more.

  3. Dear Penny,

    This is such a good idea to do this challenge in order to clear up some things in the freezer. Sometimes, it is so full that we can barely close the door…..I will do this is time as I need to do some place for the summer crops as well. Good luck everyone.
    Love Pat,

  4. Hi Vicky, Charlotte and Patricia – great to have you all joining in! Let me know how you get on.

    Penny x

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