A new Empty the Freezer Challenge for 2017

Empty the Freezer Challenge July 2017 EmptyTheFC Penny Golightly

It’s time for a new thrifty challenge – want to join in? This month I’m trying to cut my grocery bills and clear some space in the freezer, so it’s time for some good ol’ listin’, plannin’ and eatin’. Let’s empty that freezer!

My main aim is to make some room in there for this summer’s extra kitchen garden fruit and vegetable pickings, to see us through autumn and winter. However, it’s also a great way to use up what you already have and keep those everyday outgoings nice and low, especially before or after your summer holidays when you might be feeling a bit skint.

If you haven’t tried an Empty the Freezer Challenge before, the rules are very simple. All you have to do is:

  • Make a list of your old frozen food stocks that you want to use up
  • Move the old stuff to the top or front of your freezer drawers
  • … and then make a weekly plan to use some of it up in at least three different main meals

You get bonus points if you can also make some other meals or desserts too, but three main meals is all you need to do if you’re pushed for time.

Here’s my list of food to use up

There’s a lot to get through this time as you can see, starting with the fruit:

  • 2 1 & 1/2 1 & 1/4 1 1/2 1/4 bags of sliced bananas
  • 1/2 1/4 bag of black cherries
  • 1/4 1/8 bag of strawberry & blueberry mix
  • 1/2 1/4 1/8 bag of mixed berries
  • 1/4 bag of raspberries
  • 1 peach bellini lolly
  • 3/4 1/2 1/4 tub of frozen yogurt

Breads etc

  • 4 wholemeal tortilla wraps
  • 5 4 2 sesame seed burger buns
  • 1/2 packet of mushroom tortellini
  • 1 1/2 1/4 sliced wholemeal loaf
  • 6 4 2 mince pies (don’t ask)
  • 6 2 1 English muffins

Fish & veggie

  • 100g prawns
  • 2 veggie burgers
  • 6 2 veggie sausages
  • 8 6 5 4 2 1 Quorn fillets
  • 28 22 16 8 fish fingers


  • 500g 400g 300g 100g garden peas
  • 60g green beans
  • 60g oven dried tomatoes
  • 50g diced carrots
  • 800g raw rhubarb
  • 300g stewed rhubarb
  • 800g 600g 400g chopped spinach

At least most of these are fairly healthy foods, so I’ll still be trying to get my five-a-day fruit and vegetables where possible.

My plan for the week is to start by using up the pasta, mixing it with some leftover roasted vegetables and cheese, then to do some veggie burgers and a big salad, and the third meal will probably be a prawn stir fry with rice noodles and some of the frozen veg. I’m also planning to make a few breakfast smoothies and healthy desserts with some of those frozen fruits, and I’ll probably save that ice lolly for the warmest day of the week just for a little treat to look forward to.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping to keep our weekly grocery shop well under £10 – there’s plenty of salad in the garden and cans of food in the cupboards, so the most I really want to be doing is picking up a pint of milk or two between now and the end of Sunday (with a little leeway in case I spot a bargain). Will let you know how the meals and the budget are looking in my next weekly update.

Now it’s over to you.

Do you think you could handle an Empty the Freezer Challenge? How much stuff do you have to use up?


[Edited to add:] This challenge is now complete! It took a month to use everything up at a rate of three main meals per week. Here’s what we had in Week One, Week Two, Week Three and Week Four.


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