I like to organise or simplify at least one area of my home every week. Last week I organised by taking a freezer inventory.
I tend to lose things in my freezer–food gets buried and I forget that it’s there or what it is! We buy things we don’t actually need, forgetting we already have them in the freezer. Or we can’t buy produce or meat that’s on sale because there’s no freezer space to store them!
Writing up a list of all the items in your freezer will help solve these issues.
Now is the perfect time to take a freezer inventory so that you can make room for an influx of seasonal produce. (Find out what’s in season in your area here.)
Knowing what’s in your freezer also serves as meal inspiration for busy nights. Instead of digging through the freezer, just glance at the inventory and see what you’ve got to work with.
Since we’re moving to a small cabin in Alabama this summer, a freezer inventory will also help us to pare down on items before we leave. I don’t mind bringing some pantry items with us, but I’m not keen on trying to keep freezer items cold all the way from Michigan to Alabama.
Here’s how I took a freezer inventory:
1. First, I cleared off the kitchen counters. Then I pulled everything out of the freezer and grouped the items into three zones on the counter. I used just three categories: Produce, Meat, and Miscellaneous. If you have a bigger family, though, you might have more food and need to use more categories.
2. Next, I grabbed a sheet of paper and listed all of our freezer items under those three headings (Produce, Meat, Misc.).
3. I put the freezer items back as neatly as possible, keeping meat and soup bones on one side of the freezer, and stacked bags of produce on the other. In the door I put miscellaneous or odd-shaped items like jam, bags of coffee, or chocolate. Try to keep each category separate; instead of rummaging for frozen peas on every shelf, you’ll just have to check the produce shelf or box.
4. Last, I put the freezer inventory on our refrigerator door. The plan is to cross an item off the list as we use it, and record new items before we put them in!
Even if you don’t want to keep a running list, it’s a great idea to inventory your freezer’s contents occasionally. I’d recommend doing it once a month! It’s an easy way to save money on groceries if you eat out of the freezer at the end of every month. Combine a freezer inventory with menu mapping for a week of frugal, simple eating!