Plenty of people go far longer than I do between shopping trips for a wide variety of reasons. In this case its been only a week since I last went to the grocery store. But, what I have been doing is purposefully eating through items we had stocked up on during the holiday sales (or in some cases fresh produce we over stocked on) while supplementing with fresh items and continued to purchase items on sale.
I’m going to focus here on the freezers, which I audited in mid-December. But, we’ve also been eating more potatoes than usual to account for those I purchased at excellent prices during the holidays. And, I used up a few miscellaneous items like the leftover leak I used in place of scallions in a stir fry.
In mid-December, our freezers held the following:
- boneless / skinless chicken thighs – 9 pouches (2-3/pouch)
- chicken thighs with bones & skin – 3 pouches (4/pouch)
- bottom round beef cubed for stew – 2 bags @ 3 lbs each
- ground pork – 1 lb
- beef rib-eyes – 4 seasoned and vacuum packed
- beef chuck roasts – 2 @ 3 lbs each
- minced cilantro in chicken broth
- a single pie crust
- 3 servings of butternut squash ravioli
- 5 frozen mini pizzas
- 6 lbs salted butter
- 4 lbs unsalted butter
- peas & carrots
- ice cream
- white bread
- wheat bread
- banana bread
- pizza dough
- 10 lbs whole wheat flour
We used some of the boneless/skinless chicken thighs for chicken pot pie, and some more for Asiago Chicken. I used the ground pork to make pot stickers. We sous vided the rib eyes. I made pecan pie and date-nut muffins to use up the nuts. I’ve used some of the ginger and cilantro. I finished the container of yeast in the fridge and promoted the one that was in the freezer. Similarly, I finished my open whole wheat flour and promoted one of the bags from the freezer. We finished one container of ice cream; I ate the mini pizzas for lunch.
Christmas sales and availability meant that I’ve added 4 loaves of gingerbread, some fudge, 4 sheets of puff pastry, two 6 lb NY strip roasts, 1 boneless leg of lamb, 1 ham, 12 salmon fillets, and 2.5 lbs of ground beef to the freezers. I made a batch of sausage stuffing for Christmas and froze 2/3 of it in meal-sized containers. I also made lemon-chive compound butter to use up produce and froze the leftover.
So, where do we stand now? We use frozen corn, frozen peas & carrots, meatballs, pizza dough, and butter regularly so they’re more in circulation than storage. I shouldn’t need to buy bread soon as we have 1 loaf of brown and 10 white. I have 4 loaves of homemade banana bread for the boys’ snacks.
There are items I should consciously stay aware of. There are 10 meat meals (the sausage stuffing and meatballs) in the freezers. While I will be purchasing some based on sales and because we’re generally lacking ground meats, this will cover things for a while. The store-bought breads should be used before being restocked. As tempting as the seconds bananas might be, I don’t need a big batch right now. I should eat the butternut squash ravioli for lunch (nobody else here wants to eat it anyway) and make a single crust pie. At this point I’m not sure what I’ll do with the puff pastry – that will take some thought.
In summary, the churn is reasonable. Nothing is getting too far gone and the only item I have more than I reasonably need is white bread, which we can eat through as long as I remember not to buy more. I hope this bodes well for the grocery budget, at least for the next few months. I’ll plan to touch on this again in another month to see how things are going before the Easter sales.