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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I looked at our financial situation for the next two months. These are traditionally the two hardest months for us before the end of the year. DH is not getting any more overtime, so my budgeted income amount of him leaves no wiggle room. The economy is in a bit of a rough state right now, and with my pension being affected by the Canadian dollar's comparison to the US dollar, we're really being tight-wadded against our own will. Christmas is being budgeted over the next two months instead of the last week before the actual holiday, so we're having to keep better track of what we're spending and what's coming into the house.

I have no room left in either freezer, which means I can't stockpile more of the necessities even if I wanted to. We will be spending Christmas at my inlaws' house, so we do not need a turkey for next month. My cupboards are overflowing to the point where I feel like I'm suffocating in my own kitchen. Alas, I have decided to take the steps to reduce what we have in the stockpile.

Will I be depleting the entire thing? Yes and no. This move to reduce the stockpile means that I will be using up alot of stuff that's due to expire within the next two months (meat, veggies, etc.). I want to start out 2009 with the ability to refresh the stockpile and actually keep better track of what we have and when it will expire. I'll still continue to stockpile HBA and anything that has a really long expiration date/no expiration date at all. This is mainly aimed at making sure I get a better system going and to keep track of everything in my freezer. It's also a way for me to keep better track of opening things that don't necessarily have an expiration date and see how long they last with normal use. That applies to coffee creamer, syrup, etc.

This thread will help me stay on track and hopefully, it'll get me to realize that I need to keep better track of the things that I spend money on (or in some cases, inherit through my inlaws/DH's work).

Goals are:

1) Take inventory of the freezer/cupboards. The inventory will include: writing down the items within these spaces, how many I have, and what the expiration dates are (if applicable). Record in a spiral notebook the day that an item is opened, how many times I use the item in one day, and then the last date that it is being used.

2) Come up with a meal plan that's sufficient even for the pickiest eaters in the household and stick to that plan until the perishables are used up. This includes meat, condiments, etc.

3) Continue to stockpile the non-expiry items to the amount that I would need over the next six months to a year.

4) Stay within the grocery budget for this challenge. This means no more extra spending outside of what is designated within my signature. All stockpiling will be done after necessities are purchased.

I'm hoping that this will help me alot in making sure that what we're spending our money on is what we're going to use, and make sure we're not overextending ourselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I started going through both freezers and honestly, it doesn't look like I have a whole lot of frozen goods. Here's what I got:

CHEST FREEZER:

1) Fruit - 8c apples, 1 large bag raspberries, 3 1/2 large bags of strawberries, 9 340g bags of cranberries (shifted the blueberries to the upstairs freezer)
2) 4 containers Cool Whip
3) One grocery bag full of freezer pops
4) 1 bag white fish (from one of the lakes here in Alberta)
5) 1 pk bacon
6) 13 lbs ground beef
7) 1.5kg bologna
8) 375g sliced ham
9) 2kg french fries
10) 3 large bags carrots
11) 3 large and 1 medium bag of onions
12) 1kg bag corn
13) 1kb bag broccoli
14) 1 large bag rhubarb
15) 8 Michelina's meals
16) 2 pie shells
17) some italian rolls and hamburger buns

KITCHEN FREEZER:

1) 1 large bag chicken breasts, 3 medium bags chicken breast fillets
2) 1 large bag blueberries
3) 4 bags cheese
4) 2kg bag perogies
5) 1 med bag red peppers
6) 1 pound french fries
7) 6 pita pockets
8) 1 pie crust
9) hot dog and hamburger buns
10) 10 loaves of bread
11) 1 pk 6 english muffins
12) carrots and yellow beans
13) 3 pork tenderloins
14) 1 4pk of pork chops

I had one casualty today: I had to toss a lot of bread that was in my freezer that was more than three months old or looked really bad.

My plan for the freezers is to take advantage of the 4kg box of chicken breasts for free when I go shopping tomorrow and to put some of the white chocolate in both.
 

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I can keep up with the pantry items pretty well, but the freezer is too often mystery territory. I have an upright now, so that helps some because it's easier to see, but I'm not sure I could pass the test if I were quizzed right now on what was in it. I may have a similar surprise when I inventory mine, I hope early next week. I need to see what I can use now to make some room for some turkey when it goes on sale.

I've pretty much stopped keeping bread in mine - occasionally a loaf. Partly because I lost some too, and partly because right now I'm not willing to give it freezer space. Better to use it for meats and cheese I find on sale.

Good luck with your stockpile project. I'll be watching to see how it goes. Getting a stockpile is fairly easy. Managing it is a lot more complicated.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I can agree with ya on the upkeep part of a stockpile. This thing is driving me nuts sometimes, but when I look at how much food I have now compared to before I started it then it makes me feel better. :)

If I buy any more bread for things like sandwiches, then the kids will eat sandwiches until the bread runs out. No more switching and letting the bread sit and me having to put it in the freezer anymore.

I started to take inventory of the cupboards and then all of the sudden, I got swamped with other things. I did manage to take inventory of one cupboard, organized two more and ended up doing pretty well. I have some spices that I need to buy more of and the others need a container instead of a bag that it comes in.

Pasta/Sidedish Cupboard:

1) Six boxes of Jell-O
2) Two 39g envelopes of onion soup mix
3) 1/3 box soup noodles
4) 1/3 box macaroni
5) Two boxes whole wheat spaghettini
6) one 700g box penne rigate
7) 700g box rotini
8) 2 1/2 boxes lasanga noodles
9) 1 box jumbo shells
10) 3 bags vermicelli
11) 500g box penne lisce
12) 900g bag regular spaghettini
13) 2 boxes Cup-o-Soup
14) 3 boxes pancake mix
15) 1 taco kit
16) 1 1/3 bags egg noodles
 

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I recently inventoried my freezers as well. I had so much in there piled on top of other things, I couldn't see what I had. I needed to know how much of each item I had so I could space out meals and vary things each week.

With DH out of work we are pretty much doing the same thing you are, drawing off the frozen stockpile in lieu of buying fresh. That is what it's there for after all. :lip: Also, my big freezer needs to be defrosted and I can't do that while it is full.

I divided my inventory list into two sections, main dish items (meat) and side dish/other items. Then planned from there, picking at least 4 items a week to use up. I'm sure you could work up a similar plan to fill your needs. You look like you have a good supply of stuff to get you through the next month or so.
 

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Part of my problem with a nice stockpile is that since it's just me and my taste to consider, I have a tendency to always choose what I like best. Always stewed tomatoes today, diced tomatoes tomorrow. Of course, tomorrow becomes today, so it's stewed tomatoes again.

I'm going to try a new system for managing it. Last week I added shelving in a big walk in closet and moved all the pantry type stuff there, leaving a couple of large kitchen shelves free, except for seasonings, and staples. This week when I do the inventory I'll take a portion of each thing, and move it back into the kitchen. The new rule will be to stay out of the stockpile and use that first. I won't be too dictatorial about it, but I'm hoping it's a way to use the stockpile more evenly than I have sometimes. At any rate, I'm going to give it a try.
 

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Just this week I took everything out of the deep freeze, defrosted, and that was that. What I kept went to the freezer in the refridgerator. It needs to be used asap.

Today I added new meats to the deep freezer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did my shopping yesterday and picked up alot of stuff that'll help prepare me for 2009. I bought a nice spice rack and decided to get some more spices that I was lacking on.

SPICE CUPBOARD:

1) Nutmeg
2) Onion Salt
3) Onion Powder
4) Red Chili Peppers
5) Salt
6) Pepper
7) Oregano
8) Ginger
9) Cinnamon
10) Thyme (doh! I didn't get this)
11) Paprika
12) Popcorn Salt
13) Garlic Powder
14) Bay Leaves
15) Dill
16) Horseradish Powder
17) Parsley
18) Spicy Pepper Medley
19) Meat Tenderizer
20) Crushed Red Pepper
21) Seasoned Salt
22) Chili Powder
23) Sage
24) Poultry Seasoning
25) Basil Leaves
26) Italian Seasoning
27) Cayenne Pepper
28) Chives
29) Rosemary
30) Dried Mustard

I also replenished a few other items that I use normally:

1 12-pk of tomato soup (on sale for half price)
4 jars whole grain mustard (used in my pork chops)
1 12-pk Kraft Dinner (on sale for half price)
1 Club Pack of fruit juice boxes (for DS' snacks at school - will last us at least two months - 80 boxes)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I also took inventory of my last storage space this morning:

CANNED GOODS/CONDIMENTS CUPBOARD:

1) 14 oz can pumpkin
2) one large, four medium bottles caesar dressing
3) two medium bottles coleslaw dressing
4) three bottles of cucumber dressing
(I realized I ran out of italian dressing, doh!)
5) one 35 oz jar minced garlic
6) one 1.5L jar whipped salad dressing
7) four jars grain mustard
8) one jar dijon mustard
9) five jars regular mustard
10) one Kraft bbq sauce (original)
11) three Bulls Eye BBQ sauce (Blazin' Chipotle)
12) one bottle buffalo wing sauce
13) two 1L jugs ketchup
14) one jar tangy seafood sauce
15) one jar bread and butter pickles
16) one 430ml jar salsa
17) two 1.8L jugs spaghetti sauce, two 700ml jars spaghetti sauce
18) one 2L jug light pancake syrup
19) fifteen cans tomato soup
20) eight cans chicken noodle soup
21) thirty cans creme of mushroom soup
22) four cans creme of celery soup
23) three cans of mushrooms
24) five cans maple baked beans
25) four cans kidney beans
26) one can tomato sauce
27) two cans diced tomatoes
28) one 12-pk Kraft Dinner
29) six cans Spongebob pasta
30) two cans peaches and creme corn
31) one can cranberry sauce
32) one 4kg bag of sugar
33) two 1lb boxes graham cracker crumbs
34) 5lb bag oatmeal
35) 1 box croutons
36) 600g (two 300g packages) bread crumbs
37) one vanilla, one creme cheese frosting
38) four 500g boxes baking soda
39) 500ml jar raspberry jam
 

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inventory is what I also need to do. I buy it cheap to use not save so I need to plan around it and use it or buy less.

BUT I know it will never happen and if it does I will not keep the inventory up. so I am keeping the freezer organized so I can SEE what we have ave plan the week around it...All meat is pretty much done this way but what I make from that meat could be planned from the pantry better and done before we go shopping


I also need to track how much we use in a given time so things do not go bad.
 
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