When my hubby and I were first married I worked in a grocery store and I just took it for granted that I could buy something for dinner before leaving work for the day. Then I changed jobs and started shopping somewhere else. At that time, I started shopping once a week at a store that was 10 miles from our house. I would buy what we needed for the week by making up specific meals before shopping. If we wanted beef stew, I would buy the stew meat and use it within the week. Our groceries back in the late 80’s were minimal for the two of us. Fast forward to having babies and becoming more frugal to save money for diapers and formula. On a side note, I couldn’t breast feed my babies, or I would have. That is a money saver there! I was reading The Tightwad Gazette and soaking up all of the info. They would buy their meat in bulk and store it in their freezer. At that time we didn’t have an extra freezer, just the refrigerator freezer. I would buy a few extra things that would fit in the small one that we had. I was so excited one day when hubby’s grandparents didn’t want their chest freezer anymore. It still worked fine, but was just too big for their needs. I was in all of my glory when that big thing was put in our basement. It was so big that we could have stuffed a dead body in it! It was then that I started realizing after reading The Tightwad Gazette that I should buy meat, bread, flour, etc when it is at its rock bottom price. So began my quest to save even more money with my freezer.
Over the years we have butchered our own chickens, hunted and butchered deer meat and have been given some venison sausage that we would store in our freezer. There have been bags of flour bought at rock bottom price, veggies from the garden, and bread bought cheaper at Aldi than at a local store stored in our freezers. I say freezers because that big one bit the dust and then my mom had to downsize and gave us hers. Most recently we were given another one from a family member that doesn’t need a freezer anymore. We now own two, one chest and one upright.
I looked in the freezer last week and noticed that my supply of chicken breasts is getting pretty low. I knew that I would have to be looking for a sale on them so that I wont have to pay full price later on. I had to go to our locally owned store this morning to get something else and I looked at the chicken there, $1.99 lb. That is the most that I will pay for chicken breasts. It is very rare that I see it lower than that. If I do, I really stock up. I bought a ten pound bag and brought it home. Now if you are wondering why I didn’t buy more, I am holding out for another locally owned store in our area that usually has an anniversary sale this time of year. They always have chicken breasts, hamburger, flour and other items so cheap that I stock up as much as possible.
So how do I separate all of that chicken? I put each breast on plastic wrap and wrap it once, then I wrap it again.
When I have all of the meat wrapped individually, I then put them in gallon freezer bags.
I do it this way because it is cheaper and easier to get at in the freezer. If I want one to make chicken salad or to slice up for sandwiches, I just take out one or two, depending on how many sandwiches I want to make. One breast is pretty big so if I want to make chicken breasts for dinner, I will just take out two. When they are half way thawed it is easier to cut in half. One breast will feed two people.
I am looking forward to the sale that the store will be having, so I can stock the freezer. I only have 15 pounds of flour left that I purchased last Easter. I usually buy flour when it is on sale at the holidays and during the big upcoming store sale. I also purchase cheese when it is at its lowest price and freeze it. Most cheeses freeze well. I don’t like to purchase lunch meat due to the fat and salt, but my hubby likes it once in a while. This particular store will have rock bottom prices on lunch meat during the sale, so I will buy several pounds and wrap it well and put it in the freezer.
It is nice to have the room to have a freezer and be able to stock up on items that you will use. Some people will argue that the electric bill will go up, but I really haven’t noticed that. Then some people say that what if the electric goes off? Well, I cant argue with that one, except that if it does go off, don’t open the door. It will stay colder longer if not opened.
I couldn’t go without my freezers. I also try to cook extra batches of lasagna, chili, etc to store in the freezer. Those meals come in handy when you don’t feel like cooking.
I told hubby that the pressure is on, he needs to get two deer and a turkey when hunting season rolls around because we have two freezers now!
It is a good feeling knowing that the freezers are stocked. If something should ever come up like a loss of an income due to illness or accident, that is one less thing that you will have to worry about. When I had my heart attack, I couldn’t work for almost 2 months. All of my stockpiles from the freezer and my filled pantry came in real handy. You never know when something can or will happen, but in the meantime, if you see things on sale buy it and stock up the freezer!