Organized Freezer and Buying in Bulk

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  February 7, 2014 — 4 Comments

Before Jack was born, and even when he was a small baby and not eating solid food yet, I really didn’t cook much and we ate a lot of unhealthy and highly processed food. Now that I’m responsible for his nutrition I take it more seriously and have gotten a lot better about not only cooking healthy meals but also keeping a well-stocked pantry (and fridge and freezer). One of the things that I do to keep healthy food on hand is buy all-natural chicken breasts in bulk from Zaycon Foods (that’s not an affiliate link and this isn’t a sponsored post, I just have been really happy with it). It’s less than $2/lb and comes in a 40 pound case that I usually split with a friend. I still had a few pounds left over from the last event in October but when I saw that they were coming back to Baton Rouge this week I couldn’t pass it up. Unfortunately my freezer was not exactly ready to accommodate twenty pounds of chicken.

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Those ice cubes with plastic babies inside inspired many a raised eyebrow from guests (left over from this baby shower).

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I started by taking everything out so I could clean the inside of the drawers. Ew. I tossed anything that was freezer-burned or expired.

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Much better.

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I even dumped out the ice tray–Nick and I don’t use much ice so it’s good to refresh it periodically. And in this photo you can see that I got a jump start on the organizing by adding a bin!

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I picked up two different sizes of bins at Lowe’s (the large ones were $6 each and the small ones were $3 each). I checked Family Dollar first but they didn’t have any that were the right size. If we had a Container Store or Ikea around here I probably could have found something good there. Too bad I didn’t have time to look online! I measured my freezer drawers before leaving the house and brought the tape measure with me so I could try to asses what would work right there in the store. I ended up buying two different kinds to see what would work best once I got home.

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At first I thought the smaller ones were better because I could fit three across in the bottom drawer.

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But after loading them up and living with them for a few days I switched to the deeper, wider bins the day I picked up the chicken. I packaged each breast into a freezer bag and piled all the chicken into one bin and all my other meat/fish in the other. I figure I can use the middle for stuff I like to freeze in jars, like stock and flaxseed.

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I filled the bin in the top drawer with all of our frozen vegetables. That’s bread beside and behind it and a couple of cold packs (like for packing in a lunch box) in front.

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I’ve been thinking about buying ground beef in bulk too but I don’t think I’ll have room for it unless I actually get around to cooking some of the fish I’ve had frozen in there for nearly a year (or finally throw out those chicken tenders I’ve been saving for a desperate day). I’m still not sure I’m making the most of my freezer space–maybe I could somehow capture the space used by the ice tray? We really do not need that much ice. Suggestions?

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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4 responses to Organized Freezer and Buying in Bulk

  1. This looks great and that’s a really good price on chicken! The ground beef is a good idea, too. I always cook and freeze some chicken and ground beef in sandwich size Ziploc bags so it’s easy to make fajitas, tacos, or soups at the last minute. They can be laid flat and stacked so they don’t take up too much room in the freezer.

  2. We just keep 2 ice cube trays full & that’s it…saves so much room over having a bucket! I like the idea of using bins to sort things in the freezer :)

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap February 10, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      That is seriously tempting. We really don’t use much ice and it feels silly to have the giant bin.

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