Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jan 12, 2011 11:34 AM

Freezer Hoarding

Just went through my freezer as part of the new year clean up, and I am astonished what is in there.
Seems I can't pass up any Farmers Market butcher/Rancher/Farmer.
There are all sorts of exciting, delicious looking, unlabeled packages of meat, as well as every known cut possible.
How many tubs of lard and duck fat does one need?
Oh look, yet another package of puff pastry from yet another artisan bakery's take out section.

Frozen cut up Farmers Market peaches???? Try a dozen giant bags, and about 20 bags of frozen tomatoes.

The problem is I hoard them, living in fear that I will run out before the next crop, and then lose track of it all.
I have yet to use any frozen peaches, it's January! What am I saving them for, if not the dead of winter??
(note to self: peach crisp, Friday night!!)

How do you other freezer junkies use your freezer?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I am guilty of this too! It's too easy for something in the freezer to become "out of sight, out of mind". One of my resolutions is to cycle through things more often. Yesterday I cooked some meatballs that were in there. One less freezer bag. Yay!

    1. I am so glad to read your post. I too confess to being a freezer horder. I did find some cooked and chopped chicken that was frozen and a lot of vegetables (much more than I could use!) this weekend and made some really good soup.

      I also found a ziploc full of at least 10 bananas that I had chopped up thinking I would start making smoothies. That has never happened. There are veal, chops, cookies ... Lord. The list can go on an on.

      Please someone help me!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tehama

        why make smoothies when you can dip those bananas in pb and melted chocolate, then refreeze them?

        1. re: mattstolz

          Been a while since in here, hope I'm not repeating..
          I put nannas in the freezer too when they're just south of too far gone to peel&eat.

      2. I know it's too late this time, but when I do my yearly freezer runthrough, I make an inventory list (nice to have a helper with a pad and pen), and post it on the front of the freezer. I TRY to keep the list up to date, but that doesn't always work so well. But I'm pretty good about labeling things.

        But do appreciate what you have in there. Four years ago this past July, we had a 5-day power outage with the daytime temps in the mid-90s, and I lost every single thing in the freezer. Not only was the cleanup awful, I cried most of the way through it.

        11 Replies
        1. re: lemons

          When I cleaned it and organized it, I not only marked it and made a list for the front of the freezer to check off whenever I take something out of it, but I put all of the contents into my grocery shopping app.
          Hopefully this will mean I won't be standing at the butcher counter and trying to remember if I have a frozen flank steak or not. (I have three)

          We just bought a new second freezer, because I am came back from a weekend away to find the door partially open, and about a third of the contents in question. I cried too when I threw out that 70 lb. leg of lamb. Could I cook it in anyway, would I kill my family??? I thought about it, hard, LOL.

          Oh, and Tehama??? Two bunches of whole frozen bananas !! HA!

          My goal is to empty the freezer before I buy anything new...

          1. re: lemons

            We try to keep a running inventory, but end up having to re-do it every couple of months because it doesn't get updated for additions/subtractions.

            The single biggest pile of any one thing for me is bread products. We store our sandwich-type bread in the freezer, because we don't eat it that often. Then there are pitas, dog buns, burger buns, stale slices for french toast, stale ends for crumbs, tortillas, and other random breads and buns. If it's not moldy, I can't throw it out...have to find a use for it.

            1. re: Sooeygun

              oooooooh, the crouton trap!!!!!!!

              1. re: mendogurl

                Also caught in the crouton trap here. I keep joking that one day, someone's going to ask what's for dinner, and I'm going to tell them croutons.

                1. re: Isolda

                  I recently have taken to process all the frost-bitten (as well as dried out) bread into crumbs, and then to make meatballs out of them. That clears out the packets of ground beef as well.

                  1. re: vil

                    I confess that I found twelve packages of fantastic grass fed, ground beef that I had no idea I had. Sad.
                    Made some might tasty burgers, meat loaf and bolognese.

                    But I don't think I am going to keep saving bread. Except hamburger buns because our family of four never uses those last two.

                    1. re: mendogurl

                      We eat bread very seldom. I finally stopped freezing the excess. It just took up too much room and I rarely remembered it. Except for Cuban bread brought back from trips to Fl.!

                      Now the squirrels are better fed!

                2. re: mendogurl

                  HA! the crouton trap. That's a great name for it.

                  A general question - Who is the house is better at remembering what's in the freezer? It's me, in our house.

                  We were cleaning out the bread bin from the freezer, found a ziplock bag with something wrapped in a white paper bag in it and had this conversation
                  Mr - Is this an onion bun? The ziplock has Onion written on it.
                  Me (after prodding it a little) - No, it's a croissant.
                  Mr - Why does it say onion on it?
                  Me - Cause that was the only ziplock bag left.

                  Two weeks later...
                  Mr. - Should we have this onion bun with our pasta tonight?
                  Me - It's not an onion bun
                  Mr. - Why does it say onion on it?

                  I expect this conversation will happen again, unless I eat that &$&$&^% croissant soon.

                  1. re: Sooeygun

                    friendly tip - don't write on the bags themselves so you can reuse them. Keep a caddy with Post-It Note Flags (or masking tape) and a couple fine point Sharpies near wherever you package foods headed to the freezer - easy to pull off, jot down name of item and date, and stick on, easy to pull off when removing from the freezer later. And if your frozen items are stacked vertically, don't put the label on the top - put it on the side (whatever side is most easily in view once it's stashed in the freezer) - then you can read what's in each package without having to move stuff around. At least, this is what works well for me! :)

                    1. re: zorra31

                      Yes, I keep blue painters tape and a sharpie in my packaging drawer. The painters tape comes off cleanly and stays on plastic bags as well as glass jars and containers.

              2. re: lemons

                This happened to us, too..whole ribeye roasts, a duck, and numerous baby back ribs and lamb chops, all purchased on sale....all to be thrown away. >[

              3. HA! What you describe is the very reason I refused to get a freezer for 17 years. Growing up, my parents had four huge commercial freezers and oh the things we would find!

                When we started going local with our beef, pork and fowl, I was forced to get a freezer. For the first year or so, I kept an inventory but that got to be too much work.

                My problem isn't peaches, it is peppers, bags and bags and bags of sliced peppers. I have stopped freezing left overs, that stuff just gets overlooked or lost.

                I hoarded chickens during the summer and I do have anxiety about running out before next season.

                I say break out the blender for a massive batch of peach frozen drinks!

                4 Replies
                1. re: cleobeach

                  Yes, the buying local meat also forced me into it. And we raise most of our produce, but this year I went heavily into preserving. And when I started canning, I also started freezing for canning later in the year! Oh my.
                  I too have given up freezing casseroles or other prepared foods. I do however keep big batches of bolognese and pesto. Life saving on those 'what the hell am I making tonight', kinds of nights.

                  I would not mind a couple of frozen soups. The frozen lasagnas took to long to thaw.

                    1. re: mendogurl

                      Completely agree on the lasagnas. Great idea but seriously, I can put a quick meal on the table in half the time it takes to reheat a frozen lasagna. (I do it in the oven, not the microwave)

                      Why peppers? My husband loves peppers and my aunt loves to garden. She brings peppers by the grocery bagful. I dice them and pull out a bag whenever I make meatballs or sausage, I put them in the baking dish together. I use the red ones for red pepper quiche.

                      1. re: cleobeach

                        Slow cooked foods like stews, soups and pulled pork do really well in the freezer.
                        those are my go to items when I'm having one of those weeks when I'm trying to cut back on the grocery budget.

                        it's nice to be able to pull a couple of meals or ingredients for meals out of the freezer and only have to buy the staples for the week.

                  1. I definitely hoard, BUT, I don't forget about things since I organized the freezer(s). We have a regular fridge/freezer in the kitchen, then in the basement another fridge/freezer IN ADDITION to a full size freezer. A bit much, I know, but it comes in handy. My mother in law lives with us and keeps lots of packed sh*t around for days when we're not home or to use some Sandra Lee recipe. I on the other hand, buy nearly all of my meat and other specialty items on our monthly weekend trips to visit my family in NYC. I visit all of my favorite Italian stores and buy wonderful meats (can't find good veal in DC), ravioli from Pastosa (copious amounts), pizza doughs, loaves of bread, etc. So my freezer is always stocked!!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: italia84

                      Much like what I do. We split our time between LA and San Francisco, but I do 70% of my purchasing in SF. So I have to freeze.
                      But what I need is a system to USE it all.

                      1. re: mendogurl

                        Oh good, I'm not alone! We go roughly once a month, so what I've been doing is planning a menu for about a month. Yeah, a bit excessive and obsessive, LOL. In the beginning I've been buying way more than I need. I don't stick to my menu entirely (too many last minute whims and cravings), but it definitely prevents me from having way more than I could possibly use before our next trip. I mean, there's still plenty of stuff in there at the end of the month, but not a ridiculous amount like it used to be! I also organized the freezer, seperated by type of meat, a whole section for frozen meals that I made, etc.