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Old 05-01-2008, 06:31 PM   #1
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Cleaning the fridge and freezer

how long do u keep the bags with just a little in them, in the freezer.

i think if not used in two months, aren't going to be.

how long for fish?

cleaned mine out today, it is a shame how much food gets wasted. shame on me.


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Old 05-01-2008, 07:40 PM   #2
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Depends on what those bags contain. I clean out the refrigerator when I can smell something bad, meaning something ended up in the back somewhere that got ignored. That happens every year or so. The freezer gets cleaned out when I have to do a manual defrost. So far I haven't done that.
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:02 PM   #3
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guess i didn't explain this very well. i had lots of vegs in small amounts in freezer. haven't eaten them up in three months so i tossed em.
along with four month old fish, a chicken carcass, a bag of beef stew.

felt guilty but figured if i haven't eaten them by now, i never would. and i needed the space.

the fridg. of course is easier , anything that hasn't been eaten in a day or so.
not the pantry items of course, except for one very old jar of salsa.

how do u guys decide what to get rid of??

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Old 05-02-2008, 02:41 AM   #4
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The chicken carcus could have been broken up and used to make a chicken stock - multiple uses, such as a foundation to make chicken-and-dumplings, egg-drop soup, as a broth instead of water for raman noodles, cooking rice, etc..

The vegetables - could have been added to the chicken stock to make a soup, or steamed/sauteed and added to some fusilli (or similar corkscrew shaped) pasta to make a hot or cold dish or used to make a "pot pie". Given a little oil, vinegar and spices - a pickled vegetable salad. Add some hamburger meat and mashed potatoes - a cottage pie. Or, simply, combine and steam or saute and serve as a vegetable side to a dish. Depending on the vegetables you could also use them to make a rice pilaf (using the chichen stock from the carcus).

The fish could have been used to make a "chowder" with potatoes and some diced smoked bacon, a little butter and milk/cream. This even works with "breaded" fish - like fishsticks, battered fish fillets - just defrost enough to remove the breading.

The beef stew, obviously, could have been simply heated and eaten. Or, could have been combined with some of the vegetables to make a vegetable beef stew, or a beef pot pie - or a beef and vegetable soup. If the stew was thick enough - you could have added a spash of red wine, a dollop of sour cream and served over egg-noodles.

Nothing wrong with having a meal once a month, or so, with freezer "leavings".
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:36 AM   #5
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I started keeping all my 1/4 bags of frozen veg in the same spot in the freezer.
When I have enough I mix them all together for a mixed veg or make chicken pot pie.
Unless they look really freezer burned and shriveled, but it doesn't happen too often anymore keeping the freezer organized. I had to get cheap this year and I hate to throw away stuff!!!
Oh and I'll keep chicken carcasses about 4 months...., or until I have about 3-4 to make stock. At obe point I found about 7 of them, and no broth. Now I have a million tubs of frozen stock and 1 carcass!
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:56 AM   #6
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I keep it till I need/use it and just check it before I do use it. If I am in doubt at that point, I chuck it. But I don't get rid of freezer items spontaneously. Unless it is obviously dead and ready for burial!

As to the fridge, I have a scan every Sunday, ready for bin morning on the Monday.

Pantry, usually when things start to fall out when I open the door, I do a reorganisation (it isn't the most user-friendly of store cupboards being two big shelves really) and chuck things that I believe the use by dates on.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:06 AM   #7
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Refrigerator cleanings are triggered by one of two items. A smell that inidcates a need for attention, or when nothing smells, but, there is no room for the groceries. The latter means that there are a lot of small quantities of things than have / may have gone bad. In our house defective food in the fridge are called "Party Goers" They have been there long enough to have funny collored freckels. This is usuallu due to getting to the back of the shelf where they are not seen / eaten. We pack things well, so it may not be odoriferous. When a cleaning is triggered, everything comes out and judgements are made with Wart's philosophy "If in doube throw it out." Yes, food waste is a sheme. There are just tow of us in the house and we are not as efficient as we should be. I try to buy food in quantity and brake it down to meal sizes before freezing. When I get busy and forget then I loose the whole batch.

The freezer is gets the same treatment. Like Suzie, the last clean out I tried to make a beef, pork, fish, vedgie and miscellanious area. It helped a lot.
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Old 05-02-2008, 05:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
The chicken carcus could have been broken up and used to make a chicken stock - multiple uses, such as a foundation to make chicken-and-dumplings, egg-drop soup, as a broth instead of water for raman noodles, cooking rice, etc..

The vegetables - could have been added to the chicken stock to make a soup, or steamed/sauteed and added to some fusilli (or similar corkscrew shaped) pasta to make a hot or cold dish or used to make a "pot pie". Given a little oil, vinegar and spices - a pickled vegetable salad. Add some hamburger meat and mashed potatoes - a cottage pie. Or, simply, combine and steam or saute and serve as a vegetable side to a dish. Depending on the vegetables you could also use them to make a rice pilaf (using the chichen stock from the carcus).

The fish could have been used to make a "chowder" with potatoes and some diced smoked bacon, a little butter and milk/cream. This even works with "breaded" fish - like fishsticks, battered fish fillets - just defrost enough to remove the breading.

The beef stew, obviously, could have been simply heated and eaten. Or, could have been combined with some of the vegetables to make a vegetable beef stew, or a beef pot pie - or a beef and vegetable soup. If the stew was thick enough - you could have added a spash of red wine, a dollop of sour cream and served over egg-noodles.

Nothing wrong with having a meal once a month, or so, with freezer "leavings".
all wonderful ideas. the problem i had was , with not doing them for one reason or another. at some point one has to realize you will never get it done in a timely fashion. but it would save money ,sorta, would save money.

cooking only for one, lets out big pots of stuff or the leftovers just get funneled into the fridg. and the same cycle starts.

babe
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by babetoo View Post
at some point one has to realize you will never get it done in a timely fashion. but it would save money ,sorta, would save money.
On the very rare case where I have something that is not cooked, frozen, or dehydrated (or a combination of them) to preserve it until eaten, it would go into my compost pile and become food for my vegetable garden.
Quote:
cooking only for one, lets out big pots of stuff or the leftovers just get funneled into the fridg. and the same cycle starts.
I cook for one, and I don't have that problem. If I do make a larger meal, such as a casserole, leftovers go into single-serving containers and in to the freezer or I may leave one in the frig if I know I will like to eat it the next day.

Cooking frugally is easy once you get your mind set in that direction, much the same as deciding to recycle things.
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:39 AM   #10
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I think someone else posted that they have started shopping and planning the same way we have started shopping and planning( possibly GG?), which avoids the problem you are having:
Plan out your menu for the week, then build a shopping list from that menu, then buy only the stuff you need, in only the amounts you need, to make everything on the menu. The idea is that by the end of the week, you have completed your menu and are now pretty much out of food and ready for your next shopping trip. We also clean out our fridge and freezer the day before we go shopping so it is clean and organized before we bring home the groceries.
Since we have done this, I can't think of anything that has gotten wasted. It really does work.
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