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Cleaning Out the Freezer - Round 2

I told you I'd be back for more! I'm getting pretty behind in KOTH's Cook More Real Food series, so I hope you are following along with her, and not me! I started a new job this week, so I'm definitely in the adjustment period of trying to learn to balance my life/job and get in all the things I was doing before, with 40 less hours in my week of time to do them. But I think it's a pretty steep learning curve, so I'm doing ok.

I tackled my chest freezer this morning, and in all honesty it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! It took me hardly any time at all, although I must admit I skipped the step of actually cleaning it, because I wanted to go ahead and get to meal planning (and it isn't really that dirty).

Here is my before picture:

If you can't tell, everything is just piled on top of each other. Have I mentioned I hate chest freezers? It is so hard to organize them, especially the more full they are! Lucky for me, we've been working on cleaning out and eating the food in the freezer for a while (and not buying more when we go to the store) so there wasn't as much in there as I thought. You see that box of butter on the left hand side? The box is empty. How embarrassing is that? I also found an empty plastic bag (like a grocery bag) in there. Weird.

Here is my after picture. It's from a different angle, obviously, but I was trying to show that I have the meat on one side, the veggies on the other side, and the random processed food that we need to get rid of asap in the basket on top. I do really love those Yoplait smoothies, but I'm beginning to delve into the world of homemade smoothies, and get away from them (because if you look at the ingredient list, although it should just be fruit and yogurt balls, it has about a million ingredients, and I am not ok with that. Smoothies should be a simple food!) 

So now that I have my freezer and pantry inventoried, I know everything that I have in the house to work with. I'm so excited about having done this, because I found some foods that I really can use this week (particularly meats), which will save us from having to buy them this grocery trip. I also found the things that I had prepared before as "easy dinner meals" like my sausage and pepper casserole mix, so I'll be using that in my meal plan and it will be one meal this week that will be super easy! Yay for not having to go to work and come home to cook for hours on end!

Have you been following Stephanie's series? If not, there is plenty of time to join in! Since I do work now, I'm doing my meal planning today, and grocery shopping and freezer cooking tomorrow, so I will be a little ahead of the ball game by the end of the weekend, but Stephanie has great tips and wonderful ideas for your freezer cooking. Also I would love to hear your favorite freezer recipe. Leave me a link or leave the recipe in the comments, and I will try it out sometime! I love collecting new recipes to try!

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