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March 21, 2006


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We do not have a seperate freezer (yet) but we definately stock up on meat when it is on sale.

We are closing on a house in less than 2 weeks, and have been doing our best to eat our way through everything we have in our freezer so that there is less to move and no need to keep things cold.

I foresee eating a lot of chicken next week...

It is a good idea, till the power goes off and it all spoils. One thing I was thinking about today:

Does it work to cook larger than needed portions of things like chili, hotdishes, etc and freeze the extra to thaw out whenever?

And a better idea, would be to keep a running inventory of what you put in the freezer. This way you can use it before it gets freezer burnt. Maybe write a number on the package, put it in the log with a date. Then you can use your older packages of meat before they go bad.

Waste is the biggest downside to a freezer. My father in law hates using one because he has had it quit working several times with a lot of dollars worth of meat inside.

It might be worth it to buy a small (preferably used) backup generator for those occasions when the power goes out. If you buy a vertical, upright freezer, you're more likely to use up older meat first. If you have a traditional chest freezer, you're less likely to want to dig down to the bottom to pull out the older items.

I should post a picture of our freezer. It is packed to the gills. I only purchase meat [and frozen vegetables] on loss leader sales, and after a few months of stocking up, if there isn't a really, really good sale going on, we just eat out of the freezer that week. I can't remember the last time I paid more than two dollars a pound for meat.

RE: Giraffe's question -- I do that, as well. It's nice to have meals pre-made that you just have to thaw and heat up. [And that don't cost as much as the grocery store variety pre-made.]

I stocked our freezer with premade meals before our first child was born so we wouldn't have to do much cooking, and now that child #2 is only a few weeks out, I'll soon be doing it again.

My parents used to do this - but they ran a dairy farm, so getting a half a cow was easy. And we used to sell them, also, or better yet barter our beef for pork, venison or dressed chicken.

The freezer is fine but its more than throwing butcher paper wrapped cuts in and letting it go. Trust me, you need an entrance and exit strategy. For an entrance strategy each piece of meat/ground meat should be cut by a butcher, labeled, wrapped and dated - a half a cow means about 400 lbs of meat, which produces either a lot of little light pieces and a few heavy ones...

You've got to have a system to move your packages through your freezer. Trust me, digging around for your white package in the bottom of the freezer amongst a pile of white packages gets a bit old after awhile.

We are going to be moving our freezer in from our detached garage to our pantry. That should help increase our use of it as well as making sure that what's in it get's eaten.

I second the idea of a generator. A small one is fairly cheap insurance for your "investment" in food.

The best part for us of stocking up on meat is that if we go in with someone on a half or quarter of a cow we pretty much know the history of the animal, including the producers feeding practices.

Oh, you might look into half a hog (if you eat pork) - it's much less meat than half a cow, and might be a good way to see if you eat that much meat quickly enough.

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