Inventory time on the pantry/freezer situation!
Food is a passion of mine. Cooking - Eating - Shopping. And one way I "indulge" is by stocking up... it can be a little on the crazy side (depending on how vulnerable I feel) at times. The good news is that I now recognize that I don't have to save up for a catastrophe -- at least not an apocalyptic one -- and just because it's on sale doesn't mean I need to buy 24 of it either. There are positives that I can't deny, for example, one things is certain... I can ALWAYS come up with a decent meal with savoury seasonings and full, satisfying portions for the whole family from my pantry at any time.
Today was the day I dug everything from my freezer and took inventory. This exercise is very revealing... for instance I found out that I really like buying frozen fish fillets. I do, in fact, like eating fish, but rarely chose to make it. VOILA an excess of Basa and Sole in the freezer (about 7 pounds). And blueberries.... LOTS of blueberries.... 6 bags (I now know without a shadow of a doubt what kind of smoothies we will be having for breakfast for a LONG time). And I'm not sure how I managed to forget to use the cranberries and then buy more -- 5 times!
Other insights... 8 family servings of Edamame... 6 deep dish pie crusts... 3 big ziplock bags of chicken stock... 4 containers of homemade pesto... 1 turkey... 3 bags of corn...
I could go on, but I won't.
Apparently I need to do this sort of inventory more often.
To help prevent further duplicates, I have sorted my uprightfreezer into "zones": Meat/Fish, Veggies, Fruit, meal helpers (pizza, eggrolls, etc), desserts (pie/icecream), juices. The kitchen freezer is reserved for opened bags of fruit/veg and bread. Now I can open the door and see immediately that the fruit shelf is FULL. No more fruit to buy please -- resist the aisle at the store -- resist! And I can also see that there are only 3 cans of orange juice... that's okay, I can wait until there are none before buying more.
Sigh...I want to make a big batch of lasagna to freeze, but today I realized that is impossible until there is room in my freezer. Motivation to avoid buying anything that must be frozen for a little while. (It won't be long, boys eat a LOT of food these days).
Feeling motivated by the freezer discoveries I decided to do the canned goods pantry. My list had fallen out of service -- time to update it! A whole other set of revelations in there... and not where I thought. I discovered I don't have any baked beans, not one can (weird considering I usually buy case lots of them). I only have 1 can of kidney beans (so a batch of chili would have to wait for a shopping trip) and now that my husband doesn't like salt he doesn't take the chunky soups for lunch anymore (but apparently I'm still buying them -- I have 12 cans).
Taking inventory is very good.
In one stroke I feel comfortable with the food I have, know what I need (and what I don't) and can confidently open the door to make dinner.... oh and I can CLOSE the doors too! That's a major thing for a borderline food hoarder.