When I mix gyros meat, for example, I make enough to put two extra bags downstairs. That investment of a few additional minutes (working with 6 pounds of meat instead of 2) pays a big dividend later.
Anyway, that much freezer space can easily become a crowded cave filled with who-knows-what. I combat the chaos with an inventory kept on a dry erase board. It's simple to record the movement of foods in and out. When the list is trustworthy, I can be sure it's worth digging because, yes, there is another bag of marinated chicken in there.
Once in a while I'm too lazy (I tell myself I'm in a hurry) to write or erase. I can keep the changes in my head for a little while, but if I don't get back in line quickly, the board is no good anymore. The only way back is to start fresh, and that was yesterday's project.
David and I quickly emptied the freezer. While I took stock, he removed the ice from the freezer's floor (never underestimate the fun of a hammering chore for a boy-child). I put things away neatly and rewrote the board. Added bonus: in all the digging, I found a quick dinner! Board notes:
- I record month and year of food as well as amount.
- The red writing is for REALLY old things. (Danger! Danger! Use this up already!)
- I don't bother inventorying some things: juice and nuts are always on the door, and ice cream is somehow on the radar without being written down. :-)
- My board is big enough to list foods in categories: meat, prepared (chili, meatloaf), produce, and miscellaneous (pie crust, cheese).