Is there such a thing as too much….

freezer space.  I think I’ve discovered the answer is yes, and I think I have too much.  Usually I hear or read of people not having enough freezer space to accommodate what they would like to be able to freeze.  I don’t have that trouble.  You see I have two fridges both with freezers – one is an upside down fridge/freezer so the freezer is a bit bigger – as well as a stand alone deep freeze.  This seems like over-kill for a family of four, it’s obviously not a good environmental choice and it’s probably costing us a small fortune.  It came about slowly without any real conscious decision to acquire so much freezer space.

You see we started with an old Westinghouse fridge with a small freezer on top.  When Mr Good and I were both working full time and with Mr Good having over an hour commute we would get home late and want dinner straight away.  It seemed sensible to make dinners on the weekend and freezer them for during the week, the only problem was that we didn’t have the space in the freezer so we bought the deep freeze.  Then with all that freezer space I started buying meat in bulk so I didn’t have to shop every week and soon it started filling up.  Then we decided to upgrade the main fridge to a slightly larger one and opted for an upside down fridge/freezer so had even more space.  We were never going to run the old fridge given what we already had, but then Mr Good decided he needed a beer fridge so plugged it in in the garage, I then had even more space to fill. And fill it I did, far quicker than we emptied it.  By this stage I was cooking everything with the intention of having left overs to freeze, but my love of cooking meant that I stopped actually serving what was in the freezer on a regular basis.  So a few weeks ago I had the insane problem of having run out of freezer space and I realised that something had to change.

I decided we would eat only out of the freezer until it was empty, THREE WEEKS LATER we were still going and getting mightily sick of reheated meals, though the lack of dishes was FANTASTIC!  Thankfully I had a surprising variety of dishes in there so at least we weren’t stuck eating the same thing night after night.  We discovered a few things didn’t reheat well (beetroot gnocchi, though defrosted slowly and then pan fried in butter was better) and we re-discovered some meals that I haven’t cooked in ages which are definitely worth going back to (beef pho).  This week I promised the family I would start cooking meals again, though we still ate twice from the freezer in attempt to finish off the last few things.

With the freezers now just about empty I need to decide which one I should turn off.  My preference would be to turn off the old fridge/freezer and keep the deep freeze on as it’s more energy efficient, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to talk Mr Good into giving up his beer fridge and he could probably only fit a couple of bottles in the main fridge.  This would be fine, but he’s hopeless at remembering to replace the ones he drank so come Friday evening when he’s feeling like a drink after work inevitably he would discover no cold beer – this would make for one very grumpy Mr Good.  (That makes him sound like something of an alcho, which is far from true.)  Perhaps I’ll defrost them both first and then see how things pan out.

For someone who loves cooking I have found the last three weeks surprisingly liberating.  There was no mad late afternoon scramble to get dinner ready before the kids hit the wall. I just took something out of the freezer at in the morning ready for that night.  Instead of spending Baby Good’s afternoon sleep time trying to get organised I played with Miss Three, doing craft, reading books and playing outside.  And when I did get the cooking bug that I couldn’t shift I baked, preserved or made stock.  I have barely been grocery shopping since this started which has been the greatest outcome, giving me more time and saving me a lot (you can’t impulse buy if you’re not in the store).

Now after all this, I need to learn the lesson of not to cook too much every night and if I do over cater we need to actually eat it.  Given that I am going back to work three days a week in mid July and to a job much more demanding than the position I had between having the girls, I think meals from the freezer are going to feature heavily in our weekly meal plan (if I had a plan that is, I really should give that a go), but I will still need to reign myself in somewhat.

So as it turns out having all this freezer space wasn’t such a great thing after all, pity I don’t have too much cupboard space, I think I could live pretty happily with that problem.

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4 Responses to Is there such a thing as too much….

  1. Liz says:

    We just have a tiny freezer above our fridge and I’m constantly running out of space – I keep thinking I will buy a chest freezer but haven’t got round to it yet. After reading this though now I’m not so sure….

  2. I’ve been tossing up getting chest freezer myself. I’m constantly running out of room, but I don’t want to increase my power bills. I need to cook a cache of freezer meals for when the baby arrives, but I’m running out of time and space. What to do?!

  3. Andrea says:

    We have a side by side and the freezer is full to bursting (it is has a disproportionately large volume of frozen berries, I keep buying them when they are on special!), will run with your idea of eating through it.

  4. Pingback: Slow Living 2012 – Month Four | The New Good Life

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