Our meat stockpile has gotten out of control. Fortunately, taking a good inventory has made me realize that. You all know that we have been basically eating from our stockpile for the past 2 months and we continue to do the same.
Even after eating from our freezers for all of this time, we have so much left. Luckily when I pulled every last morsel out of them to do my inventory, nothing had gotten old or freezer burned. I believe that is because of my food saver which shrink wraps our meat.
Here is our current inventory of meat:
20 lbs. of beef
74 lbs. of chicken
1- 6 lb. leg of lamb
32 lbs. ham and pork
8 lbs. of fish and shrimp
21 lbs. of turkey
This totals 161 lbs. of meat or about 322 meals for us when you take into account bones. That number is shocking for the two of us. Considering that we eat meatless once or twice a week, we can live a long time off of this meat and seafood.
To be totally honest, we also have 2 lbs. of bacon, 1 lb. of ham, and 1/2 lb. of turkey in our refrigerator right now also. We will use a lb. of that bacon for our family breakfast tomorrow and the other lb. will get cooked up and used for Club Sandwiches(uses the turkey also)and with eggs for breakfasts this week. Hubby is making ham salad for lunches which will use up the ham.
So seeing all of this meat and these numbers makes me realize that I have to change the way I grocery shop. We live in a northern area of the U.S. where power outages are common when we have lots of snow. So we have lots of snow storms. How long do you think this meat would last if our power was down for a couple of days? Not long, maybe two days. We would be cooking on our grill and in our fireplace like crazy and feeding the entire neighborhood.
Of course, I purchased most of this meat at rock bottom prices. But that does us no good if we lose it in a power outage or it gets freezer burned. It would be a total waste of money.
I am meal planning from our inventories and not buying much these days. Just the necessities that we run out of or perishables like milk, half and half, and produce. Hence, we are not spending much on food. I am using our grocery budget to buy Christmas gifts instead.
Yes, I will do some stockpiling of things that are only rock bottom at Thanksgiving and Christmas but not as much meat as I usually do. I already have my turkey for Thanksgiving in the freezer. I may buy one more to cook up and freeze the meat in meal portions to use in place of chicken. Or I may not depending on the prices. I might actually wait until turkey breasts go on sale next year at rock bottom prices and get a few of those. I also have a spiral sliced ham for either Christmas or New Years. So our holiday meat is already in the freezer.
I would like to get down to the point where I only have 3 months worth of meat in the deep freeze. I would like to have room to put up freezer meals instead.
After all of these years of cooking, I am getting really tired of it. So having a month’s worth of freezer meals at the ready would be a luxury for us. I have been collecting small containers so that we can eventually do this. Do any of you cook freezer meals? How do you do it? Do you make a bunch at once or just make an extra every time you make a casserole, etc.? I would really love to hear your experiences.
When we get to the point of having just three months worth of meat, we have decided that $ 300 a month or $75. a week for groceries will be enough for us to eat a healthy diet and buy any personal care products, OTC meds and cleaning products.
I have been estimating what a meal costs us for quite a while now and also keeping track of what non food items we buy. That $ 300. a month should be sufficient to do everything. If it doesn’t work, we will raise it a little.
So are any of you in the same boat we are? Too much freezer food that needs to get eaten? Have you taken an inventory so that you know what you have? I would love to hear from you all in the comments.