Dun dun dunnnn. A little scary, right? The biggest problem here is that I honestly had no. idea. what was in there. I pull things from the front but never dig to the back. I figured this was kind of wasteful - obviously having plenty of food in there but not using it because I don't know it's there. It seems more budget-conscious to know what's there and make good use of it. So that was my goal: find out what's in there, and figure out how to find it again when I want it. Also, to stop storing food in the ice bin. We finally got the water line hooked up for the ice maker, so that box should be full of ice. Not waffles.
Enter the Hero. Being the somewhat cheapskate that I am, I definitely did not want to spend an arm and a leg to organize my freezer of all things. So, I headed to Dollar Tree to see if there was anything there to help me out. Now, I shop at Dollar Tree enough to know that things don't always work this way. Sometimes they have what you need, sometimes they don't. But on this particular day they had the. perfect. thing. In the basket section (my personal favorite section) they had these wide, shallow plastic baskets that are the perfect size for my freezer! (I've never seen them there before. It was basket destiny. Or freezer destiny. It's hard to be sure...). I picked up some blue ones, then on the way out of the aisle spotted four white ones - even better! So for just $4 I brought all 4 of them home. I only expected to need three, but I would rather buy and extra for $1 than not buy it and wish I had.
Then I put them to work. Okay, I realize this is no jaw dropping before & after, but functionally it is a huge difference! I started by pulling everything out (and working fast, these are frozens after all!) to see what I had. Then I divided the food among my baskets. Here's how it worked out:
- top left - ice. only ice. no waffles
- top middle - ice cream. not to be confused with "ice." (helpful hint - buy ice cream by the bucket. it's a much better deal and then you ALWAYS have ice cream in the house. win win)
- top right - staple type foods (bread, tortillas, yeast, waffles, etc. a.k.a. the carb basket)
- bottom left - easy meals (ravioli, orange chicken, etc.)
- bottom middle - meat. this is one of those good reasons to organize your freezer. I had a whole basket of meat in there and had no idea.
- bottom right - vegetables. including no less than 3 bags of green beans. note to self: stop buying green beans. you have enough.
The baskets reach right to the back of the freezer so I don't have to wonder what is behind the meat in front - I know it's just more meat! So hopefully this helps me use what we have before I buy more (think green beans).
And let's not forget the door. I designated it into a few (unmarked) territories:
- top left - frozen berries & fruits. while I have 3 bags of green beans, I have only 1 bag of berries. Note to self: buy berries.
- top right - frozen bananas (my ice cream when I'm feeling healthy)
- bottom left - chocolate chips (it's perfectly normal to have a chocolate chips section)
- bottom right - broth and cheese. I may need to expand my cheese section.
So now I know what's in there and where everything is. We also have a small chest freezer in the basement, but that's an adventure for another day. :) If you need a few minutes of peace to organize your freezer without everything melting, I recommend a yogurt distraction. If you baby is anything like Baby B, he will only accept this distraction if he's allowed to work the spoon. So be prepared for bath time afterwards. :)
Apparently the only way to eat yogurt is by dipping crackers in it. Now you know.
Anybody else organized a freezer lately? What tricks do you have? Any tips for organizing a deep freeze? Would you like a cracker with that yogurt?