Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Looking Ahead While Cleaning Out the Cabinets

Today promises to be a busy day. I'm teaching fitness classes in the morning and evening. My son also has a doctor's appointment in the afternoon. My goal for that little bit of free time is to clean out the cabinets.

When I first really got into frugal living, I saved every container that passed through my door. Some were great, like the huge containers that my mom buys pretzels in. Some were a little ridiculous, like the tiny jars that Polaner All Fruit comes in. Every few months I need to weed through the cabinets to make sure everything has a lid (where do the lids go to?) and that the container is usuable for my needs.

Pick ups have started from our CSA and I've set myself a goal of freezing at least one thing each week. For June, the majority of the veggies are greens. After steaming the greens, the large containers that deli potato salad come in are a great size for freezing them. Obviously, square containers would fit better in the freezer but I haven't been able to find those free anywhere. I label EVERYTHING that goes in the freezer. One year I just assumed I would remember what was what and it was a disaster. A roll of masking tape and an indelible marker are essential.

When freezing things like pumpkin, bananas, zucchini or anything else you might use in a specific recipe, freeze them in quantities you will use. For example, the pumpkin bread recipe I use calls for 1 cup of pumpkin puree. Our old margarine containers fit 2 cups of pumpkin puree. This is a perfect container for us since I usually make four loaves at a time. I could use a container that holds up to four cups. When I am ready to make the bread, I just defrost the quantity I need, no measuring and minimal thought. BTW, It helps immensely to keep an inventory of whats in your freezer.

While cleaning out the cabinets, I will also be checking the sandwich container, thermos, lunch box/bag situation. I need to know now if I should be on the lookout for anything during the summer tag sale season.

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