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Help me stock my fridge/freezer

I have a problem. I'm not good at having things in the house to throw together meals. I've gotten better about going grocery shopping more regularly and having meals planned that I'm shopping for. But if I don't get to the store for some reason, our fridge is pretty much barren. And then we eat Velveeta Shells & Cheese. Again.

What do you keep in your fridge/freezer/pantry all or most of the time? Obviously stuff that doesn't go bad quickly is preferable.

Re: Help me stock my fridge/freezer

  • My big freezer items are soups and chili.  Right now I have butternut squash, chicken noodle, roasted veg, and split pea soups.  I also have 2 meals worth of turkey chili and corn bread.  Each weekend I'll make one soup and just double or triple the recipe.  We'll eat it 1 night that week, then I freeze the rest.

  • We buy a lot of meats in bulk and use our food saver to seal them in bags so we can easily pull stuff out for dinner.

    And different frozen veggie mixes help. I also always like to have rice, potatoes, etc as they are an easy starch.

    Stuff for tacos are always an easy meal too. 

    Recently, I have been looking for recipes and printing them out so we have them for when we want to do something different. I found this really good orange chicken recipe and we made it this weekend and loved it!

  • and... we are big fish eaters so I buy it in bulk and divy it up for individual meals. I think fish is a great weeknight dinner bc it cooks so fast.  One of our favs is just tilapia with jerk seasoning, a salad and a sweet potato- literally a 10 minute dinner.
  • image samanthas8882:

    We buy a lot of meats in bulk and use our food saver to seal them in bags so we can easily pull stuff out for dinner.

    And different frozen veggie mixes help. I also always like to have rice, potatoes, etc as they are an easy starch.

    Stuff for tacos are always an easy meal too. 

    Recently, I have been looking for recipes and printing them out so we have them for when we want to do something different. I found this really good orange chicken recipe and we made it this weekend and loved it!

    Do you like your food saver?  Do you see a difference?  Does it really work.  I want to get one, but I am on the fence about it.

  • I like to buy my meat from a butcher and then freeze individual (or for the two of us) portions of each. Like I will buy 3 lbs of beef/veal/pork and seperate into approx. 1 lb mixes. This is good for meatloaf and meatballs. Or I will buy ground beef and do the same for tacos, chili, etc.

    I buy chicken breast and seperate 2 in each pack so I can take out in the morning or the night before depending on what Im doing.  These three meats are always in my freezer and I usually have tilapia and shrimp as well.

     

     

  • A lot of our meals end up revolving around chicken.  I buy the big bag of individually frozen chicken breasts from BJ's, so I always have that handy.  I like the individually frozen ones so I'm not making too much for meals.  They're also individually wrapped in a plastic pouch so you can just pop two of them in a cold bowl of water when you get home from work and they'll defrost in an hour.  I also keep ground turkey, chicken sausage and sometimes a red meat or pork in the freezer.  I also love these frozen small round patties of sweet potatoes Giant sells.  They're little frozen rounds of mashed sweet potato with nothing added so you season how you like.  No peeling, grating or boiling required...plus they are only around a dollar!  Frozen green beans, corn, spinach and broccoli with cheese cover the veggies and then I get the little frozen herb cubes.  I never use fresh herbs enough to keep them fresh and these are great to season food. 

    I don't really have fridge staples, I'll buy those fresh for the week depending on what I'm cooking.  I always have an array of brown rice, pasta noodles, some interesting jarred sauces to throw something together quick (like Trader Joe's Indian style sauces), cans of peeled and crushed tomatoes and stuff like that. 

    LilySlim Weight loss tickers
  • Freezer: Ground turkey, turkey fillets or chicken breasts, hoagie rolls, fish sticks or fillets, 1-2 kinds of chicken sausage, vegetables (spinach, peas, corn, peppers & onions mix)

    Fridge: Various cheeses, milk, eggs, salad , fresh spinach, some fresh veg

    Pantry: Rice in several varieties, cous cous, quinoa, pasta, canned tomatoes (both small can dice and large can crushed), tuna, anchovies, capers, olives, olive oil, various beans, canned soup, artichoke hearts, breadcrumbs (panko), chicken broth, flour, about 50 spices, onions, garlic, taco shells, taco seasoning, salsa

    Check out Penzey's spices for some very good and easy spice sprinkles/rubs for chicken, fish, etc.

    image
    Yeah that's right my name's Yauch!
  • Thanks ladies, very helpful!
  • We buy in bulk ground beef, chicken, turkey, sweet & italian sausage, steaks, and our breakfast meet. I individually package all of it and freeze it. Weekly or bi weekly we will get some frozen veggies, fries, and fresh fruits and vegetables. We are also big on potatoes. I keep lots of baking ingredients (yeast, flour (wheat and white), baking soda/powder) so if I want to make some kind of pita or flat bread, or pizza dough. We also make sure to have mixes for stuff (sloppy joe, taco, chili to make a variety of stuff. Freezing home made soups is big too, same with massive lasagna meals... just freeze. So even if we don't get to the supermarket, we have options to make great meals.
  • I do most of what the pp's are saying and I've only gotten better at this in the past 6 months or so.  I find what helps the most is meal planning.  I'll pick out 5 meals for the week and then I can decide what I feel like most the day before.  Right now the problem is coming up with variety.  I feel like the easiest meal for us is pasta - I'll keep cavatelli's, ravioli, and garlic bread in the freezer.  I'll also keep angel hair and thin spaghetti in the pantry and if I buy basil that week, I'll make a homemade pesto sauce which is quick and easy thanks to the food processor.  I also like soy crumbles, which is nice to create a fake meat sauce (if you like that kind of thing) and then it feels like there's some substance.  We mostly eat turkey, chicken, or some vegetarian meat item.

    We did tacos last night and we'll do them with ground turkey, although last night we did ground beef.  We did a mexican chili with ground turkey last week that was a Rachel Ray recipe and it was awesome.  Our other go-to's are some Indian sauce mix, chicken, rice, and some naan.  We'll also do homemade pizza, panini's, or boca burgers too.

    Once every other week or so, we try to do a nice steak or london broil with some roasted potatoes and a veggie.   

  • We love our standing freezer since our fridge/freezer combo is side by side (which I hate BTW since there is hardly any room). We always buy meat in bulk and freeze it - chicken breasts, filet, roast, ground beef, etc. I've found if I buy frozen fish it's actually a better price than fresh fish. Wegman's has a great array including Mahi Mahi and Chilean Sea Bass so we always have those in the freezer.

    Our fresh veggies were going bad quickly since I'm traveling during the week and can't cook so now we buy everything frozen.

    We have so many canned beans, sauces, broths, etc that we have no more room. We always have ingredients for tacos and will make variations like mexican pizza. I have a huge stock of garlic, tomatoes, onions and shallots because I use at least one in everything and they are good to have to make up a simple pasta sauce. I also keep puff pastry and frozen pie crusts/pie dough because there are so many quick and easy dinners/desserts to make with those.

    This week since I'm home, I decided to make all brand new never tried recipes using only what was here in the house. I searched on allrecipes, foodtv, the food blogs I follow, etc and found some great ideas. AllRecipes has a great ingredient search so that if you have something you need to "use up" before it goes bad, you can search for recipes just using that ingredient. Good stuff!

  • if we haven't gone to the butcher to get the indiv meat, we buy them in bulk at superfresh or other adn then put them in freezer bags. or go to Weg's and get the individ chops or steaks and freeze.  we have at least 2 game hens at all times.  we have pasta and all the dry stuff laptop mentioned, plus tomatoes of all sorts in cans, and beef/chicken stock. 

    which makes me think of a resolution...

    [IMG]http://i53.tinypic.com/mjodh1.jpg[/IMG] Hi Francey!
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