Storing Food When the Freezer is Too Full

When you bring your fresh meat home (wrapped and in a plastic bag with the opening at the top), place it in the coldest part of your refrigerator, usually the bottom right side. Check the time and start counting the days from the time you put it into the refrigerator. Fresh (and frozen meat) is usually good for three days in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, start making meals with things you already have in your freezer and keep checking for space to put some of the fresh meat into, not the thawing frozen meat.


Plan out the menus using the fresh meat. On the second or third day (whichever is most convenient for you), begin cooking your fresh meat dinners, even if that means cooking in the morning of the third day and making two or three meals at the same time. Serve portions of one or more of these for that days dinner, if you like, or put them into a covered container and put them back in the refrigerator, thus buying you three and a half more days to use them. During that time, you can keep checking the freezer for space to store some of these ready-made meals. You can also reheat the entire meal so that it bubble/simmers for five minutes, refresh the seasoning a bit and then keep it for another three days.

Last week, I came home with a pound of ground beef and three pounds of breakfast sausage, planning to portion out several meals and forgetting I had no more space in my freezer. I use breakfast sausage for pizza, it is yummy. So, today (two and a half days later), I made porcupine meatballs with the ground beef and a huge batch of pizza sauce. I had some PP meatballs for dinner and will put the pizza sauce in the refrigerator. I know everybody about will help me eat the meatballs and the kids will snarf up a lot of the pizza sauce for themselves and their friends making toast pizza (buttered toast, some mozzarella and the thick meaty sauce, MW or heat in oven.) In three days, it will all be gone, save anything I was able to fit into the freezer for future snacks and meals. I confess that I sometimes hide portions of the pizza sauce for myself to snack on. No one bothers to look in the freezer; they assume that all the goodies are in the refrigerator.

Hint: If you put pizza sauce into a plastic bag and flatten and shape it into a blob the size of a piece of bread, it makes for easier toast pizza.


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