Friday, 30 May 2014

Why is the freezer always full?

A short while ago I wrote about the contents of my fridge, and how my fixation with efficiency prompts the purchase of a very precise amount of food each week which runs out on schedule just before I shop again. No waste, no spoilage, no running out early. I also described the shift from cans and tins and frozen products to proper, sensible, grown up cooking with actual food and real ingredients.

So this will echo some of those sentiments.

The freezer is never full. We don’t eat a lot of frozen food though there is always THE EMERGENCY PIZZA, which is there JUST IN CASE. There is also THE BIG BAG OF ICE for the making of cocktails as well. Beyond that, the freezer sits bare, sometimes for weeks. We usually have some chips knocking around (as back up for THE EMERGENCY PIZZA, probably) but that’s really about it. Our shopping is ridiculously efficient and planned. We buy everything we need for the week, it all gets used accordingly, then we restock and start the merry-go-round again.

This is basically how our freezer looks all the time

The food shopping is conducted with military precision. We have THE LIST. THE LIST is divided into lunch items which we will use to make food for work, and dinners – our main meal each evening.  There is also a small section for drinks and a small section for household. All this relevant information fits onto a small square post-it note and is taken to the supermarket for the world’s fastest speed-shop. We divide our efforts and meet at regular intervals, checking off items and making our way to the bread aisle (always the back of the shop) in amazing time, getting more and more frustrated at the sketchy, gormless and blissfully unaware patrons blocking aisles with their trolleys, stopping to chat on every corner or staring in endless confusion at the choice of different pasta options on offer.

But however painful and unpleasant this frustrating experience might be, we get through it with astonishing speed. We aren’t given to much impulse buying either.  Occasionally, but it’s rare. Then we get to the checkout and pack our bags for life, which we remember every week, with remarkable haste.

And we spend so little.

Compared to our friends who apparently spend 70 to 100 pounds on their food bill every week, we spend more like 40. I don’t know why -  probably because we stick to the list and don’t impulse buy. That could be why – we end up with no additional items and no waste.

Personally, I think it’s because we don’t buy meat.  That saves a fortune.
Well, @superlative has some for his sandwiches, but we don’t buy it to cook for dinners and things, because of THE INCIDENT. But more on that another time.

Consequently, we are not very reliant on the freezer. It’s a bit of a back-up, but nothing sits there languishing within for months on end.

If it’s not part of the plan, it doesn’t get bought. If it IS part of the plan, it gets eaten within a couple of days.

Poor freezer. Like our toaster, he will never be allowed to reach his full potential.

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