20 January 2007

Schedule when to use your freezer leftovers

I have an allergy to cooking on the weekend. We scrounge and manage just fine as long as "cooking" is limited to "heating." Hence why I love Chris's hack:

Here's a hack to help you remember to use all those great leftovers you put into your freezer. Set up a reminder in your calendar to use them on a specific day.

Click through for details.

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This goes perfectly with my "What's for dinner?" Google calendar hack - we've set up a shared google calendar to use for meal planning - my husband no longer asks me what's for dinner while I'm in the middle of things at work, and it helps with figuring out the week's meals before I go to the store. It's also great just for keeping track of ideas - when I see recipes I want to try I put it on the calendar a few weeks away.

Heh, it's the little things... I started a "Food" calendar in my Google Calendar account several months ago, with the intention of using it to keep track of things I cook for supper and also to schedule meals in advance - for example, if I see a new recipe that I'd like to try, I'll mark it in the calendar for a few days from now so I can have time to get the ingredients. I haven't really been great at doing either of those things with it, but at least it's there if I can ever get organized enough to use it properly. :)

But I never thought of using it to schedule use of leftovers. I'm going to have to try that next time I freeze something. Thanks for a great idea!

Not at all to be contrary, but we tend to cook more on the weekend -- especially Sunday -- when we have more time, and then use leftovers during the week or freeze them for future weeknight dinners.

I keep a clipboard next to the freezer and mark the date I put in the item. I label the item along with the number of servings. Lastly I mark the time I think it is good for. Then each week we print out a calendar of events and decide how many meals we are going to prepare for the week. We usually limit ourselves to four. This is because we always have leftovers or something comes up where we are out and need to stop for food. If not we can just pull out some left overs. If we see we are going to have a busy week, we decide to use a frozen meal. Typically I make twice as much as we need for most meals, freezing the rest. This keeps us well stocked.

We tried to go the Meal Plan route, it workedfor a bit and then the creeping sidetracks wrecked it. Doing a big cook/freezing go on the weekend works best for us at this time.

Even still there are days when nothing we have prepared sounds good and/or the fridge is a little too full of odds and ends, this is when we pull off a Fridge Cleaning Surprise. We have come up with some darn tasty meals this way.

We have also found having a regularly scheduled shopping day helps keep us both on track to have the needed basics on hand but also to know when to do a Fridge Cleaning Surprise night since nothing is such teh suck as putting away groceries into a fridge strewn with odd bits.

My aunt calls it a "Musgo" meal. Everything in the freezer Must Go.

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