I have a love/hate relationship with our chest freezer. I love that we can buy in bulk, that I can make meals ahead of time & have space to store them, that I can freeze produce when it is in season and that I have a nice deep freeze place to store my milk. But I hate trying to find things in it. We have had the freezer for about a year and up until now, the organization process for it was to toss items in, pack them down and hope we could find them later. More often than not, we forgot what was in there.
Case in point-- when I reorganized the chest freezer yesterday I discovered we had not one, not two, but THREE 5 lb bags of blueberries. Yeeeeeah.
So I was desperately looking for a way to organize the freezer. I didn't want to shell out for pricey freezer baskets and while I had seen pictures of people using plastic baskets to organize their freezers, I didn't want to do that because I know how brittle plastic gets in the deep freeze. Yesterday while I was up for a 3 am feeding, I Googled "organizing a chest freezer" which took me to a post on Living the Frugal Life. And then the heavens opened up and the angels sang and I nearly leaped from my bed to begin organizing!
Reusable shopping bags!! What a brilliant idea! I could organize the bags by type and when I needed something, I could just pull the item out and dig through the bag to find what I needed. That is MUCH easier than the full-scale archaeological dig that finding items in the freezer required previously! And this solution is cheap! Most grocery stores charge $1 for a reusable bag. My freezer can fit 4 filled bags, meaning that my freezer reorganization project cost a whopping $4!
Now I have a bag of meat, 2 bags of pre-made meals (both homemade and store bought), and a bag of dairy items. The freezer basket that came with the unit now houses Diesel's convenience dinners (for microwaving at work and eating while driving to school) and the little ledge under the basket holds my Ziploc bags of sauces (I lay them flat to freeze), breast milk and a few pints of "real egg." Our fridge freezer holds the bread products, fruits, veggies and dessert items, because they are our most frequently used items and they hold up to the open-close nature of the fridge freezer a little better.
I am so happy to have a nicely organized freezer for so little money! Huzzah!
(PS-- I'd post pics, but blogger seems to hate my laptop and doesn't play nice with photo posts. I have a large queue of blogs that I have written this summer, but haven't finished because I can't get the pictures to cooperate!)