Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dinner? Freezer!

Wow! I found a tenderloin (lemon pepper!) in our HUGE freezer and thought, hey, I'll just pop this in the pressure cooker and have dinner in 30 minutes!

Now, please know, I am new to pressure cookers, so I'm still learning!! But I know this, anything is done fast, is moist and infused with the flavors you add! It's awesome! I threw a can of chick broth in the cooker (not digital), added a big pile of frozen brocc, carrots & cauliflower (bought from Sams a couple months back). I then removed the the tenderloin from the fridge where it had been defrosting all day. It was still partially frozen, which was perfect. I cut the meat into "slices" about 1/2 - 1 inch thick. I added about 1- 1/2 cups of instant brown rice on top of the veggies, then the pork. I added some honey mixed with hot water, some lemon, some more pepper, a dash or so of ginger (powder) and threw on the lid.

It was then I realized you are supposed to brown the meat! Ooops! See, new at this. You should do it in the pot you are cooking in, but it was full, so I quickly pulled out a fry pan, some olive oil and heated it up, fished the pieces out and quickly browned them. It was very quick, about 5 minutes. Back into the cooker. Sealed up, heated to high, then down to simmer for 9 minutes. I let it return to normal pressure on its own off the heat (about 8 minutes) then served. The rice and veggies were sort of soft, but the flavor was GREAT and the girls ate everything on their plates (miracle) and asked for seconds, then thirds!! Wow! Only Isabel declined, saying she was DONE. You can cook the meat and add quick cook items at the end, but I just wanted it all done at once and was willing to have softer veggies to do it! This time!

I have a big floor freezer that is FULL of hidden treasures I bought on sale the last 6-9 months... and it keeps forever in a deep freeze like ours, so I am lucky. Going into the challenge, if I just utilize all my stockpiles and add things that make meals (like the cheese/sausages, the ham, the Ragu from Walgreens) when I can get them cheap-o, then I think we can go far.

I have been buying alot lately, but the deals are remarkable and they may not be here next month! Plus, the deals come and go, so it is great to have things when the sales go dry. That is why a monthly amount would be harder for us, it doesn't have that wiggle room to stock up when deals are good. If your budget is $200 a month for food, and you find chicken on sale for .59lb and you LOVE chicken and cooking with it, you should get all you can safely freeze, store and use! If you don't have a stand alone freezer, I HIGHLY recommend one for people who shop like this. If you have the space and can find a good deal, you will be amazed at not only how much longer things last in a deep freeze than the regular freezer attached to your fridge, but also at how much you can save by stocking up on sale items because you have a place to store them. You can also save TIME! Less grocery trips (maybe!), you can cook several meals at once and FREEZE for later in the week, month or whatever. If you have freezer room to store these things, it is such a blessing!

Stay warm!
Warmly (of course),
Tracey C.
$992.84 left in budget


  1. -I sent you a message on your yahoo group. I just found the comment you left on an older post of mine.

  2. Your dinner sounds delish!!

    I agree with you on having a standalone freezer. When DH and I were first married, a friend gave us their old freezer. We had a garage, so it was great. When our landlord sold the townhouse, we moved to an apartment and that freezer went with us. People laugh that we have had it in our bedroom in some places, but we kept that baby until it was on its last legs. Then we bought a brand new one! All our kids have moved out, so the freezer has it's own room now in our current apartment. LOL! It really lets us stock up on deals.

  3. You are right! I am going to rethink the weekly amount ($50) and think of an anual amount and subtract (and add survey money freebie GC's etc)because I have been missing out on some awesome deals,,,and I will oose out in the long run.
    So $50 a week would be $2600- $150 (3 wks already) is $2400 canadian. So I am going to start there! Thanks.

  4. Hey ladies! Hi Laurie, glad you joined us at our frugal yahoo group. Any frugal ladies can join if they want to save! We are at:

    Anyway, YES YES YES!!! Freezer! We have a HUGE one that a friend of our GAVE to us! (OH the BLESSINGS!) He has a restaurant and had many he used for stocking his sandwiches in convenience stores. When his biz quit doing that side of the biz, he gave us one. It is AWESOME and I'm always telling my husband how happy that durned freezer makes me!! And I'm totally serious!

    BCholly, you gotta do what you think is right, but I think stocking up with things you can USE (who needs to spend $50 to get 100 packs of little debbies for .50c on clearance? (where?? where???, just kidding), is what makes this work so well. I think you will be happier too! :)

  5. I love when things like that work out. I adore my chest freezer. I moved some things around the other day and discovered like 20lbs. of meat! My husband hunts and he didn't get anything this year and I thought we were out of everything from last year, then TA-DA, there it is.

    I'm using an annual budget as well as right now I don't have a great stockpile.

  6. I recently started menu planning. So the first thing I did was take an inventory of my freezers. I was absolutely amazed at how much meat I had stocked!!! (I know how you feel.) It was like finding hidden treasure! Chest freezers really are wonderful things.

    Good luck with your budget!!!



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