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I had a turkey from 2004. And 2006.


If you follow me on Instagram (which you totally should! We have a lot of fun over there.), you already know that this week, I defrosted my chest freezer.

Kristen @thefrugalgir

(Remember when I bought this freezer?   And remember how dreadful my old one was? I completely forgot about the leaking rusty water until this morning.)

I don’t think that I’ve ever actually defrosted it in the 6 years we’ve owned it.

I’d feel bad about that, but the frost buildup actually wasn’t super-duper out of control.   I must have a good freezer!

Anyhoo, I took EVERYTHING out, poured hot water down the sides, got rid of all the ice, dried it out, and put things back.

During the defrosting process, I uncovered three (3!) turkeys.

freecycle turkeys

I remember getting them free at my grocery store for several years (holiday promotions, I think!) but since we have family in the area, I never cooked them at the holidays, and they just kind of sat in my freezer untouched.

The turkeys were from 2004-2006.



So, they predate my blog (and my food waste obsession) by several years.

At this point, I didn’t want to thaw and cook them.

I mean, I’m sure they’re safe to eat but I feel like the juiciness levels might be a tad compromised by this point, so

I could see myself cooking them and then trying to figure out what to do with a ton of not-delicious turkey.

Sooo, I listed ’em on freecycle, and sure enough, someone came to pick them up within 30 minutes.

Perhaps they’ll make pet food?   Or broth?

I dunno.

But I do know that I love freecycle. I’m so happy to be rid of the turkeys!

While most of the stuff in my chest freezer was a-ok, there were a few things I couldn’t save.

chest freezer waste

Some of those veggies had just been frozen for WAY too long, and I remember that sausage being not-delicious when I bought it in a bulk pack several years ago.

(At which point I sensibly froze the rest of it, because of course sausage becomes much more delicious after sitting in a freezer for 3 years. #protip)

The ricotta cheese container?   Let me zoom in on that for ya.

2009 ricotta

Yup.   It says 2009.   Which means it’s been in the freezer almost as long as I’ve owned the freezer.


Most of my freezer waste was able to be composted, so there’s that. And now my chest freezer is delightfully organized, plus I know exactly what’s in it.

On to my fridge….

I did my usual freeze-all-the-extra-fruit-thats-about-to-go-bad thang….

freezer fruit for smoothies to avoid waste

And I found some elderly chicken hiding in the back of the fridge.

bad chicken

So, this was a little bit of a sad week, because I threw away two meat products.

But on the upside (because you know there is always an upside!), I did freecycle three huge birds.

And considering how long it had been since I thoroughly cleaned out my chest freezer, I feel pretty happy that my waste wasn’t more!

I did discover that I have a small excess of cranberries…

extra cranberries

But not as many as that time I blogged about the scarcity principle and cranberries.

I have three whole bags and two partial bags, which isn’t that bad.   I can totally use that up by making some cranberry bread and cranberry sauce.

And maybe a pan of pineapple cranberry bars are in order as well.


So.   What’s up in food waste news for you?   Any 11 year old turkeys surfacing at your house??   😉

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Thursday 1st of October 2015

Oh, I'm so glad you shared cleaning out your freezer - just yesterday, I was thinking of cleaning out mine (and my refrigerators (yes, plural) and pantry...) since who knows how long certain things have been in there, and buying bins to better organize since I've been seeing many videos of bloggers who are doing just that with bins/containers of all sizes. At first, I thought taking up 'space' in fridge or freezer with plastic containers was hogging a lot of premium real estate, but when I can't find something and it becomes cluttered in there, I think I'm at the point of giving it a try. Have you used containers for that (or in the pantry)?


Thursday 1st of October 2015

I do have containers for my spices, which is a total lifesaver. And I use some plastic containers on my laundry room shelf, which is really the only place in my house that is kind of like a pantry.

Keeping things organized so you can see them is half the battle against food waste, I think!


Wednesday 30th of September 2015

I have to tell you that I laughed so hard (in sympathy, of course) when I read this post. Naturally, sausage that is distasteful when it's hot and fresh is going to improve with three years' freezer burn - of course. I presently have sausage in my freezer in the same state of icy banishment. Time to pitch it.


Wednesday 30th of September 2015

Oh, I wouldn't even have minded if you laughed AT me. I was laughing at my own ridiculousness. ;)


Saturday 26th of September 2015

OK and one more thought I just have to share. Don't know if anybody out there ever got into the TV show Northern Exposure, but it's set in Alaska, and there's an episode where Dr. Fleischman stumbles upon a woolly mammoth that's somehow miraculously been preserved fully intact in the permafrost. But by the time he gets back to the scene with someone from the local university, Walt, the backwoods trapper, has found the thing and is busy grilling it up for a BBQ.

Anyhow, this post totally reminded me of that! :-)


Saturday 26th of September 2015

You have NO idea how much better you've just made me feel about my own chest freezer. I inventoried mine a few months ago and have been working on eating through everything - or at least enough so I can defrost it. My most exciting find was 14 pounds of cheese (hey - it was on sale) and one ancient jar of some sort of Asian black bean sauce that I didn't like - so naturally I froze it rather than tossing it - because, you know, prolonging the guilt makes it so much better, doesn't it? (she says with heavy sarcasm.)

But I have a serious question for you - those little divider things look really cool, and it seems like it would make it easier for things to not get lost into the void. Did they come with your freezer or can you buy them separately?


Saturday 26th of September 2015

Yeah, they just came with my freezer! I love them, though.


Saturday 26th of September 2015

This is why I don't have a chest freezer. I have a hard enough time with the regular freezer. It getting full is sometimes the only reason I defrost stuff.

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