I’ve set myself a challenge to use up all the meat in the freezer and then go veg for a month to see how it feels. I usually do a menu plan a month at a time, but in order to use up all the meat in there, I’ve had to do a 7-week meal plan! That will cover April 1 to May 19.
I just have a fridge-top freezer that is about 6 cubic feet. I took stock and here is what I found:
Frozen vegetables: string bean/carrot mix, peas, green beans, lima beans x 4 (we looove lima beans, no kidding, and they are hard to find so we stock up), mixed cubed veg, spinach, brussels sprouts/cauliflower mix, sweet potato fries
Frozen fruit: wild blueberries, raspberries (both used in yogurt and muffins), mango, leftover bananas for banana bread, leftover cranberry sauce, orange juice concentrate for recipes
Misc: 3 store-bought pizza crusts, packaged perogies, ice cream, freezies, spaghetti sauce (in bags), tortellini, leftover green curry paste, frozen evaporated milk (no idea if this freezes well), 1 serving fish chowder (surprised to find this does freeze well)
On door (not shown): hot dog buns, hamburger buns, bread
Meat (in white bin):
- 18 dinner sausages bought at Costco (9 meals for 2)
- local kielbasa (1 serving)
- local pepperoni (enough for 1 pizza)
- bacon (1 meal for 2)
- leftover meatballs (1 serving)
- 1 whole cleaned trout (my dad raises trout in a fish pond)
- 1 pkg sole (1 meal for 2)
- 1 pkg salmon (3 servings)
- 1 pc haddock (1 serving)
- 2 large pork chops (1 meal for 2)
- leftover ham (1 meal for 2)
- 1/2 a ham steak (1 serving)
- 2 hamburgers (1 meal for 2)
- 8.5 oz ground beef (will use for chilli)
- 4 chicken breasts (2 meals for 2)
- 6 oz leftover roast beef (will use in a recipe for 2)
- 3 oz leftover pork roast (1 hearty sandwich)
- 2 chicken strips
We usually only have sausages once a month so I have no idea if we can tolerate having sausages 9 times in 7 weeks, LOL! If not, we’ll have to give them away or extend the meat meals to the end of May!
Here’s the background on the attached meal plans:
- On Sundays Rom and I always have eggs for lunch, and we go to my parents’ place for dinner.
- The rest of the week, we pack our own lunches for work, and have dinner together at home.
- Any outside commitments are marked on the calendar – I work or have meetings occasional evenings – and we arrange our own dinners those days.
There are lots of things going on in April: my mom traditionally makes fish cakes (from salt cod and potatoes) on Good Friday, and she does a big Easter meal for the extended family. We are going to a concert April 13 (Sarah Slean performing with the symphony, yes!) so will have dinner out after work. On the 14th, we won an auction to participate in a homemade Indian dinner for 8, yes! I have had a craving for samosas as well, so I scheduled them in later. And we are going to a potluck dinner at the end of the month, and only have to contribute a vegetable dish – easy!
In May I will have everyone over for a Mothers Day dinner (North American Mothers Day on the 13th) – no, I won’t feed them sausages 🙂 For my nephew’s birthday, we usually go out for Chinese buffet. And I will take Rom out for his birthday wherever he wants to go.
Keeping all that in mind, I made up the meal plan by:
- scheduling sausage meals/recipes once a week – again, no idea if we can really do this 🙂
- scheduling all the rest of the meat and fish to be used up
- filling in any gap days with veggie meals
and you can bet I will be eating vegetarian lunches every single day!
If you’ve ever been in this situation (using something up in a short period of time), I would welcome advice! Of course, I could always save some of the sausages for a month or two hence when we are tired of being vegetarian – but who knows, maybe we won’t be?
Blank menu plan template found here: