February Use-It-Up Project a.k.a “Yikes, I used up my fridge!”


Now that we are starting to sort and clean so that we can put the house on the market, I’m even more determined to use up items, especially food items. I have a very large stockpile and only want to move the freshest food.  However, I do not want to wipe out my food storage entirely, so I am seeking balance in this project.   After a successful Use-It-Up project in January, I am encouraged to work even harder at it in February.

This past week, I targeted what I call “freezer #3.”  Unfortunately, sometime in the not-so-distant past, one of the kids got something out of this freezer and didn’t get it closed correctly.  Sadly, this happens more often than I’d like around here, so I have a habit of going past those freezers and pushing on every one daily, sometimes several times a day, to make sure the doors are shut.  Thankfully, because of this habit, I caught the problem in time to save everything, but ice had formed on many items as well as the shelves.  I’m trying to empty it all the way out and defrost it, then re-fill it with stuff from another freezer, clean that one, and so on until some are empty and all are clean.

Sadly, the refrigerator in the kitchen developed some problems as well this week.  When Rob was working on correcting that problem, he put a heater inside to thaw some ice that had formed and was about to stop the fan from working.   It melted the ice all right…..and part of the fridge!!!! It now looks like something from a science fiction movie inside and some of the plastic shelves on the door are either gone, or will never be the same.  Also, I am wondering if it is sealing properly anymore.  We put several hundred dollars into the fridge last summer for the same exact problem, and he thought he’d fix it himself this time.  It still works!  Whew!  The fan isn’t stopped by ice anymore!  That’s a bonus, but I really didn’t exactly mean to use up the refrigerator when I started this project:)  So, we used up the fridge, but will make out with it until after we move and will not take it with us.  If it becomes inoperable, we will just bring the one from the garage in and make do.    It’s been trouble for us anyway, but now it’s really a troubled fridge. But it works for now.  I guess I’d better get some more items up on e-bay.  My “fix-up-the-new-house fund” needs more money in it!

I dug out some frozen lemon loaf and I served it with dinner.  I used a small amount of corn fetuccini noodles and a small amount of spaghetti noodles, also corn.  I used them both on spaghetti night.  I used a bit of frozen basil in the spaghetti and a carton of frozen peas that were 2-3 years old.  I found some salad shrimp that I thawed, but they were so old that I gave them to the cats.  I took some old glass jars of lemonade and juice and let the kids have them.  On Lovana’s cooking night, she used cabbage from last summer’s garden (kept in garage fridge since then), frozen fish, and potatoes.  Rob used carrots, also still lingering from last summer.  I also got refried beans out twice from #3.  I also moved 2 hams out of there into other freezers, opening up more room.  Now, there is a lot of room in there and I’ll be aggressive about getting more out this week.

I thawed and served a large bowl of ham and bean soup for lunch yesterday when a friend came to visit for a few hours.  She lives 2 hours from my house and I don’t get to visit with her very often and it was nice to have a prepared meal so I didn’t have to stop visiting for one minute.

I thawed some old bread and will feed it to the pigs.  The kids continue to eat frozen berries and banana in their smoothies.  I keep serving canned fruit and using canned and frozen vegetables.

Lovana made pizza one day and successfully used up some pepperoni and Canadian bacon that were about 3 years old.  (I’ll frankly say she didn’t want to use them, I actually tasted them first, could tell they were fine, and forced her to use them.  She was assuming that because they were so old, they would be yucky, but they weren’t.)  She also used up a large amount of chocolate chips when I was not paying attention, making cookies that were extremely chocolaty.  I explained for the umpteenth time (she says she doesn’t remember hearing this) that we double the dough part with the same amount of chips so the chips stretch farther.  I’ve been trying to not micro-manage her cooking choices, but at this rate, we will not have any chocolate chips left for me to manage. I’ll have to say, though, the cookies were really good to eat.  I didn’t have to worry about forcing anyone to use them up!

I’ve been loving it when I just thaw something to eat when I’m busy sorting.  We are making progress, but it’s a huge job.  We got a huge bonfire going today, and burned a lot of trash.  Rob took a huge pile to a Kiwanas Thrift shop.  I sorted out  a lot of books that I hope to sell on E-bay.  I have some set aside for a homeschool used book store as well.

I had to buy matches this week, but that was all.  I need to figure out what else I may need, and get it.Otherwise, it’s wonderful to have that $50 sittiing there for another week when I may have additional needs beyond my lowered budget.  I’m excited to see how it goes.


4 thoughts on “February Use-It-Up Project a.k.a “Yikes, I used up my fridge!””

  1. Good thing you had an extra fridge in the garage. It sounds like your fund is coming along nicely. I like to decorate, so I am almost enviable of your move. All those new rooms to decorate!


    1. Oh, Jane, I wish you were going to be near me after my move, then. Decorating is something I wish I was good at, but have never really had the time to practice it much! With my crew, lots of things get broken constantly, so I basically have chosen utility over beauty many times. However, I have high hopes this time around, since this batch of girls is getting older.

  2. Yet another inspiring list of “use-it-up” foods. Sorry to hear about your fridge though. At least he was making an effort to save some money and fix it himself. Gotta give your husband some credit there! I’m really looking forward to reading another months worth of your “use-it-up” project.

    1. Thanks, Rhonda. I’m sure I might have been mad at some point in my life, but right now, it’s just funny. The fridge was constantly breaking and costing us money anyway, so now I have a chance to replace it with no guilt. I do appreciate him trying, he was not amused when this happened, he felt really, really bad. I figure that we both have so many “big” things on our minds to deal with, if that’s the worst thing that happens, we aren’t too bad off. It’s not everyone that can say their fridge looks like it lived through Indiana Jones and the Raiders Of the Lost Ark–you know, the scene at the end where everyone melts except Indiana Jones and his girlfriend? It’s a miracle it still works. Believe it or not, the side that escaped melting is now icing up again! Incredible!

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