The Double Freezer Challenge

Written by The Tembas on December 8th, 2008

After Esther was born my mom moved in for three weeks to help us transition into parenthood. It was great – a custom practiced around the world that has been often neglected in the States. On her first day in our home she quickly decided we did not have enough freezer space. She was right, of course. This problem was compounded by the fact that I cooked a huge pot of Mtori (a Tanzanian soup women eat post-delivery) and loaves of zucchini bread during my nesting phase. With a visit to she ordered us a half-chest freezer and Julius picked it up that day. It was fabulous. Relatives brought meals to stock it along with many trips to Costco and Trader Joes. By October we realized that things had gotten out of hand. Our freezers were both full and we were eating mostly out of the fridge! Thus, our freezer challenge.

Starting in October we decided that we would do no more grocery shopping until both freezers were emptied of food. The only things we were allowed to buy were condiments, milk, eggs, flour for bread and satsumas (they only come once a year and we need to eat them while they are in the stores). It turned out to be a lot more food than we thought. Now we are coming into mid-December and we have about a week and a half worth of food left. We have wittled it down to two packages of chicken, a severly freezer burned piece of salmon (hopefully no more than nine months old), a mexican dish from my cousin, vegetarian chili, shrimp scampi and tail-on shrimp. We also agreed to try and use all the dry goods in the cupboard so we have been eating a lot of beans, curry, coconut milk and rice. I even made a dessert out of the sweet sticky rice that I bought by mistake at the Asian grocery.

It has been a great challenge that has saved us a lot of money on groceries. I, however, am most looking forward to the shopping sprees that we will take to Cash and Carry, Costco and Trader Joes when it is finally over.


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