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AuntJamelle

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Unfortunately I think things are about to get "interesting" again at the stores...so many meat plants are closing due to workers falling ill that the supply is going to go way down. I read an article that they are killing 2 million chickens in Delaware and one other eastern state, I've forgotten which, and won't use the meat. They don't have enough workers to process them. :( And that is just those two areas!!!

Went to Meijer tonight and chicken area was pretty bare, some thighs and drums, that was it. There were plenty of bags of frozen chicken breasts so I got a couple of them.

But if you have room in the freezer and can buy meat now, I'd say do it. I'm sure there will be SOME available in the next several weeks but the price is going to go UP.

We just saw another article that the Tyson plant in Cass County (Indiana) has now shut down. 700+ cases among their workers!!!!
 

Minta

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Unfortunately I think things are about to get "interesting" again at the stores...so many meat plants are closing due to workers falling ill that the supply is going to go way down. I read an article that they are killing 2 million chickens in Delaware and one other eastern state, I've forgotten which, and won't use the meat. They don't have enough workers to process them. :( And that is just those two areas!!!

Went to Meijer tonight and chicken area was pretty bare, some thighs and drums, that was it. There were plenty of bags of frozen chicken breasts so I got a couple of them.

But if you have room in the freezer and can buy meat now, I'd say do it. I'm sure there will be SOME available in the next several weeks but the price is going to go UP.

We just saw another article that the Tyson plant in Cass County (Indiana) has now shut down. 700+ cases among their workers!!!!

This was on the news this morning. I went through our kitchen freezer and the chest freezer and took inventory of meats yesterday and told DH that we need to make a trip to the butcher in the next week or 2 to restock up.
 
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Holiday_Mom

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My brother called me on Sunday and mentioned the meat situation across the country wasn't looking good. I was going to do shopping next week but in light of the plants closing, I headed out today. I went to my local store and picked up a spiral ham, a package of drum sticks, a family pack of ground beef and a package of chicken breasts. They had frozen turkey breast on sale but that was all gone. (They finally had some frozen vegetables so I picked up 5 bags.)

Then I headed to another grocery store further away for London broil but they were out of it. The chicken area was wiped out too. I picked up hamburgers, another spiral ham and a ham shank.

After I got back I portioned out the one spiral ham and froze it. Then I cooked up the shank ham for dinner. I will cube the leftovers tomorrow as well as cut up the other spiral ham. I'll freeze the drumsticks for grilling. I'll let my children decide how to prepare the ground beef and chicken tomorrow.

I just organized the deep freezer a few weeks back but I think I'll go back and look at it again. I think it would be wiser for me to store only meats in there now and cut back on buying extra bread, fruits and vegetables to put in the freezer.
 

Minta

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The meat sections in the local grocery store has been pretty bare the past few days. I just placed a large meat order with the meat market we used. Just waiting to hear back from them when we can pick up since they are doing curb side pick up.
 

AuntJamelle

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DH tried to go to our fav butcher in a nearby town today and couldn't even get in the parking lot - line was insane, lots of people in no masks, standing way too close together. He came home and I'm glad he did!

I agree on using freezer for meats vs. bread/veg - I'm starting to make decisions on what stays/goes.

Took the turkey and two whole chickens out to thaw last night. Will roast, strip meat and freeze in bags, thus taking up much less space! I will make chicken stock from the bones - plus I can use two more bags of bones that are in freezer. Then I will can the stock this time instead of freezing it.

The freezer over bar fridge is not working well. Reorganized so only bags of flour and loaves of sliced bread are in there because that is all I trust it for at this point. But that made room elsewhere so it's something.

Went to Aldi on my lunch today (after DH's aborted trip) and got two small packs of chicken (limited to 2), 10 lbs of ground beef, 1 sleeve of frozen burger patties and 1 bag of frozen chicken nuggets.

Completely forgot to look for bags of frozen chicken breasts!!!!

Will try Sam's tomorrow on lunch...want to get more chicken nuggets and a bit more chicken breast if I can.

I've also been picking up cans of chicken meat - similar to how you buy cans of tuna - but it is chicken. Not my first choice but it could be used in casseroles, soups, etc. Or just make chicken salad maybe? And it saves on space in the fridge!
 
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Minta

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AJ - You might want to call the butcher to see if you can place an order over the phone or by email.

Our butcher (meat Market) is 45 minutes away and for the past month they have only been taking orders by phone/email. They give you a pick up date/time and you either pay by credit card over the phone or in exact cash at the time of pick up. When you get there you have to show the person outside your drivers license and they will go bring your order right out to your car. We have been eating out of the freezer a lot lately trying to use up the frozen pancakes/waffles/veggies/ice cream. Want to make as much room for meats as possible. I have a feeling I will be playing Tetris with the freezer once we pick up and bag up our order.
 

Ahorsesoul

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Dh went for some hamburger and Italian sausage at one of our stores. They were limiting amounts to 2 lbs each type. I wanted four pounds of each. He had to get 2 lds 92% and 2 lbs 85% ground beef. Then two different kinds of It Sausage. So I'm set for awhile.
 

Holiday_Mom

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Minta, I had to laugh about the Tetris comment. :)

AJ, I like the idea of getting chicken nuggets, etc. That would be a good way to switch up things down the road. I never think about frozen chicken or canned chicken. I'll have to look for that sometime.

I was just thinking if there are canned/boxed versions of beef and I thought about pepperoni and summer sausage, etc. I tend to get pepperoni in December for appetizers and summer sausage for use in pasta salads in the summer. I think I will get them next time I'm out. They would be "luxury items" along with chicken nuggets if things look bleak in the next few months.

I brought up some frozen soups from our basement freezer to the kitchen freezer. I have one batch defrosting in the refrigerator for a dinner this weekend. I have a number of containers with broth in the downstairs freezer. I have a number of beef bones and now two ham bones that I put in the freezer for future broth making sessions.

My dds and I worked on the getting the food cooked and/or frozen today. We browned half of the ground beef and made a batch of muffin size meat loaves with the other half. The chicken was frozen as is for the grill. I sliced and portioned out one ham and I have one more ham to cube and freeze. I'm setting aside some ham for my parents and dh's parents.
 

AuntJamelle

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AJ - You might want to call the butcher to see if you can place an order over the phone or by email.

I'll give it a try but I don't think this particular place does that - they are always busy - even during normal times - their prices are so great - but it's worth a shot! ;)

He had to get 2 lds 92% and 2 lbs 85% ground beef. Then two different kinds of It Sausage.

YES! I've noticed that getting just slightly different categories allows you to stretch the limits a bit. Like I got 2 packs of fresh ground beef AND a bag of frozen burger patties. Have to think creatively and do it ahead of time because standing there in the store - in mask and gloves - trying not to touch your face - is not the time to try and think of all that stuff!!! :eek:

I was just thinking if there are canned/boxed versions of beef and I thought about pepperoni and summer sausage, etc. I tend to get pepperoni in December for appetizers and summer sausage for use in pasta salads in the summer. I think I will get them next time I'm out. They would be "luxury items" along with chicken nuggets if things look bleak in the next few months.

Great ideas!!!! I do have a few packs of pepperoni, but should get some summer sausage on my next trip to Aldi!!!

I'm also going to pick up some frozen breaded chicken patties too for sandwiches...

I made up a double batch of Greek Lemon Chicken marinade and froze half of the chicken I just bought in that. The rest is waiting to be marinated in the morning for dinner tomorrow night.
 
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Minta

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Picked up my meat order from the butcher. Even after playing tetris with the chest freezer I could not fit all the chicken in there even after I gave some to extended family. Onto Plan B I boiled some to make chicken salad and then turned 4 split breast into jerky. Had the chicken marinading over night and now have 4 trays going in the dehydrator. Bright side is I will not have to worry about meats until summer.

I have just enough room in the freezer in the kitchen for 2 tubs of ice cream that I am picking up later today. Thankfully the local farm market I go just opened u this weekend so at least now I can start stopping there weekly for fresh veggies.
 

DahliaDoll

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I apologize if this has already been discussed, but I'm curious what methods you use to keep track of what you have in the freezer and what you may be running low on. That seems to have become an issue in our freezer. Thanks for your ideas!

Our freezer isn't large. We buy meat from Costco and divide it up for the freezer. When we are running low, we put it on the Costco list, but recently, we seem to run out before we realize we should have put it on the list, so we need a way to keep better track of it.
 
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missjane

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Tape a sheet protector on the outside of the freezer. Make a list of what you have and how many. Put it in the sheet protector. Each time you take out something, tick it off the list.

As you probably buy the same things repeatedly, you can list them on the sheet of paper which goes inside the sheet protector. Use an expo marker or wax pencil to mark the outside of the sheet protector...a hashtag for each item beside its name and a slash through it making an "x" when it's used.
 

DahliaDoll

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Thanks, Jane. That's about what I thought I'd try. I think I would need to have the list in the kitchen, though, because our freezer is out in the garage, and it's generally DH's job to go get what I need. I don't think I could rely on him to keep the list up to date. I guess I just need to get myself out there to organize it in the first place and get the initial inventory up and running.

We have plastic containers in the freezer on the shelves that are supposed to hold different meats ... hamburger, pork, etc. But if we get too much in one container, it can overflow to other areas, and there are items that just don't fit in them. It doesn't seem to stay tidy...
 

Ahorsesoul

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I use to use a dry erase board but haven't started keeping track since the move. I did try making some cards with each item on a card but that didn't work well for me.
 
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Holiday_Mom

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I browned up 5 lbs of ground beef. I picked up two packages of breaded chicken for sandwiches some night when we really need to switch things up.

When we are running low, we put it on the Costco list, but recently, we seem to run out before we realize we should have put it on the list, so we need a way to keep better track of it.

That's how we do things.
 

PamelaG

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Question for all my freezer experts out there - onions and peppers - do you bulk chop and then freeze in small portions for adding to sauces and casseroles, etc.? How do they freeze and thaw? I'd like to chop some for salads for sandwiches but I'm afraid that they might be mushy when they thaw and lose any crispness.
 

Ahorsesoul

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pepper and onions are soft when defrosted. You could fry them up when add to salads and sandwiches.
 
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