Wednesday, 9 May 2018

A Disastrous Dinner

About 6 weeks ago I was in a local supermarket just as a staff member was putting reduced stickers on a few packages of meat.  I waited until he had finished before I pounced to grab a few bargains.  One of them was a packet of Barramundi fish. Although it was still a bit on the expensive side ( for us ),  I thought it would be a lovely treat that I knew Darren would certainly enjoy.

Because I already had dinner sorted for that night,  I popped the fish into the freezer to be eaten at a later date.  That later date was last week.  I had the veggies and rice  cooking,.  The zucchini slice was in the oven and it was time to start cooking the Barramundi.  As it was cooking in the pan,  I thought I'd better check the packet to make sure I was doing it right.  In very small print at the bottom of a fair bit of writing was the dreaded words ' Do Not Freeze '. I'm assuming this means the fish was bought into the store frozen and then defrosted on the shelf.

I couldn't believe it.  That very important piece of information was so obscure most people wouldn't notice it.  With the rest of the meal ready to serve,  I panicked.  I didn't have any other meat defrosted or easy to cook within minutes.  So Darren said he'd pop up to the supermarket to get a cooked chicken.

Ten minutes later I get a phone call from Darren.  He informed me there were no cooked chickens available.  I panicked again.  Then I remember another frugal mum saying that Coles offers a free chicken at a later date if none are available between the hours of 9am - 8pm.  Darren was there right on 8pm.  So I passed this piece of info on and suggested he quickly find someone to help him.  He was able to get the voucher but it still didn't help me serve a complete dinner.

I asked Darren to grab any piece of meat that was under $10 a tray but secretly hoping it was much cheaper.  He came home with a tray of beef sizzle steaks for just under $10  There were six on the tray and although they were small,  eating two each  would be a costly meal.  By now I could see money going down the drain and I was trying to stop the flow.  The other elements of the meal had cooled,  gone soggy or over cooked.  NOT MY FINEST HOUR  !!!

There has to be a moral to this sad story.  After all,  I  always try to help you save money.

Don't buy reduced  meat unless you've read the fine print on the packet.


Don't buy reduced bakery items unless you've read the fine print.  Many bakery item are also bought into the store frozen then defrosted on the shelf.

Not all items are suitable for freezing even though they usually would be.

At the time I wrote this post,  I'm waiting for Coles to get back to me regarding a refund.  Of course they want me to return the packaging for a refund.  Of course I threw it out but Darren did take photos and I went them to Coles.

Look how small the warning is.


  1. Hi Wendy,

    I did the same thing but with prawns, although I didn’t see that fine print until I was cleaning up and they had been eaten. And so I waited to see if Hubby and DS15 would get sick, nothing.
    I’m not advocating that it’s okay to refreeze and eat , but that the print needs to be more visible.

    Hope the steak was yummy, xxx

  2. I know lamb is not always cheap, but I serve lamb chops with zucchini slice and salad. Keeps the meat eating man happy.
    You were very lucky to spot the no freeze warning and I hope you get your refund.

  3. Wendy I had no clue to look for that on the label. I bet that happens everywhere. So sorry this happened to you but thanks for letting us know.

  4. I think I would have given it a good sniff and feel, and if it smelt Ok, and didn't feel slimy, I would have eaten it. I often eat things way past their use by date, and we've never been sick, there is probably minimal risk, they likely have to put that on the label for legal reasons. Anyway it was obviously annoying, I hope you get a refund. Agreed the writing should be in large print.

  5. Oh how upsetting. I hate it when we are trying our best to save money only to have things go pear shaped. Thanks for the warning. They often do this with chicken products as well

  6. I had the same thought on Tuesday, I had bought the same brand but of salmon marked down at Coles. I decided to eat it the same night, totally delicious. I often buy markdowns with the intentions of freezing and do look for do not freeze labels, fish being the riskiest. Hope you have better luck next time. Erin

  7. I just knew you were going to write about rotten We bought some frozen fish on sale and when we thawed it out, we almost got sick from the smell!!! I tried to get my dad to take it back to the store, but he wouldn't. He tried to feed it to his dog, who wouldn't eat it!!!!!! My dad.... he's a special case. :-)

  8. I once went into a fishmongers to buy some prawns. She offered me some that were in the window that had come out of their freezer and were semi-defrosted. She got very argumentative when I said that I didn't want them, since I wanted to pop them in the freezer as soon I got home. As she couldn't see the problem, I decided to take my money elsewhere! Tracy

  9. You win some, you lose some. Hope you get your refund so It isn't a total lost

  10. I had no idea about the chicken vouchers. Is that only in Queensland or all states? Several times I've gone to buy a roast chicken only to find that there were none available.

  11. Not good. I don't ever buy marked down seafood or chicken as you just never know..... I usually have frozen cooked sausages in the freezer for just these types of occasions, when everything goes pear shaped. Easy to grab a few out, defrost and heat up quickly.

  12. I do check for the 'do not freeze' notice. If the meat is on a great sale, I ask for frozen packages. Once, my friend and I bought chicken in the boxes as they came into the store and took them home, still frozen, and stuck them straight into our freezers.


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