Make the Most of Your Freezer

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

Most people’s freezers are under-utilized. Far more than just a place for frozen dinners, ice cream, and the ice maker, your freezer can be a money and time-saving tool that helps you waste less of your food each week and enjoy seasonal items all year long.  Here are some tips on how to best utilize your freezer and start saving money now.

Keep it neat, keep it clean
An overly frosty freezer isn’t just a waste of energy, it’s a waste of space, so defrost and clean out your freezer regularly. If your freezer has limited shelving, consider adding shelves of your own. If you have enough space, use plastic baskets to separate items into categories. When hand-freezing leftovers, be sure to label and date them with a permanent marker so there are no more mysteries.  Rotate older items to the front and newer items to the back so you’re less likely to have to throw anything out.

Freeze Properly
Freezing is pretty basic, right? Beyond throwing something in a container and hoping it tastes all right when you thaw it out in a few weeks, there are a few ways to ensure optimal preservation. First of all, use freezer-friendly bags and containers. You can sometimes get away with using other containers, but will lose more food to frost burn and funky odors.  Save space by flash freezing, the method of laying items out flat on a baking sheet or other surface and placing them in the freezer until they’re frozen individually.  This way items lay and stack better and are easier to retrieve in smaller portions.

Freeze instead of throw

If you get smart about freezing items in peril of spoiling, you’ll save a ton of money. Even a small amount of something can come in handy for recipes or one-person meals at a later time, so don’t discredit anything. Produce of all kinds freezes incredibly well. Most is best stored by chopping and flash freezing, although bananas can be frozen right in the skin, microwaved to thaw, and squeezed into a smoothie or sweet bread recipe. You may be surprised at the following list of items you can safely freeze:

  • Milk, eggs, cheese, rice, pasta, sauces, salty snacks (to preserve freshness), flour, dough, breads, herbs, pie, fruits and vegetables

…and more! If you’re not sure if you can freeze something, look it up on the Internet. There’s sure to be a a how-to article or video somewhere.

Freeze Creatively
The freezer can not only save you from wasting food; it can save you time. Have you ever considered marinating meat ahead of time and placing it in the freezer, or freezing sandwiches for work? A few other ideas are to save vegetable scraps and meat drippings to throw in soups, prepare herbs and pesto in ice cube trays, and freeze batches of cookie dough.  Freezing is a great way to save preparation time during the busy work week; it just requires thinking ahead. If you’re really serious, there are even classes available where people can spend a day cooking and freezing weeks worth of meals for their family.

Freeze to Take Advantage of Sales
We’ve all had moments we’ve spotted a good sale but didn’t think we could use that much before it spoiled. Freezing food allows you more freedom to take advantage of sales without being wasteful. This in turn will allow you to utilize your coupons and sales ads to their maximum advantage. And, since a full freezer allows it to work more efficiently, you’ll save even more money on your energy bill.

Take a look at your freezer. If it’s not organized and full, you might not be using it to its best advantage.

Bonus Tip:

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