I have talked about this before as a great way to stretch your food budget. It really is a great money saving move if you can do this.
Cook up a big pot of beans, a hearty beef stew, even a large package of chicken breasts the freeze at least half of what you cooked. You may even be able to split it into thirds and freeze two thirds in two separate containers so that you now have made three meals for the price of one!
This also cuts down on waste so you aren’t throwing out so much.
So here are 10 helpful tips for freezing.
- Purchase large packages of chicken and meat, cook it all then freeze it in recipe sized portions. In other words, if you get five pounds of ground beef, cook it all then freeze it in one pound portions.
- Use foil casserole dishes covered with foil then wrapped in plastic wrap instead of using your good casserole dishes to store casserole meals.
- Use freezer storage bags for storing meats, soups, beans, stews, just about anything. Leave as little air in the bags as you possibly can. When you put the bags in the freezer initially, lay them on the shelf but don’t stack them until they are frozen.
- Label everything you put in the freezer with the contents of the container (even if you can clearly see what it is when you put it in there) as well as the date. A sharpie is great for this task!
- Cool foods as quickly as possible before you freeze them. If the food isn’t cooled properly it won’t freeze evenly. Put the pan with the food in it in a pan of ice water. This will cool the food quickly. If it is a stew or soup stir it occasionally to help it cool completely.
- Set aside a Saturday afternoon to cook several meals to freeze.
- Double or triple your recipes and then you have several meals to freeze!
- When you prepare your meats, choose different types. For instance, cook chicken breasts and store some as whole breasts and some as pulled chicken. When you purchase a roast, cut some for steaks or stew meat in addition to a small roast. This gives you a feeling of having more variety.
- When you are freezing liquids in containers, leave a little room at the top for expansion as the food freezes.
- Have some awesome, budget friendly recipes to prepare, cook and freeze, like the ones found here: http://www.aturtleslifeforme.com/2011/06/freezer-meals-on-cheap.html
You can save a bundle on your grocery bill with just a little planning. Shop your sales, cook the meals that not only will you save money, you will save valuable time as well.