15 Foods to Freeze that will Save Money
Freezing Tips (3:30) (This is not me for those wondering)
If you're like me, you are always looking for ways to save money. Freezing is a great way to reduce the amount of food wasted. I hate when I have to throw food away or when I don't finish something before it goes bad. In addition to reducing waste freezing can help you save money by buying food in bulk while in season or on sale.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about freezing. Mark what each item is. Over time it's easy to forget what you have. Marking what is in each bag/container makes planning easier. Put the date on each item. This helps you decide what to use first. Food lasts a long time in the freezer but not forever.
Listed below are some items you can freeze.
Grapes are not only sweet and delicious, but they have a multitude of health benefits. They are in season from early fall through first frost. This is when they not only taste best, but are less expensive. Grapes freeze well. Take them off their stems, wash them, and store in freezer bags in the freezer. When you are ready you can eat them straight from the freezer frozen or thawed. Frozen grapes can replace fresh grapes in every recipe as they retain their intense color and flavor and hold their shape when thawed.
2. Garlic Cloves.
Garlic is planted in the fall and is ready to harvest the next July. This is when the prices are lowest and when they are sold in large quantities. Fresh garlic makes a great seasoning and has quite a few medicinal qualities so it's good to have some in stock. To freeze garlic, peel and section the garlic into cloves then place into a freezer safe container. You can also chop or crush your garlic prior to freezing. It will be good for a full year. To thaw simply run under hot water or thaw on your counter.
3. Cookie Dough.
Our schedule gets very hectic just before holidays. It helps me to make the cookie dough about a month before the holidays and freeze it. You can also cook the dough and freeze the cookie, but I love eating frozen cookies and they don't last. If you have better self control than me this saves the most pre-holiday sanity to have the cookies completely finished. If you are like me and lack self control, you'll want to freeze just the dough, take it out of the freezer the day before you want to bake, then bake.
Corn is abundant late summer through fall. It is usually inexpensive and very sweet. Corn can be frozen in the cob or you can cut the kernels off. Even after frozen corn keeps its sweetness.
5. Potato chips.
Stores will often have great sales on chips. I see buy one get one free all of the time. That's the perfect time to stock up. Place the extras in the freezer so they don't go stale. They can be thawed when ready for them or you can eat them frozen. They are flavorful and crisp fresh from the freezer.
Avocados do best in warm weather and are often grown year round in warm climates. The best time for avocados is summer. To freeze, cut the avocado in half and remove seed. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Wrap in plastic wrap then place in freezer bag. They stay fresh for months.
7. Milk and Buttermilk.
If you are not going through your milk as fast as you'd like and are afraid it will go bad, freeze some! It is good for 6 months in the freezer. When you are ready to use just thaw and shake well. The same goes for buttermilk. Most recipes I make with buttermilk don't require a full container and I hate wasting what I don't use. Freezing what's left for next use is perfect!
8. Mint Leaves.
My neighbor planted mint leaves which have grown in abundance. She is very generous and shares large amounts with me. I love adding 2-3 mint leave to my morning tea. There is still more than I need left, so I pick the mint leaves, place in freezer bags, and freeze. They keep nicely and I still have mint to add to my tea in the winter.
9. Chocolate and Chocolate Chips.
I do most of my cooking with chocolate before holidays. There are great sales on chocolate year round. It's smart to take advantage and buy the chocolate when it's cheaper and keep in the freezer. Chocolate keeps longer this way and tastes fresher than storing in a cabinet.
Yogurt is delicious frozen. If you prefer it thawed you can still store in freezer until ready to use then thaw.
11. Cheese and Cream Cheese.
All cheeses can be frozen. Place in a freezer bag/container and thaw when ready to eat.
Butter can be frozen in its store packaging. Thaw when ready to use.
The kids always get way too much candy at Halloween and around the holidays. Rather than overindulging, tempting mom and dad who shouldn't be eating it, or wasting it by throwing out, freeze it and have small treats spread out over the next few months.
We go through a lot of ketchup, but if you don't you can fill an ice cube tray with ketchup, freeze, then use as needed.
Do you freeze leftovers?
15. Leftovers, and Meats.
My family does not like to eat the same meal two days in a row. Even if it's just one serving leftover, I freeze it. We will have a leftover night every few weeks. It's a nice, easy night that I don't have to plan and cook a meal.
I hope you've found these freezing tips useful. Please share in the comments below your favorite things to freeze.