Save Money By Stockpiling & Freezing These 10 Foods
Maximizing the use of your freezer is a great way to stockpile foods and save money but you are not limited to bagged vegetables and raw meats there are many foods that can be frozen to take advantage of sale prices. Dairy products and fresh produce are great when they go on sale but these prices can fluctuate greatly throughout the year.
Read here about how to freeze these 10 foods to save you money and help you maximize the use of that freezer. Now we all know that we can freeze stock soups and bread dough (or baked bread) but what about cheese, eggs, rice and cream cheese? Read on to learn about these easy tricks to freezer mastery!
Berries and Bananas
Sure you can buy bags of frozen fruit but when those great seasonal sales start at the store you can buy large quantities of berries and bananas at really low prices that beat that freezer bag and no added sugar or berry clumps. Can't beat the idea of better quality and a better price. These frozen fruits are wonderful to have on hand all year for muffins, cereal and smoothies!
Bananas: Slice the banana and dip in lemon juice to prevent browning and freeze in a freezer bag or container and you can have these ready to go anytime. Bananas should be used within 3 months of freezing.
Berries: Load up on all types of berries when the sales hit then simply wash and thoroughly dry them. Place them on a cookie sheet or sheet pan and freeze individually then store in a freezer bag for great looking and tasting berries whenever you need them. These are great for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Again, like the fruit I know that you can find bags of frozen vegetables in the store at good prices but nothing beats the fresh flavor of vegetables straight from the garden farmer's market or produce section. When these vegetables are in season and those sale prices kick in stock up and freeze them for peak freshness flavor all year.
Vegetables: Wash, chop and blanch the vegetables to remove any bacteria then dry them. Freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet then store in bags or containers and they are ready for any recipe you need. These can last up to 18 months.
BONUS: Check out the video below for some great and easy freezer smoothie combos to have ready to blend!
Freezer individual portions of rice is a great time saver as well as money. Rice is a pretty good price anytime but when you can buy it in the large bags the price is even better and you can easily store this uncooked, however, you can save a lot of time when you have it pre-cooked and portioned.
Rice: Just cook your rice as you normally would just undercook by about 5 minutes and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Then scoop it into 1 cup servings and store in individual bags for whenever you need them. Then, just microwave for 3 minutes and it will finish cooking as it heats.
I love to cook several types of rice and have them in the freezer and I can put together a quick meal without the mess and wait of cooking a full pot of rice. The kids love to have this heat up and add a little milk, cinnamon and sugar as well for a quick snack!
Now I know you can freeze soups and find large bags of soups in the store but if you have a picky family or busy group then you know that small batches of soups are a great handy and convenient option to have on hand. This freezer trick is a great way to maximize making large batches of your family's favorite soups and then freezing them in individual sizes so everyone can have what they want and when they need to have it ready.
Soup: The trick to making this really easy is to cook a large batch of each soup and then ladle it into muffin tins and freeze. Once solid remove the little soup muffins and store in labelled freezer bags.
These will heat easily and more evenly and you can have a little, or a lot, of your favorite homemade soup ready whenever you want.
The next time your local grocery store has one of those amazing egg sales (or you have your own chickens) you will be set to take maximum advantage and save big money! Freezing eggs works if you are going to use the eggs in baking, cooking or even as scrambled eggs or casseroles. In my family we almost always use eggs in these ways so this trick has been a great money saver for us.
Eggs: Always use fresh eggs to freeze. After cracking eggs into a bowl and whisking together you need to add either 1 1/2 tablespoons of light corn syrup or sugar or 1/2 teaspoon of salt per 1 cup of eggs. This addition will prevent the eggs being grainy when thawed. Whether you use the sugar or salt will depend on whether you will be using that batch of eggs in baking or for a savory dish. Pour the mixed eggs into ice cube trays and freeze and then store in freezer bags or containers.
For reference, each cube is equal to a half of an egg. You can also separate the eggs and freeze the whites and yolks separately if desired. To defrost, remove the number of cubes you need and place in the refrigerator the night before and you will be ready to cook or bake the next day. These can be stored for up to 1 year!
This is a great trick to take advantage of grocery deals on sour cream. The texture of the sour cream will change slightly after freezing and resemble cottage cheese so this is not the best plan for using on potatoes or tacos but the flavor is exactly the same so is perfect for cooking and soups.
Sour Cream: This might be one of the easiest freezer items! Open the container and whip well in container with whisk. Replace the lid, label with date and freeze.
This will last six months in the freezer and can thawed in the refrigerator easily overnight.
This is one of my favorite things to freeze and it is so easy as well! I usually do this around the holidays when there are really great sales on baking ingredients.
Cookie Dough: This is pretty straight forward and easy to do. Mix up your favorite cookie recipe, or recipes, and then scoop them in balls and freeze on a cookie sheet for a couple of hours. Then, store them in freezer bags or container and you are ready to bake as few or as many as you need and no need to defrost just bake and eat.
You can also freeze the dough in a log shape and wrap in plastic then foil for sliced cookies. This works with all types of cookies and can be a great way to have a home baked cookie quickly and easily.
This is a great freezer trick for saving on cheese. The prices of cheeses can be a little staggering but when you can buy the cheese from a bulk store you don't have to worry about not being able to use the cheese before to goes to waste.
Cheese: You can freeze cheese either in blocks or shredded depending on how you intend to use it after freezing. The texture will change some so this is best for cheeses used in soups and cooking. If freezing a block wrap in double plastic wrap, then foil and then in a freezer bag. For shredded just shred the cheese and store in a freezer bag or container until ready to use.
This will extend the life of the cheese up to 3 months and ensures you being able to take advantage of the bulk price and not worry about it spoiling.
This is another one of those dairy items that can get expensive quickly but does have some great sale prices or the ability to buy in larger quantities at a bulk/warehouse store.
Cream Cheese: All you have to do to store this item is keep it in its original packaging and then wrap it in plastic and foil before freezing. This is best stored in the middle of the freezer and will last 3 months.
You can defrost the cream cheese and then whip before use and you are ready to add cream cheese to anything you need.
Herbs and Lemon Zest
Fresh herbs have so much more flavor than the dried version in jars but so often you buy the fresh and then don't use it all before it spoils. Save yourself the worry and enjoy the flavor of fresh herbs by freezing them easily. The same is true with lemon zest whenever you find lemons, or limes, on sale you can easily juice the fruit and freeze that but also zest the fruit ad freeze this for adding quick flavor to salads, soups and other dishes.
Herbs: Wash, dry and chop (if desired) then freeze on a cookie sheet and store in a freezer bag. You can also mix herbs with water or oil, or make a pesto, and freeze in ice cube trays and then store in bags.
Lemon/Lime Zest: After juicing lemons or lime use a fine grater to zest the lemons or limes and store in a freezer bag for easy use.
Herbs will last six months in the freezer and the zest will last a full year.
When you stock your freezer with these great items you can save money and time as well as enjoy fresh tasting foods all year long. There are many other foods that can be frozen such as bread dough, baked bread or rolls, milk and cooked chicken. All of these will make meal prep faster and easier and can help you save money by purchasing items in bulk. Get organized and put that freezer to work!