At the last workshop I had a request to post some freezing and food storage tips. After all, if you’re going to buy lots of food at rock-bottom prices, you need a place to put all of it, and you want to make sure it doesn’t go bad. Here’s a few basic freezer tips that I use:
- Use storage bags specifically designed for freezer use. I used to think this was just a ploy to get you to buy freezer bags which are slightly more expensive, but after a few times of freezing things in regular food storage bags, I realized the food in the regular bags got freezer-burned a lot faster.
- Take pizzas out of their boxes to maximize space in your freezer. I don’t have a deep freezer and my refrigerator is a side-by-side, so I don’t have a lot of freezer space. My husband suggested taking pizzas out of their boxes in order to create more room. Totally amazing idea – you can fit twice as many pizzas in the same amount of space. Write the cooking instructions on the plastic wrap so you know how to cook it. Personally, I just remember that most pizzas cook at 400 º for around 27 minutes. I always have to cook them longer than recommended anyway (is it the altitude?) so I don’t bother writing down the instructions and just keep a close eye on it.
- Keep a freezer inventory so you actually know what’s in the freezer. This doesn’t have to be long and drawn out, and indeed, I only do it at certain times (such as when our third baby was born and I wanted Jeremy to know what was in the freezer). Just keep a paper on your frig with a list of what’s in there, and cross it off as you use it and add things to the list as you put them in.
- Use your freezer space wisely. I learned this last year when Safeway was having a great sale on hotdogs, sausages, and buns. I was getting hotdogs and sausages for 50 ¢ and I think the buns were about 25-30 ¢. I wanted to stock up some buns for all the hotdogs, so I filled the freezer with bread that subsequently got freezer burned and I had to throw out. Dumb idea. I was only saving about 60-75% on the buns and at least 80% on the meat, so I should have stockpiled more meat since it was a better savings (and freezes much better).
- Mark your food so you know what it is. Honestly, this goes without saying. Of course, that doesn’t mean I actually do it. I have super-duper skills for identifying if that freezer-burned lump of ground meat is beef or pork or chicken or what.
- Thaw meat inside another container so that it doesn’t leak as it thaws. I guarantee that if you put it inside another container before putting it in the frig, it will not leak. If you don’t, it will. Murphy’s law.
- By the way, it’s thaw, not unthaw. To unthaw would be to freeze. I’m still working on getting that right.
Here’s some more freezing tips from AllRecipes.com. Got any super amazing freezer tips of your own? More food storage tips coming next week!
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Welcome to Springs Bargains, a service of our real estate business, Circa Real Estate Group! I’m Carrie, and since 2008 I’ve been sharing free and discounted ways to eat, play, and enjoy life in Colorado Springs.