Most of us have at least one freezer. Some of us even have a stand alone freezer. Utilizing and using your freezer could save you money. Here’s how.
Have you ever heard of Once A Month Cooking? It is when you pick out a months worth of menus and dedicate a day (or two) to cooking. You cook several meals and freeze them. When you are ready to eat it you just thaw it out and bake it. Some meals can go from the freezer to the oven. I recommend FrugalMom’s website where she tells you step by step how to do this. It is really fun to do and saves you time and money. You can even recruit a friend to join you and even share recipes.
Stock up items when they go on sale that are freezable. When bread and milk go on sale you can buy several and they will freeze just fine. The same with cheese. These items are used a lot in meals and tend to need replenished quite often. Stocking up and freezing them can save you money and time.
Freeze your leftovers to use in other recipes. If you have left over chicken broth you can freeze it to use in dumplings or a casserole on another day. Next time you make pancakes for your family make a lot and freeze them in one or two servings. When you are ready for pancakes you have some already made. Another idea is to brown a bunch of ground meat and then put in freezer containers or bags. Great for taco nights or casseroles. It will save you a lot of time when all you have to do is grab a bag out of the freezer and thaw it out.
If you have access to fresh garden vegetables you can clean them and cut them up and freeze them for later use. Don’t let your fresh veggies go to waste!
One thing to avoid when using your freezer is to avoid freezer burn. It is really easy for your food to freezer burn if it is not wrapped or packaged properly. You can use freezer bags, bags that are specifically made for the freezer, but to make it even better I would suggest to wrap your food in freezer paper and then put in the freezer bag. When using the bags be sure and squeeze all the air out of the bag.
Pay attention to the seasons and holidays to get really good deals. After the 4th of July you may find hot dogs are on sale. After Thanksgiving turkeys may go on sale. Look for savings after every holiday.
One thing to be cautious of is to not buy too much that ends up in your freezer for years that you never use. Be sure and plan your meals using your freezer otherwise what’s the point?
Even with once a month cooking I suggest using a meal calendar and write down the meals for each day. This way you know ahead of time what to lay out and you will be using the foods you have saved in the freezer. Using a calendar really does make meal planning so much easier.
Once your freezer is well stocked I also strongly suggest to stay out stores, except for those items you must have. Avoid that big sale if your freezer is already full. It is hard sometimes to pass up a good deal but you have to be smart about it.