Having a well-organized freezer, is essential when it comes to meal planning. Keeping your freezer clean and organized can help you keep track of what you have and use it in a timely manner, avoiding unnecessary food waste.
Today’s guest post is from Ana Brady. Ana shares tips on how we all can organize our freezer to save time and money.
Enjoy today’s post!
Before I moved in with my husband I hardly ever used the freezer. Now the freezer is my new best friend and it can do magic. Ever since I gave in to advice from many sources and started freezing food, I started noticing how I’m spending less money on food, and more time with my kids.
Whenever I cook meals (usually on weekends), I make large quantities and freeze meals for the week to come. It’s maybe a bit more of a hassle on weekends, but it definitely pays off on work days. My freezer is now packed with freezer bags filled with chopped up ingredients, or ready-made meals. No more junk food for me.
In order for this to work, though, you really need to have a clean and organized freezer.
Throwing away food from a messy freezer where no food is labeled and you never know what’s edible will NOT contribute to saving your budget.
Here are a few tips on how to organize your freezer a little better:
8 Great Tips on Freezing Food and Saving Time/Money
- If you’re completely reorganizing your freezer, you should clean it first. Take out everything, throw away food with an unknown “best before” date (hopefully you’re throwing away food for the last time), turn off the freezer and clean it. When you’re done, turn it on again and make sure it’s set to 0°F. This is very important.
- Separate your freezer into sections where you’ll keep different kinds of food. For example, left is for meat, right is for vegetables, door pocket for ice-cream… Whatever makes the most sense to you.
- Groceries and cooked meals should all be kept in waterproof food packages – plastic bags, containers, aluminum foil, etc.
- Watch out for freezer burns. If there’s any air left inside the food packaging, it dehydrates the food and makes it inedible. If you don’t want to waste food, make sure you package your food well and avoid freezer burns
- Once you defrost food, you should not freeze it again. That’s why it’s smart not to pack food in large quantities, but in smaller packagings. The best way to do this is to pack one serving size in one bag/container. Ice cube containers are also a good way to freeze small quantities of food (for example, baby food). Once frozen, ice cubes can be placed inside a plastic bag.
- Labeling food plays a major role in not letting food go to waste. Use strong freezer labels for your food packaging, and neatly note what is inside of it. Write down the date you bought or prepared the food, and the date it is best used by. That way you’ll always know what you’re dealing with in your freezer.
- Whatever food can be pressed, that’s the way to keep it inside the freezer, so as not to take up too much space. That’s very valuable when you have many bags and containers in the freezer, like I do.
- The right way to thaw food is to take it out of the freezer the day before you want to use it, and put it in the fridge. Defrosting in the fridge, it thaws evenly and keeps all its nutrients, moisture, etc. If you forgot to do it the night before, one more acceptable solution is to thaw your meal in cold water, but don’t take it out of the secure food packaging.
When you realize how easy it is to whip up a healthy meal quickly, using what you have in the freezer, you’ll be better equipped to lay off junk food.
About the author:
Ana Brady is a full time mom and writer. She works with a group of designers on a project on food packaging labels, and she spends time writing about nutrition, family, healthy living, and other fun stuff.