Are you freezer frugal? Do you utilize your freezer to the best of your ability? Do you know HOW to use your freezer correctly to help you save money? Or are you simply wasting a valuable asset?
It’s easy to save money while using your freezer, but it’s also extremely easy to waste money if you don’t use it correctly. It’s important to know how long food is good for in your freezer, and how much you can fit in your freezer.
If you are truly changing your lifestyle to be a more frugal person, or you have a family larger than five, you might want to seriously consider purchasing an upright freezer chest. It allows you more room for storage and organization.
Here are a few tips to help use your freezer more frugally, whether there are two of you, or ten.
- Stock up when meats and other freezable items are on sale. Sticks of butter, meats, some cheeses, some vegetables and even some breads freeze really well. If you are unsure if an item freezes well, do research on the Internet, or just try one of the items to see what happens.
- When cooking dinner for the family, double the original recipe, or even triple it. Separate it into three separate portions and freeze two of them. Be sure to write the date and the contents and any directions you need for reheating it, with a permanent marker on the outside of the ziplock bag or pan you store it in. Next time you need a quick dinner, you have one ready and it will save you time. Not to mention the ingredients that went into the meals aren’t wasted by going bad before you use them up.
- Be sure to watch the dates you placed your foods into the freezer. With home cooked meals I recommend using them within two months of freezing. This simply preserves the quality of the product, since most foods will last indefinitely in your freezer, but it’s the taste and quality that changes. See below for a great freezer chart for how long to keep certain items.
|Bacon and Sausage||1 to 2 months|
|Casseroles or 1-dish meals||2 to 3 months|
|Egg whites or egg substitutes||12 months|
|Frozen Dinners and Entrees||3 to 4 months|
|Gravy, meat or poultry||2 to 3 months|
|Ham, Hotdogs and Lunchmeats||1 to 2 months|
|Meat, Corned Beef||2 to 3 months|
|Meat, uncooked roasts||4 to 12 months|
|Meat, uncooked steaks or chops||4 to 12 months|
|Meat, uncooked ground||3 to 4 months|
|Meat, cooked||2 to 3 months|
|Meat, Stew Cuts||3 to 4 months|
|Poultry, uncooked whole||12 months|
|Poultry, uncooked parts||9 months|
|Poultry, uncooked giblets||3 to 4 months|
|Poultry, cooked||4 months|
|Soups and Stews||2 to 3 months|
|Venison, Ground||3 months|
|Venison, Smoked Sausage||5 to 6 months|
|Venison, Cooked||2 to 3 months|
|Wild game, uncooked||8 to 12|