It is amazing how much money you can save simply by freezing your food before it goes bad. And it is so much easier than you probably think! Freezing can really be a game changer for your family’s food budget. This guide to freezing food will walk you through how to freeze food and save money.
The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Food
One of the very best ways to save money and eliminate waste is to freeze perishable food before it goes bad.
This is a post that you’ll want to pin or bookmark to reference whenever you find a new food that you want to freeze.
Why should you freeze food?
The biggest complaint I hear about grocery shopping is how painful it is to throw away wasted food that wasn’t used before it went bad.
The solution is to freeze that food before it goes bad!
Freezing food will save you so much money by virtually eliminating your food waste.
What can you freeze?
Most perishable foods are fine to freeze.
Here’s a list of foods you can freeze:
Fruits & Veggies
Most fruits and veggies freeze well. This is super helpful because usually produce doesn’t last very long. So, by freezing them you can ensure that you actually get to eat them and aren’t throwing away your money on wasted fruits and veggies.
Berries – Just wash them off and throw ‘em in a freezer bag. For strawberries, hull them before you freeze.
Grapes – Frozen grapes are a delicious treat. Just be sure to eat them before they defrost and turn to mush.
Melon – You can even freeze cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon. Just cube it and put it in a freezer bag.
Citrus – Slices of citrus fruit freeze well. You can even squeeze the juice into an ice cube tray and freeze the juice.
Bananas – Just peel your bananas and break them into chunks. Then pop them in a freezer bag and they’ll stay good for up to 3 months. I love to make “ice cream” from frozen bananas. Just blend them up with some milk.
Onions – You can store chopped onions in the freezer until you need them. If you flash freeze them on a cookie tray before putting them in a freezer bag you’ll avoid them chunking up together.
Leafy greens – When your big bag of greens is nearing its expiration date and you know you won’t be able to use them in time, just wash them and put them in the freezer in a freezer bag. These are great in smoothies and can be used in recipes.
Carrots – Baby carrots or large carrot sticks can be frozen if you have extra. Sometimes we buy the large bag of baby carrots at Costco for snacks and if we don’t eat them all fast enough I’ll freeze the rest. Then, I’ll just pop the frozen carrots in the Crock-Pot next time I’m using it.
Broccoli – If you’ve got extra fresh broccoli, you can freeze it up and use it just like you would a frozen bag.
Milk – You can freeze a gallon of milk right in the jug. Apparently that’s why they sell them in those flexible plastic jugs – so the milk has room to expand in the freezer. Just make sure you shake it up after you defrost it. Keep this in mind if you see a great deal on milk.
Shredded Cheese – While you could freeze it in slices or a block, cheese really freezes best when it’s shredded.
Cream Cheese – It won’t be the same consistency, but if you’re going to use it in a recipe it’ll be just fine.
Butter – Sure, it lasts a long time in the fridge. But if you find a good deal and what to stock up, you can throw the extras right in the freezer.
Yogurt – If you’ve got extra in the fridge and it’s nearing the expiration date, just throw it in the freezer right in the cup. You can defrost it to use in a recipe or eat it as a yummy frozen treat.
Any type of meat can be frozen and defrosted. (At least, I really can’t think of any type that can’t be – but if you happen to know of one let me know in the comments below)
This is great to keep in mind when you see a great deal on meat at the grocery store or if you want to buy in bulk.
You can also freeze grilled chicken strips or shredded chicken if you want it to be cooked and ready to go.
Bread – If you’re not freezing anything else, freeze your bread! This was a huge game changer for our family. We used to throw out so much bread because it would go bad before we used it. Now we just throw it in the freezer (right in the bag it comes in). It defrosts so well and is can be toasted perfectly for toast.
Prepared meals – Prepared by you, I mean. Go ahead and make a double batch of most meals (think lasagna) and just pop the second one in the freezer.
Herbs – You can chop and freeze fresh herbs in lemon juice, olive oil, or broth in ice cube trays.
What are you waiting for?
Start freezing today! You don’t even need a big seperate freezer to do it. I don’t have anything besides my regular freezer attached to my refrigerator and I’ve been able to freeze so much. It has saved me so much money by cutting down drastically on wasted food. I know this can make a huge difference for you too!
Want more? Here are some of my best posts about saving money:
3 Tips to cut your Electric Bill in Half
7 Frugal Habits that will save you Thousands
How to set and stick to a Grocery Budget
How to Get Paid for Shopping Online
I find any fruit works best if you flash freeze it first, especially if you’ve rinsed it before freezing. We also pit (or don’t) cherries during cherry season, because you can buy a huge case of local cherries straight from the farm for less than the grocery store sells them….use the pre-pitted cherries in pies or on top of desserts. Non-pitted cherries work wonderfully as “ice cubes” to chill a glass (ehem bottle) of wine. As they defrost, it almost turns to a light sangria.
Great tips! Thanks Sarah!