Looking to save money, time, and effort in the kitchen? Look no further than the freezer. Properly stocked, your freezer is a go-to source for affordable, nutritious, ready-to-use ingredients, anytime. It can also help save money on groceries by extending the life of your cooking, preserving leftovers and eliminating waste.
Keep mealtime easy breezy with these smart tips for better freezing and making the most of your icebox.
Tip 1: Freeze stews and chilis flat in heavy-duty plastic bags.
Hearty soups, stews, and chilis are easy to make in big batches and freeze for a homemade, microwavable meal in minutes. Save room by storing in resealable, plastic freezer bags laid flat for easy stacking. Use a drinking straw to suck out excess air before sealing to save even more space.
Tip 2: Stock up on store-bought frozen grain and veggie mixes for easy sides.
Precooked whole grains are a no-fuss, delicious way to bulk up the protein and fiber content of any meal. Experiment with different taste and texture combinations, like vegetables with nutty quinoa, hearty farro, or brown rice, for easy meal additions that never get old.
Tip 3: Wrap pieces of meat individually so you can defrost the exact amount you need.
Perfect portion control and less waste are two more ways your freezer can stretch your dinner dollar . Stock up on meat when it’s on sale and look for family-sized value packages, then wrap portions individually in plastic and store them in resealable freezer bags. When it’s time to cook, you only need to thaw and cook as much (or as little) as you need.