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The Single Most Important Freezer Tip You’ll Read All Year

You’ll wish you thought of this sooner.
Freezer February March 2023

Do you ever turn to your freezer in search of dinner inspiration, only to find a bunch of unlabeled leftovers? Or maybe you do remember what’s in there, but have no idea for how long? You, my friend, are in need of a major freezer refresh — and we’re here to walk you through it.  

The first step is to take everything out. Discard any food that’s no longer usable, whether it’s past its prime or covered in freezer burn. Then, wipe down the inside of the freezer with very hot water, and clean with disinfectant spray. Place everything back inside, making sure to arrange frozen produce in the door and meats and ice cream on the shelves.  

With the freezer squeaky clean, it’s time to talk strategy. Because let’s face it: without a new plan in place, your freezer is likely to return to its black hole status. Our #1 piece of advice? Write the name and date on any item you freeze moving forward, which will tell you at a glance what it is and when to use it. You don’t need a label maker or any fancy equipment; a simple black permanent marker will do.  

When applicable, you’ll also want to jot down a few notes about how to thaw and/or cook the food. For example: “veggie chili, 03/01, thaw in fridge overnight.” That’s it! Go ahead and label even the most obvious things you freeze, with the exception of anything store-bought that you keep in its original packaging. Your future self will thank you.  

While labeling is the most important step to implement, you certainly don’t have to stop there. We also recommend creating a list of your freezer’s contents and attaching it to the freezer door. Every time you use something, cross it off the list. This will help streamline weekly meal planning, prevent you from purchasing something twice, and perhaps most importantly, come in handy when you’re hangry.  

With this new system in place, your freezer will become a true dinnertime hero, making all your winter meals that much tastier and easier. You’ll only wish you thought of it sooner.  

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