How many times have you thrown away food simply because you bought too much to eat before it goes bad? You may as well be throwing away your hard-earned money before you’ve even spent it. This is why one of the best ways to save money is by utilizing something you almost certainly already own: a freezer. Whether it’s a small freezer attached to your fridge or a roomy deep freeze, if you’re willing to plan ahead and shop accordingly, you can save a lot of money.
To make the most of your money and freezer space, you’re first going to have to do a little homework. Find out what foods freeze well and which foods don’t, as well as how to wrap them properly and how long they typically last when frozen. Some foods, like eggs, should not be frozen at all. Other foods will need to be blanched prior to freezing. Still others will require a simple Ziploc freezer bag, while anything you intend to store for a longer period of time will need to be wrapped with aluminum foil or vacuum sealed to prevent freezer burn.
There are many blogs and sites devoted to teaching people how to cut their grocery bill by freezing food. Many of these will offer great recipe ideas for frozen dinners you can make at home and will include important information specific to each recipe such as how to store it, how long to store it, and how to reheat for the best flavour. Remember to label each item with its name and a “best before” date. You can even include cooking instructions right on the container for even easier use later!
If you love the simplicity of a frozen dinner now and then, you’re sure to love being able to reheat something homemade and healthy as opposed to a sodium- and calorie-packed TV dinner from the grocery store. All you have to do is set aside one or two days for cooking up and portioning some freezer-friendly recipes and voila, instant dinner a week or two down the road! And if you have leftovers after making your soups, casseroles, meatloaf, and so on, it’s easy to portion out the last few cups of vegetables to make single-servings for side dishes to go with something else later.
Whether you’re shopping for one or shopping for six, your freezer is invaluable in terms of how much money, time, and frustration it can save you. Smaller portions of food typically cost more per ounce at the grocery store than larger amounts, so as long as you plan carefully and remember to eat up before your goodies get freezer burned, you’re doing your bank account a favour by freezing your extras.