Monday, January 23, 2012

what to freeze?

Whether or not I continue working for the long term, Brad and I are still dealing with less disposable income now that Mason is here and will be in daycare. Trimming the budget can be depressing, but I also find it refreshing. It doesn't always happen, but I do strive to live simply.

One area of our budget in need of improvement is our food expenses. Because we rarely eat out, get carryout, or order food for delivery, I'm not as disciplined as I could be at the grocery store. Yes, I use my store's value card, and buy sale items and store brands when possible, but I'd never consider myself a financially savvy menu planner or grocery shopper. Our monthly $500 grocery bill for two adults is a testament to that, even though we both eat breakfast and dinner at home and take our lunches to work most days.

Now that I have a bit more freezer space, I hope to stockpile meats and other goodies when they go on sale. A couple years ago, a friend told me that she freezes nuts, which I had never thought to do. I've heard another friend mention freezing cheese, but I've never tried it. I do freeze bread.

What do you stockpile in your freezer?

6 comments:

Amy- Taylors East said...

I don't know how much of a cost saver it is, but we've only frozen food we've processed from the summer- green beans, pureed winter squash, strawberries, and some tomato sauce. Maybe trying canning this summer if you want to can and save on tomato sauce.

emmy said...

At the end of a meal if there are small amounts of meats or vegetables they are put in what we call the compost bowl (we don't actually compost it) It goes into the freezer and when it is full, I make soup out of it. The soup is always different because it always has different ingredients. My family calls this compost night. Sounds disgusting but it is usually the best soup that I make.

Amy Hill said...

I freeze the few bananas that don't look so good at the end of the week - they make the best banana bread when frozen! I also freeze the berries we pick in the summer (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries), corn from the garden, pesto I make from my basil, you can even just freeze the basil whole! I make big batches of tomato sauce with our tomatoes and freeze it in portioned bags. I also make stock out of our Thanksgiving turkey or any other large poultry and freeze the stock in portioned amounts for soups and gravies. Oh, and applesauce is great frozen, although I've also started canning it b/c I have more room for it in jars than in the freezer. Have fun!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

OMG I freeze everything! When it's on sale, I buy as much as I can justify. Including: OJ, coffee creamers, cheese, nuts, berries in the summer, meats (including those yummy rotissery chickens- i've been known to buy several and either freeze whole or pick and freeze portions in baggies to make whatever later if I find them on sale), chicken bones (to keep until I have enough to make stock), black bananas in their peels to use in breads, soups, bread, rice (I totally make rice 2-3 bags at a time. Then freeze in zip baggies so I have an easy portioned out base or side.), and then some. I seriously LOVE my extra freezer. Biggest money saver ever!

Heather Nelson said...

I freeze shredded cheese, but not block cheese. Block cheese never seems to come out of the freezer well. Butter. Meat. (I love your friend's idea about rotisserie chicken!) Bread. Berries and fruit all summer long. And I stockpile ice cream for my freezer whenever I possibly can. :-)

Rebecca Fleeson said...

I freeze bananas for banana bread, I freeze berries, and corn, I make pesto and freeze it, I also make sauces and freeze them (spaghetti etc) so that i can pull them out and make a meal quickly. I freeze meats, chili, and also buy bulk veggies, chop them and freeze them in mixtures for soups etc. I freeze bread....basically if it's freezable I do it. I would love a bigger freezer. The great thing about freezing in portion sizes is that you can pull out items in the morning, put them in the fridge and they will be defrosted for dinner when you come home, and dinner is halfway prepared (especially true for soups etc) that otherwise take too much time in the evening! happy freezing friend!