If you are serious about conserving food by buying in bulk and freezing what you won’t use right away, it helps to first know what room you have in your freezer.
It may be a good time to consider buying a separate freezer to keep in your garage or a spare room in your home.
When you have decided how much you can freeze, here are some more tips to help.
What You Can Freeze
Let’s start with what you are to freeze so you know what to start buying in bulk.
There are the obvious choices like most types of meat, poultry, and seafood.
You probably already freeze portions of minced beef, steak, fish, shellfish, chicken, and pork before you use it.
While you want to look up the exact storage times for each type of meat or seafood, it will last an average of 4-12 months if sealed properly.
You can also freeze just about any type of vegetable or fruit, though fruits with thick skin like citrus and bananas should be peeled first.
These work great if you use produce for smoothies, as you can put them right in your blender from their frozen state.
Now for a few surprises.
Did you know you can freeze cheese?
You do need to grate it first, but it allows you to buy bigger packages of cheese and freeze it so it never goes to waste.
You can save quite a bit of money by doing it this way.
You can also freeze packs of butter if you wrap it in cling film or foil, then put it in a freezer bag.
Tips for Preparing Foods to Freeze
It is really important that you understand the proper way to freeze different types of foods.
For example, if you want to freeze cheese, it should be grated first.
Avocados and bananas need to be peeled before being frozen.
For meat and poultry, decide beforehand if you want to divide them up or not.
This is necessary if you will only need some of the meat to be defrosted, and not all at once.
Otherwise, keeping them together is fine.
For individual berries like raspberries and blueberries, arrange them on a baking sheet with space between them before freezing.
Then, when they are frozen, you can easily separate them to batch up in smaller bags of X grams in weight each; freezing them in a tub altogether often results in a big frozen lump of fruit that is difficult to separate when you only want a few, say for a single smoothie, or dessert recipe.
If you’re on a special diet, you could also prep single batches of foods you eat regularly, so you always have individual portions on hand ready to cook and eat on busy days.
Make sure you label everything!
No matter how much you think you will use it, you never know.
To avoid freezer burn and using up food that should have been thrown away earlier, write down what it is, the date you put it in, and when it expires.
Consider Cooking Before Freezing
Another option for freezing food you buy in bulk is to cook some of it before freezing.
Most types of meat, fish, and poultry can be frozen in its cooked form, just make sure you let it cool down before putting it into freezer bags or storage containers.
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