There’s more food than you think that can be stored in the freezer.
I’m a little addicted to reduced food, with my freezer full of clearance food I’ve picked up but couldn’t use before the expiration day. The stuff I tend to buy and freeze is usually just meat and fish, and I’ll throw in leftovers and the odd slices of bread too. However, I know there’s much more you can keep. But what?
My friend Kelly’s blog Reduced Grub won Best Frugal Food Blog at the 2016 SHOMO awards I organised each year through my UK Money Bloggers community, so I asked her to write this month’s guest post on the topic. Over to Kelly.
Introducing my partner in crime “The Freezer”
I really think that I should go on Britain’s got talent, as I have one serious talent. I square up to the freezer, open the door and then have the challenge of catching everything that falls out! I need super speed as it can come from any direction, and often several things at once!
I have adapted my skill to catching things with my toes and teeth, and I am currently getting quotes in about having some Circus themed music wired up, so that every time the door is opened, I get that infamous tune, that would tie in nicely with my acrobatic ability. I have also been accident-free for 4 weeks and counting, I am sure that you can all relate to the feeling of a pack of frozen sausages landing on your toes, that is hardcore pain!
Anyway, I am sure that you can all understand what I am wobbling on about and even though it is a minefield when you open the door, the freezer can be a Godsend if you are trying to be frugal and save some serious wonga! The world of cut-price shopping is so easy to follow that even I manage to do it, and I have saved a fortune in the process.
I am a big advocate for reduced priced food, as every supermarket and even small high street shop will offer it. A lot of people with their nose in the air often won’t touch anything wearing a reduced sticker, which is fab, as there is more for like minded people like me and my family to eat like Kings for pennies.
Inside my freezer
My freezer currently contains everything from milk, to tuna steaks to curry leaves, and this is how I roll.
I will often buy reduced priced fresh meat or fish and pop it in the freezer and pair this up with fresh produce. Sometimes I will see some great fruit or veg offers and pop those into the freezer for when I can use them. My weekly shopping bill is around £35 by working in this manner and it really does work.
What foods can you freeze?
Many of you are a bit unsure of what you can and cannot freeze, so I have put a little list together for you and I hope that it gives you a good Idea.
- Milk: I always open and use a bit before I freeze this, as the expansion of the liquid can push the top off. When this is almost defrosted, this makes the best milkshakes as it is sooooo cold and the kids love it!
- Butter: a great item to freeze, with the average price over a pound, if you ever see any reduced, get them and freeze them.
- Cheese: after Christmas I had a cheese mountain left over, so I grated it all up, put it into several bags and froze them. You can use the cheese straight from frozen and this is great for adding to sauces, toppings or pizza.
- Birthday cakes: these cost a bloody fortune and with three kids in my house, two adults plus grandparents, you’re not going to get much change out of £100 each year. I always buy my cakes reduced, usually for around £2 and I freeze them. Get them out of the freezer the day before you want to use them and put in the fridge to defrost. We have been doing this for years. Just have a think of the money that we have saved!
- Fruit and vegetables: great to freeze too. I have bought lots of veg reduced after the Christmas holidays and I have blanched it all. Just pop it into boiling water for about two minutes, drain and then submerge in iced water to stop the cooking process. Bag up and then freeze. Fruit is great to freeze and then use in jams, cake fillings, smoothies or ice cream. Don’t forget herbs too.
- Pasta: something that can be frozen that a lot of people will often say can’t. That is actually 50 shades of wrong. Part cook your pasta, drain and put it in cold water to stop the cooking. You can put it with a sauce and then freeze, ready for you to do a quick pasta bake, or even freeze it on its own, defrost it then needed and then boil it until soft enough.
- Pastry: also good to freeze, so if you see any fab price ready stuff or have a load of dough left over, chuck in in the freezer.
- Bread: you can pick up a loaf of bread for around 10p and this is fab for sticking in the freezer and using for toast. Avoid French sticks etc as they tend to go a bit crumbly, but tortillas and flat bread freeze well.
A few more tips
Storage is key to a good relationship with your freezer. The fuller your freezer then the more economical to run. That comment there will wipe the smirk off your other half’s face when they moan about your shopping!
Always cool foods completely before you freeze them and cover food well to prevent freezer burn. There is only one thing that tastes worse that the Mother-in-law’s cooking and that is freezer burn.
Anyways, I hope that you have found this information a tad useful, I am just off to try and close my freezer door, which is another head-scratching scenario that makes me crave for a Gin and Tonic, especially when I see that I have left something out, that really needed to go back in!
To read more of Kelly’s food tips and recipes head over to ReducedGrub.com