Freezing food is a great way to help you save money! Here are some of the ways that freezing food can help you save big:
- If you have fruits that are starting to ripen past their prime, clean them, slice them up and throw them in the freezer and use them in Smoothies. Alternatively, buy extra fruit when you are able to get a great deal on it and freeze it to add to smoothies, pancakes, or oatmeal. Frozen fruit is sometimes even more nutritious than fresh!
- If you do not go through food very quickly, try freezing part of it! Shredded cheese (a solid block of regular cheese does not freeze that well- if this is the kind of cheese you buy, shred it before you freeze it for better results), cream cheese, bread products, meat, and many different meals freeze extremely well. For our family of three, we are never able to go through a full 8 pack of hamburger or hot dog buns. We also don't eat these items often enough to use them up before they mold. So after we make one meal of hamburgers, I stick the other buns into the freezer to make another meal later.
- This can also save you a lot of money if you can buy these items (meat, cheese, ect..)when they are at their lowest prices and freeze them for later use. Even if you expect to go through these items before they expire, it is a good idea to periodically go through your fridge and make sure nothing is approaching expiration- if it is, throw it in the freezer.
- If you plan ahead and cook extra food, or go all out and have an entire freezer cooking day, you can save money by buying less convenience foods, and eating out less.
- I also save money (and calories) by freezing products like cookie dough when I make a batch of cookies. I mix up an entire batch of cookies, but I only bake up the amount of cookies that we need to eat at that time. Then I scoop up the rest of the cookie dough with my food scoop (or ice cream scoop- but they have many purposes beyond ice cream) and put it on a paper plate covered with wax paper. If you have a deep freeze then you could just put some wax paper on a cookie sheet- I only have a small freezer connected to my fridge.
- I then place the cookie dough in the freezer until it is hard. (if your scoops are touching a little bit, they should easily break apart when hard). Then I separate the frozen cookie dough and place it into a plastic freezer bag.
- When we want some cookies, all I have to do is take out 3 or 4 pieces of dough and cook them in the oven. I have found that they cook up almost the exact same as when the dough is freshly made and they save us from either wanting to eat an entire batch, or throwing away extra cookies that we don't eat. I do hate to throw away food and find myself eating more than I want, just so I am not wasting it. Freezing food helps keep me from doing this. Freezing works well for many cookie and other dessert recipes. Of course, if your cookie dough is really runny, this probably won't work. You could possibly put a cookie-sized amount of batter in cupcake papers in a muffin tin and freeze them like that if your dough is really runny. I think that the cupcake papers would probably just peel off and you could throw them in plastic bags and into the freezer. I make sure that if a cookie recipe calls for softened butter that it is not melted- that will make your cookie dough runnier.