We have all had those days. There’s a soccer game, piano lessons, a book report due tomorrow and the school choir concert. There is absolutely no time to make dinner, not to mention energy. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just pull something out of the freezer and stick it into the oven, instead of stopping for expensive takeout? Freezer cooking is a great money saver. It does require a time commitment in advance, but it pays off dividends on the days you want to pull your hair out.
There are dozens and dozens of websites and blog posts out there devoted to freezer cooking. Most of them recommend choosing three or four meals to make all at once and doubling or tripling them. My advice to you is this: don’t double or triple until you’ve made, frozen and cooked it. Some meals don’t freeze well, some meals don’t taste quite the same after you have frozen them and some recipes just won’t suit your tastes at all. To start, find a few recipes that look good to you, make it, freeze it and see if you like it.
In addition to freezing entire meals, there are dozens of things that can be frozen to save money. When shredded cheese goes on sale, stock up and freeze it! (Just make sure it’s shredded. If you’re buying blocks, shred it first.) When fruit is in season and cheap, buy a bunch and freeze it. Berries can be frozen without any kind of prep other than washing. Peaches should be blanched, bananas should be peeled. Grapes can be frozen, but eat them frozen, they don’t thaw well. They do, however, make good ice cubes that don’t water down your drinks. Mango needs to be peeled, pineapple needs to be cut, strawberries need to be hulled. Freeze apples to use in pies or applesauce.
Did you know you can even freeze milk? Check out the list for other ideas:
Bread Dough (pizza, rolls, loaves)
Chili (Don’t freeze milk based soups, soups with celery)
Eggs (out of the shell)
Leftover Ham (chopped works best)
Cooked ground beef
Lime and Lemon Juice (freeze it in ice cubes to keep it pre-portioned)
Fresh garlic (also in ice cube trays. Pebble ice trays are perfect)
Buttermilk (ice cubes)
Whipping Cream (Ice cubes)
Corn on the Cob