Thursday, June 16, 2011
Why Using Your Freezer is Essential For Saving A Lot of Cash on Your Grocery Bill
The Best Way To Store Foods in the Freezer
Preserving your food as long as possible, is extremely important, especially if you want to save the most money on your grocery bill. There are several ways that we can preserve our savings, so we can stretch our finds as far as we possibly can. We know that keeping as much air away from our frozen goodies as possible is essential, but what is the best way to do this?
Meat and Poultry
For meat and poultry, vacuum sealing is great for keeping air away from your frozen food, however most of us do not want to spend the extra money on a vacuum sealer, until they have some extra money in their hands. So the best way to preserve without buying an expensive vacuum sealer, is by taking Saran Wrap and wrapping your food, before placing it in a freezer bag. This allows the air to stay away from your meat.
Fresh Veggies and Fruit
You can also do this with your fresh vegetables and fruits. This is a great way to preserve and save money, especially if your favorites are out of season. Fruits and veggies can freeze for up to a year or longer, meaning that you can save hundreds of dollars a year on fresh produce! However, certain veggies such as lettuce and cabbage does not freeze at all and will become wilty after freezing. Usually for fruit, you can do one of three things- freeze using a sugar syrup, sugar pack or you can freeze them unsweetened. Using a syrup or sugar packets, will keep the quality of the fruit, while freezing as is can slightly change the texture and taste or your haul. As for veggies, you must blanche them and let them cool off before placing them in freezer bags to preserve its quality.
Another way to store food such as soups, gravies and sauces, is by using plastic storage containers. These can be relatively cheap, depending on where you purchase them from. When storing liquids , make sure that you leave enough space at the top to allow expansion. Make sure that your containers are designed for the freezer, or else they will tend to crack. For homemade stocks, its best to use an ice-cube tray, freeze them and then place them in a ziplock bag for easy access when cooking.
Herbs and Spices
You can freeze your fresh herb and spice crops or any fresh that you buy at your local grocery store or farmer's market! First, you would need to clean the herbs and chop them up. Begin adding water, about a quarter of a cup at a time, until it becomes pasty. Then add to your ice-cube tray, freeze and pop them out into a ziplock baggy. You can do this with most herbs and add them to sauces and other tasty recipes!
Remember, Labeling Your Food For the Freezer is a MUST
Frozen foods like anything else lasts for only a certain period of time, therefore its important to label your preferred storage methods with what is in it and the date you froze them. This way you can use the food you already have before freezer burn kicks in. This way, you can also prepare a freezer inventory for your next big purchase!
This is just one of the tricks I use at home to help us save quite a bit of money at the grocery store. Freezers can be your biggest allies in the quest to lower your grocery bill. I will be adding a guide to help with what types of fruits, veggies and herbs can be frozen.