Friday, November 10, 2017

Making My Freezer Work

A freezer is a great tool.  Not only for freezing uncooked meat, vegetables and prepackaged food, but for your own convenience foods.  I have been working on stocking my freezer and keeping it stocked as I use things.  

When making a pot pie for diner I made an extra for the freezer.  
When filling the cookie jar I made a double batch.
 
I bake what I need for today and then scoop the rest onto a cookie sheet. I place it into the freezer to flash freezer and then drop them into a freezer bag for later. 
 I purchase most of my meat from Sam's Club or the clearance rack at Kroger.  When I buy the large package of ground beef from Sam's I put it to use.  After this particular run I made a package of patted hamburgers for the grill and mixed up a meatloaf. Once formed I wrapped it in freezer paper.  I find that I don't like the texture of ground beef after I thaw it. It's fine for browning but I don't like it if I have to mix it uncooked. Personal issue!
 I browned some of it to freeze to use to top pizza, make a quick meat sauce or to quickly start a chili. Some was made into taco meat and divided into two meals.  I also made meatballs while mixing the meatloaf. I baked them and made a spaghetti sauce to freeze. 

 When I am having a busy day I can open the bag of spaghetti sauce or taco meat and place into my small crock pot.  I place it in frozen and let it simmer on low while I am away or occupied. This is really helping me since starting to homeschool.  My former routine was to meal prep for the day in the morning.  There are time now when there isn't time.  This is helping tremendously!

I then wrapped the remaining meat to thaw and use for whatever. To stretch my meat I never freeze an entire pound.  Usually between half and three-fourths.  My family never notices that I haven't used the entire pound.

I do this with more then ground beef.  I will cook a large pork loin for dinner.  I generally make pulled pork.  I will set aside what we need for dinner and then bag up dinner size portions for the freezer.  This then goes into my little crock pot frozen and I add bbq sauce to make sandwiches. 

Chicken is something else I like to keep in the freezer.  I will boil a large batch and then dice and freeze.  It is a head start and time saver when making casseroles and dished such as chicken and noodles. 

I also like to make what I refer to as lunch kits.  I will use leftover burgers or freshly made for this purpose and freeze the patty, bun and a slice of cheese in a freezer bag. I like to make the kits using sloppy joe also.  I bag up the slopping joe and add to a larger bag with a bun.  This is great when we don't have leftovers.  A bag can easily be grabbed for Chuck's lunch bag. 
 
 Anytime we have more then we can eat I will also bag it up for the freezer.  We had meatloaf on a night when we didn't need leftovers for the lunch box the next day so it went into the freezer for later use. 
I don't care for garlic bread so I purchase a loaf of french bread to serve with dishes like spaghetti.  I will slice the loaf when I come in from the store and place in a freezer bag. When I need a few slices I can pull out the desired number and heat them in the oven along side the garlic bread.

This prevents waste and over eating.
When I see the mark down bananas or have one past its prime into the freeze it goes.  I like to place them in with the peel on. There are many ways to freeze, them this just happens to be my personal preference.  Now when I need to make pancakes, muffins or bread I don't have wait for my ingredient to over ripen.

Those are a few ways I'm making my freezer work for me.  Please share the way you use your freezer to save time and money. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

15 comments:

  1. Wow I had no clue you could freeze bananas!!!

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  2. I always freeze my bananas that way to make banana bread, etc. I love your tips! I know I am not using my freezer in the most efficient way. Since there is just the two of us, it's easy to let food go to waste. I never thought of making lunch kits. What a great idea!

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  3. I love love love this post! I hope to freeze up some cookie dough for the holidays. I love that you package up cheeseburgers, etc for single serving, too.

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  4. I do a lot of these same things! It is so nice to have quick meals to pull out on a busy day. After Andy's surgeries, we were blessed to have a number of meals brought to us. He was hardly eating anything at that point so I would eat a portion or two and then I froze the rest in meal-size portions for later use. It would've gone to waste quickly had I not done that especially with more meals coming in! It was so nice to pull those meals out and use them later when Andy was eating more. We had lasagna, pot roast & veggies, turkey & gravy, etc.

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  5. What great tips and ideas. I love the burger idea. And sloppy joe. How do you plan to do this? Like do you have a set day to make stuff? Do you do as you cook? Do you do it when you come home from store?

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    1. I like the bread idea too!

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    2. The hamburgers and sloppy joe I do on a day when I am making that for dinner. The chicken I will make when I have some free time or if I am already making chicken for a meal I will made additional. I can pull it out of the freezer and boil or put into the crockpot frozen to shred. As far as browning the beef, making taco meat and making the meatloaf to freeze I do that the day of or after I make a Sam's run.

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  6. These are all great ideas!

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  7. I love all these ideas. I do some of them, but I did glean a few new ideas too! Be blessed!

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  8. Anonymous3:03 PM

    What a terrific post Wendi :) I'm visiting you from Chrissy's blog ...

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  9. Great tips, sure saves time in the kitchen. I do the same as you. I love pulling out things that has been prepared a head of time. We love using frozen banana's in smoothie also.

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  10. All of these are great ideas! I'm glad you shared them with us. I am always looking for ideas on saving money and time. God bless.

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  11. Oh my word!! All of these are fabulous ideas!! Gotta admit, though, that we have issues with frozen cookie dough balls. We've all discovered we like the dough better than the cookie. Tee hee. It's not uncommon for me to pull out the frozen dough balls and discover just a few left. LOL

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  12. I do a lot of these too and you are right about not wasting anything! I freeze most my fruits as they work just as good as fresh for smoothies, breads and muffins. I've been peeling my bananas and chunking them and then I freeze like 3 bananas per bag. When I'm ready to bake breads, I pull one bag out at a time. Works great!

    Have a great weekend Wendi!
    Hugs, Amy

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