I bet you know at least a couple people or more who do freezer cooking days once or twice a month. They do this to save both time and money in the future, and it pays off for the most part. But what about those of us who don’t have a big chest freezer? I only have the freezer that came with my fridge, so I don’t think doing freezer cooking days would make much sense. Even though I don’t do freezer cooking days, I still save a lot of time and money by filling my small freezer.
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How to Fill Your Freezer Without Doing Freezer Cooking Days
I have done freezer cooking days a few times in the past as well as a few baby food freezer cooking days, but other than that, I have been able to fill my freezer without doing any freezer cooking days.
How? You ask.
There are three things I do on a pretty regular basis to keep that freezer full:
- Make extra for dinner and freeze it.
- Freeze leftovers that we don’t get around to eating within 3 days.
- Put any raw meat or produce (usually found on sale) in there that I know we won’t use before it goes bad.
One other thing I do occasionally is buy produce at super low prices and do what I can with all of it and then freeze what is left. For example, this past summer we got a huge box of peaches and I was able to make a ton of peach puree for my baby and store it in the freezer. We also got a box of tomatoes and made tomato sauce and then peeled and diced the tomatoes we couldn’t eat fast enough and threw both the sauce and the diced tomatoes in the freezer in freezer bags.
Over time, these practices actually fill up my freezer and we can rely on a lot of the food to get us through busy days or times when I’m feeling lazy (it happens!).
Filling Your Freezer Saves Time and Money
By doing those 4 simple things, you can save yourself a lot of time and money.
A Full Freezer Saves Time
There are several ways that filling your freezer in this way can save you time in the future:
- You can take a day “off” of cooking if you have enough of one meal in the freezer. Just throw together a quick side dish to go with the freezer meal and call it a day.
- If you make lunch for your husband, consider giving him a “freezer meal” every so often. It would be especially helpful on mornings that you are running late.
- When you have extra minced garlic, diced tomatoes, or lemon zest (and many other foods like this) you can just throw them in little baggies into the freezer. Then when you need a small amount of one of those ingredients in the future, you don’t have to take the time to chop or grate.
- You don’t have to go shopping in between shopping trips. It takes time to get in the car and drive to the store to get food. You are saving a lot of time that way if you prepare just a little more each meal to put in the freezer.
A Full Freezer Saves Money
If you have a full freezer, the money savings can be phenomenal. Just make sure to eat all that food before it goes bad or gets freezer burn.
- Had a busy day? Ordering takeout sounds tempting, but if you have a freezer full of a variety of foods, you can easily get something out to thaw in the microwave or put in the oven. You’ll save at least $20 or more since takeout can be so expensive.
- It’s also easy to think that going to the grocery store to pick up a few more items to complete your meal is necessary. Not so if you are prepared with food in the freezer! Save that gas money and go on a date.
- TV dinners, frozen pizzas, and chicken tenders are so convenient, but they really are very expensive compared to making your own meals. So if you decide to freeze your own food, you aren’t going to be tempted by the convenience of the freezer aisle. Put your money savings towards a vacation.
- When my husband takes something from the freezer for lunch, he’s not going to spend $10 on lunch that day. Talk about a HUGE money saver.
- I always say that throwing away food is like throwing away money. If you’re putting leftover food into the freezer BEFORE it goes bad, you are definitely going to save money.
Examples of Food That Can Easily Fill Your Freezer
Here are some examples of foods that we often have in our freezer as a result of doing one of the four practices above:
- Chicken drumsticks (raw)
- Soup (many varieties)
- Yogurt (easy to freeze in ice cube trays and then put in a zip-top bag)
- Pasta sauce
- Minced garlic and diced onions
- Lemon zest
- Fresh oregano
- Chicken bones (to use for chicken stock)
- Pancakes and waffles
If you need even more ideas on foods that can easily be frozen, check out this AWESOME resource.
Are you in the habit of filling your freezer to save time and money?