How to Stretch Your Grocery Budget: Tips for Freezing
Content by: Sarah Bigbee, RD
You can freeze milk by storing it in an airtight plastic container, leaving some room for the milk to expand.
● Keeps milk for about 3 months!
● Use within 7 days of thawing.
● This is very helpful for buying milk in bulk.
Freeze cheese either pre-shredded or, if it is a hard cheese, frozen in block form.
● The best freezing option for blocks of cheese are cheddar, parmesan and other hard cheeses.
● Shredded mozzarella freezes well.
● Plan to use frozen cheese for cooking, as the texture changes during the freezing and thawing process.
NOTE: Often the cheese becomes drier when frozen.
When freezing meats:
● Divide meat into the serving sizes that work best for your family.
● Wrap each serving individually in plastic wrap to keep air out.
● Label and date the meat, so you are easily able to pick out what you need.
To thaw meats:
● Use the microwave, refrigerator or cold water bath.
NOTE: Do not thaw meats on the counter or outside.
Freeze fresh vegetables by laying them flat on a tray and placing in the freezer. Once vegetables have frozen, store in an airtight container.
● Be sure to date and use your frozen veggies within 18 months.
● The texture may change for some of the veggies. Best if used in soups and stir frys.
Freeze fresh fruit by laying them flat on a tray and freezing. After frozen, store in airtight containers.
● Be sure to date the container and use frozen fruits within 12 months.
● The texture may change with freezing, so it may be best to mix these fruits in smoothies or yogurt parfaits once thawed.
When freezing leftovers:
● Allow leftovers to cool first.
● Place leftovers in containers and layer them with plastic wrap before putting the lid on.
● Label and date your leftovers. It makes for easier use from the freezer.
● Place in the refrigerator a day or two before you plan to reheat them.
● In a pinch, reheat from frozen, if the container allows.
NOTE: Do not thaw on the counter top or outside.
Follow a few of these tips to get the most out of your shopping list. Discover a variety of foods that you can freeze for reducing waste!
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