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Community Garden

How to Stretch Your Grocery Budget: Tips for Freezing

Content by: Sarah Bigbee, RD

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!

๐Ÿ’ก Features: Produce, Dairy, Save Money, Store, Supermarket, More for your Money
๐Ÿท Tags: Download, Handout, Brochure

How to Stretch Your Grocery Budget: Tips for Freezing

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๐Ÿฅ› Dairy
You can freeze milk by storing it in an airtight plastic container, leaving some room for the milk to expand.
โ— Keeps milk for about 3 months!
โ— Use within 7 days of thawing.
โ— 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.
โ— The best freezing option for blocks of cheese are cheddar, parmesan and other hard cheeses.
โ— Shredded mozzarella freezes well.
โ— 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.

๐Ÿฅฉ Meats
When freezing meats:
โ— Divide meat into the serving sizes that work best for your family.
โ— Wrap each serving individually in plastic wrap to keep air out.
โ— Label and date the meat, so you are easily able to pick out what you need.

To thaw meats:
โ— Use the microwave, refrigerator or cold water bath.

NOTE: Do not thaw meats on the counter or outside.

๐Ÿฅ• Vegetables
Freeze fresh vegetables by laying them flat on a tray and placing in the freezer. Once vegetables have frozen, store in an airtight container.
โ— Be sure to date and use your frozen veggies within 18 months.
โ— The texture may change for some of the veggies. Best if used in soups and stir frys.

๐Ÿ“ Fruits
Freeze fresh fruit by laying them flat on a tray and freezing. After frozen, store in airtight containers.
โ— Be sure to date the container and use frozen fruits within 12 months.
โ— The texture may change with freezing, so it may be best to mix these fruits in smoothies or yogurt parfaits once thawed.

๐Ÿฅ˜ Leftovers
When freezing leftovers:
โ— Allow leftovers to cool first.
โ— Place leftovers in containers and layer them with plastic wrap before putting the lid on.
โ— Label and date your leftovers. It makes for easier use from the freezer.

When thawing:
โ— Place in the refrigerator a day or two before you plan to reheat them.
โ— In a pinch, reheat from frozen, if the container allows.

NOTE: Do not thaw on the counter top or outside.

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