Everyone has some sort of refrigerator in their kitchen these days so they have somewhere to keep perishable groceries and there are not many ‘fridges that do not have a freezer compartment or section. The freezer in some models can take up quite a large part of the unit and is often not used to the fullest. Here are a few ideas on how to make the most of your freezer.
A Few Food Safety Tips
It is important that you remember some food-safety issues in order to avoid any problems that might occur.
– Do not freeze meat items that have been previously frozen.
– Do not allow frozen foods intended for the freezer to defrost too much before placing them in your freezer. Keep frozen items as cool as possible and put them in the freezer as quickly as possible.
– Do make sure that you defrost food completely before cooking unless the label indicates that it can be cooked from frozen. If it is already cooked be sure to reheat it before eating.
– Read the labels on all food items you buy for the freezer.
Supermarkets are full of offers these days, which is fine if it is something you are likely to eat before the use-by date. However, there is no need to pass up on those offers if the product can be frozen for use at a later date.
There are often occasions when there is enough left over from a meal to make another meal. Place the leftovers in a freezer container, allow to cool, label and date the container and place in the freezer for an occasion when you don’t have time to cook a meal.
Alternatively, you can cook meals for each day of the week at the weekend and freeze them and take them out as you need them. Be sure to label the containers as it is sometimes difficult to work out what the contents are once it is frozen.
Cooking and freezing food involves using energy and energy bills have risen at a phenomenal rate over the past few years. It does make financial sense to keep a close watch on what you are paying. You can compare energy rates per unit online before making the decision to switch supplier.
It is surprising how much money can be saved by cutting down on food waste.
It has been reported that we threw away around seven million tons of food in 2009. The amount of food you throw away can be reduced by using your freezer more effectively.
Frozen food is often cheaper than fresh food and is less likely to go off. If you live on your own and find that meat packs bought at the supermarket are too large for one, divide the meat up into portions, place them in freezer bags and freeze on the day. This works well with sausages as well.
If you are lucky enough to have vegetables, fruit trees or berries in the garden, pick them when they are ripe and either freeze them uncooked or pre-cook and freeze them so they are ready to use during the winter months. When baking, make two cakes and put one in the freezer for another occasion. Bread can go off quickly in hot weather, so prevent this by dividing the loaf into smaller portions. Keep enough for one or two days and freeze the rest for use later. Butter and milk also freeze well.