On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me… 10 drumsticks freezing
Your freezer is one of the best tools you have to save yourself money and the average freezer contains enough food to feed its owners for 11 days.
- Keep frozen food frozen (yes, we’re starting with the obvious one)
- Freezing any food that is going to hit its’ use-by date before we can eat it
- Storing the second, third and fourth portions of anything we can’t eat straight away
- Freezing meals we’ve made ourselves
Here are our Christmas tips to help you get the most from your freezer and save you money by not throwing away any of the lovely food you bought for Christmas.
Squeezing more in
You may be surprised how much you can get in your freezer, even if it has a small cubic capacity.
- Freeze meat in smaller portions – if you buy 11 drumsticks on offer but know you’ll only eat 4 in each meal, pack them into cling film or freezer bags in packs of 3 or 4 so you only have to defrost what you will eat
- Take items out of the boxes it came in and put into minimal packaging, cut out any cooking instructions you need and make sure you label the items so you can find them again
Quick and easy to use
You don’t always have to take items out of the freezer hours or days before you want to use them.
- If you cut meat up in to smaller pieces before freezing it won’t take as long to defrost and can be used in quick stir-fry meals.
- You can freeze cooked food, so cook meat and freeze it so you can just take it out the freezer, defrost, re-heat and add straight to pasta or salad.
- When you freeze fresh vegetables, freeze them on a flat tray, then once they’re frozen put them in a container of your choice. If you do this, you should be able to choose how much you defrost instead of a huge clump of them.
- Label everything you freeze. 1 in 3 people say they can’t identify things in their freezer and you don’t want to defrost the bolognese to discover that it’s actually shepherd’s pie…
You might be surprised at what you can freeze.
Milk – you can freeze milk in plastic bottle: use a little milk from the bottle first then put the bottle in the freezer. When frozen, the milk expands so the bottle puffs out (it also turns yellow, but don’t worry). To defrost, put the milk in the fridge the day before you want to start using it and it turns white again as it defrosts.
Potatoes – Parboil them(cook for less time than you would normally until they’re starting to go soft, but aren’t cooked in the middle), cool them, then freeze on a baking tray and put in a container of your choice. When you want to use them, thaw them out and then roast them. This may not work with all types of potato. Give it a try and let us know how you get on.
Bread – put it in the freezer and you can defrost quickly and easily. Slices of bread can be toasted straight from the freezer. Rolls and baguettes should be put in the oven on a low temperature for a short time and when you take them out, they’re lovely and warm and soft.
Cheese – simply grate and freeze, then add straight to a sauce. Hard cheeses like parmesan can be grated from frozen.
Cream – whip cream, then freeze. Whipping stops it becoming grainy when you thaw it.
Cake – freeze a whole cake by double wrapping it in cling film, then wrapping it in foil. It will keep for a month. To defrost, simply take out the freezer. You can also freeze cake in slices, putting greaseproof paper between the slices, so you can remove one at a time.