I. Heart. My. Freezer. Topic 1: Getting ready to Freeze

by Patti on October 31, 2012 · 2 comments

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that I freeze a lot.  I didn’t realize this was unusual.  I am constantly freezing things.  I make things only to freeze things.  I actually get a little excited about freezing things because I know in later weeks, I’m going to be so excited when I pull out…whatever it is I froze, because it’s going to make my night so much easier.  So, I want to give you a lowdown on me and my freezer.  This sounds boring, even to me and I’m writing it, but I promise it will be worthwhile to read.

Today’s topic: Getting ready to freeze – Materials and Containers

There are a variety of ways to freeze.  It really depends on what you are freezing.

1. Freezer Wrap.  You can buy this in the seran wrap section at the grocery store.  The freezer wrap is easy to label and keeps freezer burn away.  You will definitely want to invest in some.  And while we’re on the subject, please label!  Label everything.  As much as you think you’ll remember what each container is, you won’t.  And it’s really gross to defrost chili when you think it’s a sweet spaghetti sauce. Trust me.  I know.  That was not one of my finer meals.

2. Ziploc Bags.  I buy both the small sandwich size and the gallon size at Sam’s.  I use both in freezing.  When I close the bags, I fold and refold to make sure ALL air is out of the bag – the less air, the less chance of freezer burn.  I’ve heard of some people (my husband Kevin) closing the bag around a straw, then sucking the excess air out that way, but that scares me.  I just don’t want to accidentally inhale raw meat – call me crazy.  So if you are more daring than I, go for it. Or make your husband do it! 🙂

3. FoodSaver Bags.  We have a fancy pants foodsaver that sucks the air out of the bags for you.  And I love it – I really do.  We use it quite frequently.  The positives – you can reuse the bags a few times and the air REALLY DOES stay out.  The negatives(at least in my house), I have to drag the thing out every time I want to use it.  So when I’m stocking things up for the winter, yes, I definitely pull it out.  When I’m freezing a few things here and there, I just grab a Ziploc bag.

4. GladWare. I use casserole gladware dishes for, well, casseroles.  They freeze and thaw easily in there, and I don’t look for my glass casserole dishes for hours just to realize they are in the freezer.  Ah hem….yep.  I’ve done that before.

According to the USDA, meats can be frozen for 3-4 months safely, casseroles 2 -3 months, soups and stews 2 -3 months.  I can’t say that I have stuck 100% behind these guidelines, but if you’re a sucker for rules, then know those guidelines. Here is the link, if you so choose to follow it:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FACTSheets/Focus_On_Freezing/index.asp

Using your freezer can help you save money while becoming more organized.  Don’t believe me?  Just wait.   In the next two posts, I will explain how to plan your meals around your freezer.  I am able to plan my meals out monthly and then no one in my family can ask me, “What’s for dinner?” because it’s always posted on my calendar.  Don’t worry.  Details will follow…stay tuned, please..

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

natalie@thesweetslife October 31, 2012 at 8:40 pm

excited about this series–i love using my freezer and am hoping to learn some new tips!! 🙂

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Patti October 31, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I’m excited YOU’RE excited! I hope you pick up a few tips, and I’d love to hear yours! 🙂

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