Whether money is tight or you just enjoy being a good steward of your money and making the most of it, meal planning, smart shopping, and proper food storage is key. Freezing food can be an extremely effective tool for saving money. Here are three ideas to help you make the most of your freezer and save money at the same time.
Buy A Vacuum Sealer
This small, useful appliance will cost you money initially, but it will save you both money and prevent food waste in the long run. This device uses special food preservation 2-ply plastic rolls that create a bag, removes all of the air from it, and seals your food safely inside. Instead of foods becoming freezer burnt from the cold air before they can be used, the foods stay as fresh as the day you froze them.
Another advantage of a vacuum sealer is you can choose your portion sizes. Whether you want to portion single-serving leftovers for a quick and easy lunch rather than ordering fast-food, or buy products in bulk and divided it up into family sized portions, you will be saving money.
You will also be saving freezer space. Once you remove the air from a bag, you are left with relatively flat, stackable packages. This means you can take advantage of sales and fit more in your freezer.
Purchase Freezer Labels
Once you have your bags sealed, you need to denote the contents of each bag. You won't be saving money if you're not quite sure what the mystery meat is or how long it has been in the freezer. You can buy plain labels, or you can buy specialty labels specifically made for the freezer and the foods you put in there, such as from Etiquette Systems. These labels usually have enough room to record the contents, the date processed, the amount, and any special cooking or reheating instructions. This makes it especially easy for older children to find and prepare something to eat when they are hungry.
Look For "Must Use" Meats
Most grocery stores dramatically reduce their meats when the sell by date is quickly approaching. The savvy shopper can save a lot of money purchasing these meats and throwing them in the freezer right away. Ask your store's butcher what the best time to look for markdown deals is. Large, expensive cuts of meat are usually less popular than the cheaper cuts, so things you might not normally be able to afford, such as a whole beef tenderloin, are often in the reduced pile.
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