Earlier this month, I found an awesome deal on shredded cheese. An 8 ounce bag was $.87, for a total price of $1.74 per pound! The catch was that the “sell by” date was just a few days away. Without a second thought, I loaded my cart with about 10 lbs of cheese. (And don’t worry, I left plenty for the next bargain shopper.)
When I got to the checkout, the lady behind me asked what in the world I was going to do with all that cheese. I told her I was going to freeze it and she said, “Can you freeze THAT?” Shredded cheese freezes and thaws like a dream, but no one had told this sweet lady!
As a college graduation present, my parents bought us a chest freezer. Definitely not your normal graduation gift, but way better than a fancy pen with your name on it or a giant teddy bear with a graduation cap. Our deep freeze has saved us so much money in the years that we’ve had it.
Here are some things that you can freeze. Some of them might be seem obvious, but for the sake of the sweet lady at the grocery store and others like her, I’m going to list them anyway.
Dairy You Can Freeze
- Milk-– Since liquids expand, you’ll want to take a little bit of milk out of each gallon. The milk looks yellowish when it’s frozen, but will return to normal when thawed. Wait until the entire gallon has thawed (and then shake) before drinking, otherwise the first half will be cream and the second half will be skim.
- Cheese— Shredded cheese freezes best. If you freeze and thaw block cheese, it will crumble when you try to slice it, though the taste is fine.
- Cream Cheese— The consistency changes a bit when cream cheese is thawed, but it works great for baking, cooking, and frosting.
- Eggs— Crack eggs before freezing them. You can crack them individually into silicon trays or freeze them in bulk in a glass jar.
- Butter or margarine— Freezes and thaws like a dream, with no changes in consistency or usefulness. If you find a good deal on butter, don’t be shy!
- Whipping Cream or Buttermilk— Dairy ingredients that you use only occasionally are great candidates for freezing. You can also often find them discounted when they are close to their expiration date. As long as they are frozen before they expire, they will be fine. Just be sure to use them quickly once they thaw.
- Yogurt— If you find individual yogurt cups on sale or close to the expiration date, buy them and freeze them. If you make homemade yogurt, you can freeze your yogurt start for next time. The indivdual yogurt cups go great in lunches (they’ll thaw just in time) or add a popcicle stick for a frozen treat!
Fruit You Can Freeze
- Bananas— Bananas will darken in color and be mushy, but they’re perfect for baking and smoothies. For use in smoothies, peel and cut ripe bananas into quarters, flash freeze on a tray, then store in freezer bags. For baking, you can pre-mash and pre-measure if you feel so inclined. Bananas can be frozen in their peels, but extracting the banana after it is partially thawed increases the “eeww” factor. It’s worth the small effort to take off the peels.
- Grapes— Wash before freezing. Frozen grapes make a fun summer treat for kids and adults alike. They’re like a stick-less popsicle. You’ll want to eat them frozen, as they will get mushy as they thaw. You could also add them into smoothies. When grapes go on sale, buy more than you can eat and stick them in the freezer (after washing them, of course).
- Melon— I cube and freeze watermelon and cantaloupe from the garden. Flash freeze it on a tray for a few hours, then store it in freezer bags, and it’s easy to access the portion that you want. Frozen melon is great to add to smoothies.
- Citrus— Cut up and freeze lemons, limes and grapefruit to use in smoothies. For lemons and limes, you can even leave the peel on. If you have access to a citrus tree, you probably know that you can juice your oranges and lemons and freeze the juice. Lemon juice freezes nicely in ice cube trays.
- Pumpkin Puree— We make our own pumpkin puree to use in place of canned pumpkin in pies, muffins, cakes, and soups. I freeze it in measured quantities in these storage containers, then once it’s frozen, I wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in freezer bags.
- Berries— I hope this one isn’t new to anyone. Wash or hull the berries before freezing. Frozen berries are great for pies, smoothies, sauces, jams, and more. When they thaw, they can be mushy (depending on the type). My kids love to stir berries or frozen fruit into bowls of oatmeal to help cool it down.
- Applesauce— If you decide not to can your homemade applesauce, you can freeze it! The taste and texture won’t change.
Veggies You Can Freeze
- Tomatoes— Yes, they’re technically fruits, but they are more veggie-ish in my opinion. Wash and core your ripe tomatoes before freezing. When thawed, tomatoes will be mushy. They are perfect for blending up for tomato soup or for canning as tomato puree (our favorite way to can tomatoes).
- Zucchini— Shredded zucchini freezes well. It’s perfect for breads and muffins. When it thaws, drain off some of the water that it sheds.
- Onions— I am an onion crybaby, so I have my husband cut our onions and freeze them for me so I always have chopped onions available without going through the teary trauma. Flash freeze chopped onion on trays, then transfer to freezer bags. Flash freezing makes it really easy to get the amount you need without requiring an ice pick or chisel.
- Leafy Greens— We freeze spinach, chard, and other leafy greens to use in green smoothies. We add them to the blender frozen. If you have greens that will go bad in the fridge before they are used, freezing them is a great way to prevent waste.
- Corn on the Cob— Don’t husk your farm fresh corn. Stick it in a freezer bag with the husk and all, until you’re ready to use it!
Other Foods You Can Freeze
- Meat— I buy meat in bulk to freeze. I usually buy in bulk but separate the meat into quantities I typically use before freezing. Meat can also be frozen after it is cooked. I like to pre-cook ground beef to freeze so that I can quicky add it to a dish. I do the same with shredded chicken.
- Garlic— Garlic can be frozen whole or in individual cloves. It’s just as easy to work with frozen as it is beforehand.
- Broth— If you cook a whole turkey or chicken, don’t waste the broth! Freeze it to use in future soups!
- Herbs— Fresh herbs can be expensive, but often go bad before they can all be used. Fresh herbs can be frozen in an ice cube tray with broth or olive oil.
- Beans— I cook beans in bulk, then freeze them in portions to use in place of canned beans. Cooked dry beans are cheaper, yummier, and better for you than canned beans.
- Pasta— My mother-in-law helped with a huge dinner where pasta was served. The pasta was cooked weeks ahead of time, drained well, then frozen in freezer bags. Be sure to squeeze as much air out as possible.
- Waffles, Pancakes, French Toast— We have homemade pancakes pretty regularly around here. For an even quicker breakfast, you can make pancakes (waffles or french toast) in large batches for freezing. Just stick them in a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as you can!
- Pie Crust— I make my pie crust in bulk each year. I freeze my pie crust dough in balls wrapped in plastic wrap, then I put 9 dough balls in a gallon freezer bag. It thaws quickly to make pies, quiches, and pot pies without making a mess of the kitchen each time.
- Cookie Dough— Cookies don’t last long around here, but if you have more self-control than we do (or fewer mouths to feed), frozen cookie dough may be the perfect way to have homemade treats at your fingertips. Cookie dough can be frozen in individual balls or in tubs.
- Breads— Both yeast bread (like sandwich bread) and quick breads (like zucchini bread) freeze well. Freezing staples like bread can prevent entire trips to the store which will save both time and money!
- Yeast Dough (pizza, bread, rolls, etc)– If you’re new to making bread, find a freezer-friendly recipe to start. Otherwise, you can convert just about any recipe to a freezable recipe by freezing it after the first rising and after forming the dough into a loaf or rolls. Pizza dough can be frozen in a ball and formed into a crust after thawing.
- Sandwiches— Discovering frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches was a grand revelation! I will sit down and make a loaf or two of bread into PBJs. I put them into individual sandwich bags and straight into the freezer. It sure simplifies the lunch-making routine. Sandwiches with meat and cheese work too (just add lettuce and tomato later).
- Freezer Meals— This is where it can really get exciting! What if you could seriously cut down on your dinner prep time by having a freezer meal ready to go. Freezer meals save money, time, and sanity. They’re also wonderful to share with a friend who just had a baby. Not all recipes are created equally when it comes to freezer meals.
Want to try freezer cooking but don’t know where to start? Erin Chase, the $5 dinner mom, has the freezer meal thing all figured out. She recently put all her freezer meals together in the MyFreezEasy site where you can put together 10 freezer meals in under an hour! She even includes a video so you can do it along with her! There are all sorts of options for different food preferences. If you are interested in making great use of your freezer space and want to cut down your time in the kitchen, then definitely give these freezer meals a try!
MyFreezEasy even has a desktop app that allows you to drag and drop the freezer meals you want into your menu, then the app will come up with your shopping list, prep list, and assembly instructions. It really makes freezer cooking simple and do-able! Want to learn more about about making freezer meals? Check out this free freezer cooking workshop and sample meal plan!
How about you?
- Do you have any freezer secrets?
- What do you love to freeze?
- Have you had any freezer flops or foods that didn’t freeze well?
You’ll Also Enjoy:
freezer sandwiches: add a thin layer of butter to bread before filling, it helps keep bread from becoming soggy before lunch time. This also works for sandwiches i general, plus it enhances the taste.
I love Doritos in my taco salad. So I put the rest of the bag in the freezer so I won’t eat them and will have them for the next taco night. I will also freeze popcorn that has been popped, and pretzels. I was given a huge pan of mac and cheese from church. I test froze some thawed it out, and ate it and it was wonderful. So I froze all the rest.
Love this! I freeze berries and nuts when I find them on sale. Have you ever tried the Stasher bags? They are an investment at first, but can be used over and over, dishwasher/microwave safe etc. Will save money in the long run on continually purchasing plastic bags, and are better for the environment for sure.
Man, I feel dumb. I never thought of freezing those bags of cheese. My wife would come home with like 10 bags from couponing, and we would just throw them in the fridge. Thanks for the tips!
Sarah LaPorte says
Hey I’m new to freezing but I think it is such a great idea!! Can’t wait to try it!! But I just would like to know a bit more about flash freezing? What does that mean exactly what is the best way to do it?
Lisa B. says
Whenever I juice a lemon or lime, I quarter what is left of each citrus half and freeze it. These frozen citrus rinds are great for cleaning and freshening my garbage disposal. Throw a couple into the disposal with some ice cubes or frozen vinegar cubes and run the disposal with cold water. No more bad smells from the disposal AND it sharpens the blades.
Barbara Karr says
I am 71 and on Social Security. My budget for food is small. I read through the entire list of responses and am amazed! After all these years I have found dozens of ways to cut the waste out of my grocery bill and ways to increase my grocery buying power. Thank you for your fabulous article.(except for the breast milk) your article has expanded my grocery budget without extra cost or waste. Thank you ever so much!!!!!!! A Grateful Consumer.
Charlene S Sullivan says
I buy large quantities of bell pepper in the summer. I dice it, flash freeze it and put it in freezer bags
I cut my peppers into strips to freeze then dice when ready to use. Strips or dice when needed!
Sandy Hozeski says
I don’t have time to read all the conversations posted so I may be asking for something already discussed.
I accidentally froze a container of cottage cheese. Any suggestions for how I can use it besidse some type of cheese stuffed pasta or lasagna? Any suggestions on how to thaw it??
Curious Q says
I have seen a recipe for Mac and Cheese that calls for cottage cheese as well as cheddar cheese.
I love this post. Thank you to all that participated in the great information sharing.
I love freezing brown or black rice. It takes so long to cook so I make extra and freeze the rest.
[email protected] says
Love this list! Thank you. I can’t wait to pin it and share it with my followers.
I love freezing food, so kuch less waste for us! I freeze a lot of what you have on this list! I also freeze nuts, cooked hamburger, and avocados (which I smash a bit & add a little lime juice to — ready to use for guacamole when thawed, just add onion, salt, & cilantro). I freeze a lot of bread items too … small family here and we seldomly get through a whole loaf of bread or package of hamburger/hot dog buns … so ive made it a habit to immediately put 1/2 in freezee right away.
I never saw an answer to the blanching question, was also curious about it. Also Alton Brown said on one of his shows about avocados that they do not ripen on the tree. They must be picked before they ripen. I buy them in bags of 10 or so and put them in the refrigerator. I take one or two out to ripen and the rest stay fine for quite sometime until I can get them out to ripen.
We freeze almonds, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds. Pretty much any nuts and seedS. Keeps them from going rancid and super easy to pull out for use.
no matter what I put my shredded cheese in it still gets icy in parts and its in chunks too. Is there a way this can be avoided? Ive tried a ip lock bags and containers.
My best advice is to get out as much air from the ziplock bags as you can. Ice crystals form from moisture in the air in the bag.
I put my shredded cheese in the freezer in the bag it comes in. It is still good after 1 year (forgot about and when found it was used and found to still be good). If I buy block cheese I slice it, put wax paper in between slices and put in freezer bags, also keeps for a long time .🌸
I freeze cartons of egg whites when they go on sale. I also make bags of mire poix, so when I go to make soups or stews I have a ready mix of veggies. I freeze ginger after I peel it so I can just grate some when I need it 🙂
Caroline (up in NWO in Canada) says
Just a quick question regarding all the fresh veggies…growing up a country kid we dreaded harvest time. My grandmother had a garden that was probably 2 acres of a variety of veggies, then an entire field of potatoes…needless to say us kids didn’t look forward to any of that end of things – who wants to work at something as boring as pulling and cleaning never ending buckets, gunney sacks and grocery bags of veggies? We would much rather be at the swimming hole. But be that as it may, come late August through mid October a good amount of “play time” was re-defined as “work-time”.
We canned a good portion of our veggies, laid out potatoes to dry, braided the onions and garlic. But everything from beans and carrots through to the zucchini was frozen. Prior to freezing everything had to be blanched first.
I didn’t see anyone mention blanching their veggies first? Is it something that doesn’t need to be done – or is it just taken for granted that you should blanche them first?
There are some veggies that need to be blanched first, like potatoes, I don’t know whole list but not all vegetables are going to be on it.
Great post! Thanks for all the wonderful tips!
I also want to share something I’ve learned about freezing berries. To keep them from getting mushy, wash them first, pat dry, then flash freeze them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Then measure and store in the freezing container of your choice.
frozen mashed potatoes was a flop for me. turned out gritty. HOWEVER baked potatoes thaw great. I made loaded twice baked potato skins and froze them. Meatloaf freezes fantastically.
I must add… at xmas time we make tons of cookies. we make a double or quadruple batch and put them in gallon freezer bags. mash it flat and write on it the temp and time to cook. when you’re ready to bake, pull it out and while its still frozen, cut that sucker into 2″ sized strips. (then cut those strips into 2″ squares)
pop those on the pan and you have perfectly sized cookies.
I do a lot of “cook ahead” freezer type meals to make camping a lot easier. I use my seal-a-meal and freeze everything flat. That way I line it all up like books in the cooler. I use less ice because everything is already frozen. It lasts longer too since its colder, longer.
Thanks for sharing Chrissy! Mashing the cookie dough flat and cutting it like that is perfect! 🙂
Mash potatoes when thawed will be gritty, you only need to put back on stove in a pan, add a little butter and milk and use the wand, mix for a little while and voila, mash potatoes at their best, enjoy🌻 I make mash potatoes for thanksgiving and Christmas ahead of time freeze them, and they are always delicious.
Thanks for the info!! You should try these freezer containers:
They have 4 different sizes: 1 pint (case of 60), 1 1/2 pint (case of 48), 1 quart (case of 36), 1/2 gallon (case of 24). The cases are $39.95. Or you can buy a 4 pack (one of each size) for $4.95.
(P.s. I don’t work for them, I just think the containers are awesome for freezing. I do use the Rubbermaid ones like you posted on here for refrigerator storage though).
Thanks for sharing Linda! I actually grew up not to far from Lehman’s (brick and mortar) handware store. Whenever we had people visit from out of state we would take them to Amish country and Lehaman’s was always a highlight. 🙂
when I get hamburger on sale, I will brown it in a pan, and drain in a colander with hot water to get excess grease out. I then put in freezer bags. I will sometimes add carrots, peppers, onions, garlic, etc to the hamburger. It is great for pasta dishes, soups, etc
When chickens are on sale, I will boil and debone the chicken, I will then put chicken pieces into freezer containers and finish filling container with the broth. This is also great for casseroles, soups etc.
I do that with hamburger too! I’ve never frozen the broth with the chicken (I do them separately), but that would be great as a soup starter!
Clever Girl says
I loved this post Stephanie, great ideas! Especially the half-frozen peanut butter sammys.
I’ve known about freezing butter for a long time. I use it straight from the freezer to make pie dough; I grate it on a box grater right into the flour… ice cold, it’s perfect!
I have instructional vids on YouTube under Clever Girl Eats if you want to check ’em out.
Your article is so inspiring, thank you so much, as are all the comments, which I have read through. To be honest, I had no idea about freezing half of the things that you mentioned. I was thinking about getting rid of the stand up freezer we have in our garage, but after reading this, my mind is full of ideas on how to make better use of it and increase the longevity of the food that we have, particularly as I just threw away two bags to Pumpkin seeds, as they had gone rancid = big expense to throw away. Again, many thanks!
That’s great news Sarah! I’m glad you’ve got ideas for using your freezer now!
How about freezing cucumbers? Will they freeze and thaw ok? I love detox water with lemon, lime, and cucumbers but they go bad before I can use them up. So I figured freezing them would be awesome and double as ice cubes!
They would get smooshy when they thaw, but for smoothies, or probably even your detox water, they should be just fine!
How do you keep things from getting freezer burnt? Maybe my freezer is just horrible, but I’ve had a lot of trouble with things that I’ve frozen in ice cube trays, because you can’t really get all of the air out of the bags.
We haven’t had problems with freezer burn, but maybe it’s because we eat through things pretty regularly.
Whenever I open a can of coconut milk I never use it all so I always pour remaining milk into freezer trays and freeze them. When frozen I pop them out and place in a freezer bag (removing all the air) and use them in my smoothies. I also do this with my almond milk (especially chocolate flavored) as well as it is hard to get through the entire gallon by the expiration date. I also cut up all my peppers, green, jalapeno, etc. and flash freeze them and then place into freezer bags for later use.
Minerva Gutiérrez says
Hi, I would like to know if frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches defrost good without being soggy. Thanks.
They thaw like a dream! You’d never know that they weren’t freshly made. Confession: I actually like eating them before they are completely thawed because the peanut butter has a crunch to it. 🙂
Just have to ask to make sure, by flash freezing, you just mean putting them singly on a cookie sheet or whatever in the freezer and freezing that way before bagging?
Yep! That’s exactly what I meant. It’s nice because then you don’t have one giant frozen mass that you have to chisel away at in order to use.
I’ve lived overseas for several years, and milk is sold in 1/2 liter bags. If you want to freeze smaller portions of milk, put it in your ziploc baggies, and freeze flat. It makes saving small portions great and they thaw in about 4-6 hours in the fridge. We always have whole milk and use it just like regular milk. It took me a while to get used to bagged milk, but I really like that I can make sure the bulk of my milk isn’t going bad, as only what I’ll need for that day is in my fridge. The rest is in the freezer!
That’s a great tip, especially if your freezer is really full. A ziploc bag of milk fits a lot easier than an awkward gallon jug!
Lanai Scarr says
UMMM this is AMAZING!!! So helpful.
There are just two of us at home, so when I make a pot of soup for a meal, I immediately freeze half of it for another time. I then have dinner in the freezer when I don’t have time to cook. Or I have soup for a friend who is ill.
penny tannehill says
we make homemade egg noodles. flour well, flash freeze & store them in lg air tight tupperware containers in freezer.
Ooo! Homemade egg noodles sound delicious. Great tip to freeze them! Thanks for sharing!
Jaime Schmidt says
I like to use the frozen grapes in my wine glass to instantly chill it if it’s just been pulled off the shelf! Doesn’t water it down at all!
Jenn Malone says
I’d much prefer you parents practical chest freezer as a gift than most average ones people receive as grad gifts! Great list! I never knew about the beans.
These are all awesome ideas! I can’t wait to use them on my next shopping trip! I was wondering if anybody has tried to freeze almond milk? Does it taste funky when thawed or is it ok to use in smoothies?
I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure it would be fine for smoothies! Give it a try and let us know how it works out!
How about kiwi and citrus fruit? (Sorry if it is already on here)
I’ve frozen them to use in smoothies. Kiwi in smoothies is delicious! I cut up my citrus before I freeze it. If you have a good blender, you can even leave the peel on!
I love to freeze fresh ginger. It lasts forever in a freezer bag, and when I need, I don’t even peel it, I just run the frozen nob over my micro planer, skin and all. I also freeze left over wine and coffee in ice cube trays, and then throw them in a freezer bag, I use them in recipes (chocolate recipes or iced coffee and savor dishes for the wine ice cubes) (ice cubes tend to be about 2 Tbl)
you have leftover wine?? lol
Great ideas Christina!
one that I’ve discover is marshmallows. I can never get through even half the bag before they start sticking together or getting hard. So I just put a twist-tye on the bag and stick it in the freezer. They thaw very well and quickly to.
Great idea Victoria! Marshmallows get pretty sticky and gross pretty quickly otherwise!
Nina Candler says
Living in the country has limited my freezer efforts as we will lose power in bad weather. So far it has never been out long enough to affect the freezer. (We now have a generator that will handle the freezer.) So I did a lot of canning and still do. There was a time when I canned everything I could get my hands on. LOL
But now I am looking to my freezer for those meals that can be made in minutes or at least thrown into a pot with the least amount of work. Love the ideas shared on here. Most of them I am already doing. But thanks for the extras I found.
We do a lot of canning too. We have power outages too, but so far our freezer has been fine. The only disaster was our own fault: https://www.sixfiguresunder.com/freezer-nightmare/
How can you keep some things from getting freezer burn (like PB &J) in just sandwich baggies?
If I’m going to have sandwiches in there for more than a day or two, I put the sandwiches in their individual fold top sandwich bags and then fill a gallon freezer bag with the bagged sandwiches. We go through them pretty quickly around here! 🙂
I freeze my flour too. I buy a 50# bag at a time and freeze it to keep the worms at bay. Works like a charm.
“Since liquids expand…”
Water expands when frozen, but this is not true of other liquids. The water in the milk is what causes it to expand. Other liquids contract when frozen. Just for the record. 🙂
You forgot CAKE!! You can freeze a fresh cooled cake, before it is decorated. bring it out the night before, oh and wrap it up with strech and seal!
View my cakes on facebook! 🙂
That’s a great one Lorraine! Cakes do freeze well!
I lived in Alaska, on an island, for 2 years. If you didn’t get it from the grocery store when the barge came in weekly, you didn’t get it until the following week. We froze EVERYthing, almost every home had a deep freezer lol. Chips freeze well, bread actually is more moist after it’s thawed, pancakes freeze well and are easy to reheat in the morning… These are great tips to add to my list, thanks!
What a cool experience Shauna!
u can add bell peppers and brownies to the list as well 🙂 owh and melted chocolate (in icecubes)
Has anyone ever frozen avocados? Did you freeze them whole or slice or mash them first? They turn brown fast in the fridge so I’m wondering if lemon juice would prevent that in the fridge. We have an avacado tree that is full of them and they will be ripe in about a month. I love avacados and am excited, but there is no way I could eat all those, and yes I’m planning on giving some to friends too! Maybe I can trade for some mango!!
I’ve frozen avocados before, but to use in smoothies. I’m not sure what they would be like thawed, but they would probably work great for guacamole. If you’ve got a whole tree of them, then it definitely won’t hurt to give it a try! 🙂
Nina Candler says
Pureed avocados can be frozen and used in guacamole dips, dressings and spread on sandwiches.
Whole, cut, diced or mashed avocados do not have as desirable of a result when frozen.
I puréed mine with lime juice and froze for use later (just researched;). Also had some slices to use for tomorrow and read to store it with slice of onion. It won’t brown and the onion won’t affect the taste. I hope it works! Good luck with yours. Unfortunately for us is will be years before our tree is big enough to produce avocados.
Thank you for all the tips!!
hi everyone totally blown away by some of the things you guys are freezing – my question is do you take the frozen pbj sandwiches and thaw over night and then just eat or how do you thaw them ? also how eacatly do you freeze chips (i assume these arent fries and they are crisps) do you just put the bag into the freezer and how do you thaw them also – this site is brilliant
For PBJs, we just take them out of the freezer in the morning when we’re packing lunches. By the time it’s lunchtime, they are thawed and yummy. Personally, I also like them when they’ve only been out of the freezer for 10 minutes or so. The pb is crunchy and it’s like some sort of candy bar or something (maybe I’m weird though).
As for the chips, I’m guessing people just put the whole bag in the freezer to keep them fresh.
Vicki Eggleston says
I freeze any kind of chips. Just put the bag in the freezer. You can take them out and eat them right away. Handy tip when you like a variety and have an empty nest.
Question-when you thaw the pb&j is the bread soggy? Sounds like it would be
Nope! I have never had a problem with them going soggy. They come our just perfect.
I freeze celery very well, I don’t like it on it’s own, but it’s a great addition to my home made soups and stews as it tastes really nice with a stick of celery in. I buy a bunch and wash and chop it up and it saves buying a whole bunch every time I want to use one stick.
I love to freeze anything I can. Great way to reduce waste. I give it a go and see if it works with a small portion and 99% of the time it works great. Think how much comes from the shops ready frozen !
That’s great that you’re not afraid to try to freeze new things Minnie! It really is amazing how many thing your can freeze.
If you ever see paper cups on sale, stock up! Pour anything liquid into them (broth, yogurt, applesauce, lemon juice, etc.). Once frozen solid, tear off the paper cups and put your cylinders into a zip-loc bag. Then pull out a perfectly sized 8 oz. portion whenever you need it! Dixie cups are 3 oz. for substances you typically use less of.
Great idea Katie! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Frozen grapes make the best ice cubes in a glass of wine on a hot summer day!
When I was raising our 5 children & I had left over vegetablesI would put them in a large freezer container. When it was full, I add ground beef & made a soup. Nothing went to wast & the kids loved it. It didn’t matter if there was a little or a lot left over. It all went in the container, corn, potatoes, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, raw or cooked,etc. It was my “Dump Soup”. I served with corn bread & honey & I was Super Mom for the night. With the easiest meal of the week.
That’s perfect Debra! I love that you called it “dump soup”! Never the same soup twice! 🙂
Nina Candler says
LOL, I do this also AND have the same name for it! I even add leftover meats, spaghetti sauce, stews, etc. Anything that is still good and edible goes into the bucket for the dump soup. I love it. Easy peasy and always good.
At the bakery I work at, we’ve started freezing our egg whites when we need yolks for something. Using an ice cube tray works great! To thaw, I just run under hot water in a plastic bag for just a little while and smash it up with my hands until it’s thawed.
That’s perfect! Thanks for sharing!
I found that the yoke of the egg went hard after freezing. Something to do with the protein. I read that you need to separate the yokes from the whites and mix some salt with the yokes for savoury dishes and some sugar with the yokes for sweet dishes. I haven’t tried it yet. But I thought it was worth sharing.
Thanks for the tips Val! 🙂
i would like to subscribe but I didn’t see if you share emails with other companies. I do not want a lot of junk mail
Hi Mary! I definitely don’t share or sell my email list. I hate spam and a cluttered inbox as much as anyone. 🙂
Thank you so much! Bein on a college student budget this totally helped! So many things i can freeze i didnt know about, ahhhh ! Incredibly insane and amazing ways to save. Thanks again, the sandwhich tip is a good one, easy to grab and go.
You’re welcome Sabrina! Having sandwiches in the freezer is so convenient.
ALSO! (Damn it, I forgot to include it on my first comment :() I’d love to read an entire post (or just know tbh) about how long can those things could stay in the freezer!
There are “rules” but they are always on the super conservative side. The rules also depend on if you are using a fridge freezer or a deep freeze. A deep freeze is colder (and opened less frequently) so things stay nicer for longer.There is no real danger in freezing things longer, it just may affect the quality slightly, but isn’t dangerous.
I must say that what scares me the most from this list are definitely eggs, pb&j sandwiches and almost everything from the prepared meals category. I remember my aunt freezing broth a lot, but it always scared me to death.
How do you do to thaw pb&j sandwiches without making a mess? Just curious 🙂
We put PBJs into the kids’ and my husband’s lunches. By lunchtime the sandwiches had thawed just fine. I like eating them after they’ve thawed for only 15-30 minutes because the PB is still crunchy frozen. 🙂
Stephanie H says
When you make the meat and cheese sandwiches are you able to put mayo or mustard also with no problem? Or do you need to put it on after they are thawed out?
Honestly, I don’t know because I don’t like mayo or mustard (or other condiments for that matter)! I know… I’m weird. I would guess that you would be fine. Give it a try and see! 🙂
awesome post, I freeze EVERYTHING I can get my hands on!
The (according to my friends) weirdest frozen thing in my freezer is my pancake saving jar. It’s a plastic box, approx 0,75 litres in which I save small leftovers of pancake batter, waffle batter and eggs (esp eggs used in egg washing when baking). It takes a while (a few tablespoons here and there), but when the box is full i thaw it and pour the mix into a pie dish, sprinkle about 200g of frozen berries and bake for 20-30 min at 225 degrees celsius.
The resultant thick pancake is served with cottage cheese and makes a healthy filling lunch, dinner or snack (For me it’s 4 servings and I usually bring it to work for lunch). And it’s a “free” meal!
Thanks Christina! Those are some great ideas!
Some great stuff there! Thanks for sharing.
I always freeze tomatoes, berries, fruits when I harvest them and I always run out of time to can. I thaw them and can the produce later. If the tomatoes are small, I core them and leave them whole. If they are larger, I chop em into chunks. Put in freezer bags and use them later on.
I make homemade “tv dinners” from left overs and freeze them for quick eats on busy nights. Saves huge on take out meals. Plus it saves on lunches!
Every time I make chili or soup, the leftovers get frozen.
I also mince 1/2 an onion, slice a cup of carrots then a cup of celery and freeze it in a freezer bag so when I make soup, one big step is already done! Just bring out the bag, defrost and start cooking.
Already baked beans freeze well for using in chili, dips and soups as well.
I love the portioned homemade TV dinners idea! And having the veggies already chopped for soup is so convenient!
Cilantro works great too!!
Homemade pesto sauce freezes great as long as you put a thin layer of oil over the top of it once it’s in the container. I freeze it, pop it out, put it in a freezer bag, and then have the container again. Works great for a prolific basil plant. I also freeze tortillas, wheat berries, frosting, sauces, marshmallows, shredded coconut, dehydrated fruits and veggies, yeast, bread crumbs, sugar, bacon grease, seeds, and juice, chipotle in adobo sauce and tomato paste in ice cube trays. Oh, and batteries.
I have never made homemade pesto, but we have plenty of basil growing, so I really should try it and freeze it. Thanks for the tips Anjee!
How do you keep everything organized (besides meats, etc. on one side and fruits on the other)? I would love to hear your thoughts (even a whole blog post) on your freezer organization system.
I don’t know if I’m qualified to write such a pots Cat! My freezer isn’t that organized. I have a pretty good memory, so I catalog what’s in there in my head and then dig for it when I need it! 🙂
Nina Candler says
check out this website for some great organizing tips, even fridge and freezer!
Awesome tips. Love it. definitely trying the garlic!
Thank you for the great job on sharing your FREEZEeee stuff!!! 🙂
Have a wonderful day!
You’re welcome! Thanks Gilvana!
Silicone muffin cups are my biggest freezer trick. Beans and broth really do well. The muffin or cup cake cups are 1/2 or 1/4cp each. Canned beans are 1 1/2 cup. I flash freeze in the cups, remove from the cups (peels of sooo easy in silicone) and bag them. For breastmilk I have used Lanosh, Medela, plantex drop-ins and ice cube trays. While my oldest was in the NICU and I was doing ALOT of pumping (5.5 mo) I preferred the Lanoish. We had a box that they would fit in standing up. We would lay the fresh one flat on the lid and put the previous pumping (now frozen flat) in the box. I ended up with over a 9cuft freezer worth (we had to start putting it in my mom’s!)
Now that I am nursing my youngest I pump MUCH less… I prefer an ice cube tray. I pour my excess (I separate 2oz to put in a cup for my oldest for the antibodies) into a few holes and then pop them out later to put in a freezer bag. Each cube is about 1oz.
I also freeze ground chuck in “patties”. We use a palm sized round cookie cutter. We just put the cutter on the tray, pack it full of meat and remove the cutter, repeat until the tray is full of meat disks and flash freeze. Then we will bag up the disks. Works great for portion control (1disk per adult) or go right to the grill for burgers!
We dry onions, garlic (braided) and herbs(hang them upside down) from our garden but I do like having pre-chopped onions and peppers in my freezer.
We also buy chicken in bulk from a local producer. We flash freeze the breasts and tenders as well. 🙂
Wow Krysta! That’s a lot of Momma milk!! The silicone muffin cups and the meat patties are great tips! Thanks for sharing your wisdom!
Lauren Feigel says
Can you freeze cartons of milk? I only use organic milk and it’s sold in cartons generally.
Thank you 😀
Sorry for the slow reply Lauren. Freezing milk in cartons works just fine!
How do you flash freeze stuff? We haven’t had good experiences with yogurt being frozen, the texture is off when you thaw it, but I think it probably goes fine in smoothies.
To flash freeze, I lay whatever it is out on a cookie sheet in a thin layer, so everything is just minimally touching. Then after an hour or two (or more if I forget) I take the tray out of the freezer and use a spatula to put all the frozen food into a freezer bag. Sometimes I let it sit out for a couple of minutes if it’s hard to get off. Hope that helps!
Thanks for all the tips! We have two freezers and they are both well used. Just wanted to tell you that milk jugs are actually designed to expand with freezing so you shouldn’t have to take some out first. I try to keep two or three gallons in my freezer at all times. Thanks again!
I’ve heard that that’s what those round indentations in the sides of the jugs are for. We never used to take any milk out either and we only had a problem with one jug ever cracking at the seam (maybe it was overfilled).
Jayne L. Wells says
I have most of the items on the list in my freezer.
I put extra buttermilk in ice cube trays, froze it and repackaged it. Generally, I only need a small amount for a recipe and would waste the rest, now I’m all set.
I also, make extra blueberry/raspberry waffles and pancakes and freeze them for a quick toaster breakfast.
Buttermilk in cubes is a great idea! Homemade waffles in the toaster are great and sooo much cheaper (and yummier) than the store-bought ones.
how do you freeze sugar snap peas?
I just put them in freezer bags and add them to soup or stir-fry.
Hi, how does the onion go with its odour in the freezer/freezer bag? Does flash freezing it cause the onion odour to get into the plastic in the freezer?
I have got smells in there from cooling dinners in there, especially getting into the ice.
You have to be careful with onions. They’re powerful. I try to do my flash freezing quickly (like less than an hour) and not forget about them. I often double bag them when I take them off the tray. I generally haven’t had problems (just that one time there was an open ice cream container that tasted like onion ice cream (I was pregnant so it was extra awful). I keep my veggies and meats together in the freezer and keep the berries and fruits on the other side, which also helps (not having the bag of strawberries right next to the onions).
I always double bag onions. Even when they are in the fridge.
I freeze the big bags of walnuts and almonds from Costco and also, their big bag of dinner rolls and loves of whole wheat bread. I also save the butts of the loaves of bread in the freezer, until I have enough to make a batch of homemade breadcrumbs. I also make homemade babyfood and freeze them in ice cube trays to pop out as needed.
We do baby food in ice cube trays too! It’s the perfect serving size and is way cheaper than store-bought baby food. Freezing the heels of bread is a great idea! My kids and I are picky about the heels.
Maybe this explains my third baby’s large size, but my wife thought ice cube trays weren’t big enough for some types of food, so she tried freezing her homemade baby food in silicone muffin cups and/or muffin tray. The food doesn’t stick to the surface so it works great. The only problem is when a hungry husband comes along looking for a muffin in the freezer–and is disappointed to find a muffin-sized lump of squash.
Michele Brennan says
I buy the nacho cheese from big box store in the huge can, but of course can’t eat nachos everyday for 2 weeks! I started putting it into single serving sizes (8-10 oz) and freezing solid, then pop out into a freezer bag. When ready to eat – just heat in a microwave safe dish (DO NOT USE GLASS OR PLASTIC) in 1 minute intervals and stirring each time and it comes out perfect!!! Huge savings and great for a quick snack!
That’s a great idea Michele! That would be A LOT of nacho cheese to go through!
I freeze all my box cake mixes, flour, bag cookie mixes and seafood coverings.
My husband lived in Florida for a while and he said that it was pretty standard there to freeze anything with flour in it. I’ve never lived anywhere where it was required, but it’s nice to know that freezing will keep it fresh and bug-free!
thanks for the info. some of these were new to me like the eggs.
I’m glad it was helpful Trish. Thanks for dropping by!
Amanda R says
Love your list! I also will freeze my flour, if I’ve bought it in bulk in advance for the holiday season. One other thing I freeze is nuts. I will never leave a nut in the pantry. They go rancid fast, so keeping them in the freezer isn’t throwing away all the money I paid for them. Nuts are so expensive!
Nuts are expensive! I don’t use nuts very often, so I always keep them in the freezer, otherwise they would definitely go bad. They stay fresh for so long in the freezer. Just the other day I used some walnuts that I froze nearly 2 years ago and they were just fine!
Amy S. says
HI! I freeze flour. I also like to make broth, so I keep bags of chicken bones in my freezer until I am ready to make a big batch. Same thing with extra celery and carrots that might go bad from not being eaten; I just chop them up and stick them in the freezer until I am ready to make broth.
Yes! I love that the freezer allows you to do things on your schedule. Homemade broth is delicious!
I do the same thing, also with the stems from parsley and other herbs. All left over vegetables uncooked also goes in the freezer and gets used that way.
Whenever I use lemons I buy the organic ones and start with grating the zest, if I do not need it I just freeze it. If there is leftover juice it goes in the ice cube tray and is easy to use next time.
Have you ever tried to freeze boiled potatoes? Curious if they would be good for potato soup.
I’m not sure about boiled potatoes. From what I’ve heard, raw potatoes turn black, but people are saying that mashed potatoes work, so maybe the key is cooking them. Next time I’m cooking potatoes, I’ll give it a try and report back! 🙂
We buy candy on sale after all the holidays and freeze it. I have not found any of it that does not do well. Solid milk chocolate can be used in baking and the little snack sized Hersheys chocolates are perfect for smores! M& M’s and candy bars all do great. Cookies freeze great too so I bake ahead for holidays and pull out as needed. But I love to eat them frozen too.
I have frozen cookies and candy before, but it only extends its life a little for me because I know it’s in there and I lose all self-control! Chocolate goes fast around here! 🙂 One of my favorite frozen cookies is chocolate no-bake cookies. I prefer them frozen.
Ashley P says
I know the secret to freezing berries: dry ice! The thawed berries are still a bit softer than fresh, but not nearly anything like the “berry soup” you get with regular freezing. A little trick I picked up from TV chef Alton Brown. Instructions below:
Thanks for sharing Ashley! I had no idea that using dry ice would change the way berries freeze!
Whenever I get lots of garlic or get peppers for really cheap during harvest season, I roast them in the oven. The roasted peppers, once peeled can be frozen in small portions to add lots of flavour to recipes. Roasted garlic, I freeze in silicone ice trays, then transfer to freezer bags. I do the same with caramelized onions!
Thanks for the tip Katherine! I’ve never roasted peppers and garlic to freeze. Great idea!
I also freeze green and red pepper strips put in a bag with onion strips for quick fajita packs. Freezing hamburger in flat packs makes it thaw quicker. Also one thing my mom did to not waste food was to take that last spoonful or two of veggies from dinner dump the juice off and put it in a jar in the freezer. Once she had a jar or two full made a potpie, soup or stew using those veggies adding extras if needed.
I’ve saved leftover veggies for stew and soup, but pot pie is a great idea too! Fajita packs would be so convenient!
I froze two gallons of milk and put them in an ice chest for our camping trip it kept everything cold the entire 4 days. No need to buy bags of ice and nothing got soggy. I froze the gallons with out even opening the jugs, they where fine, just a little blotted.
That’s awesome Rachel! When I was a kid we never opened the milk either. As an adult, we had one of the gallons break at the seam when it was expanding in the freezer, but that was probably a random jug the was overfilled a tiny bit.
I. Arlyin says
When on sale, I buy lots of carrots. I wash them, cut off the ends. I scrape the peeling off, cook them, then puree them. I use them to make ” Pumpkin” pies with. No one knows that they are carrot pies, not actual Pumpkin pies. I’ve been doing this for years. Thank You for all the advice on things that can be frozen, I had No idea.
That’s amazing that you can get away with that! I guess as long as the spices are there and the color is right, our minds can be fooled!
I love this… in addition to being a great way for folks to get some veggies, it’s pretty genius, and hilarious!
Great list! I freeze most of these items but have never thought of garlic! Strange since I do freeze ginger root and fresh herbs. I will do it from now on though, thanks! I also freeze whipping cream, but I freeze some of it already whipped for quick toppings on pies, fruit, waffles, hot chocolate etc. After you have whipped it to hard peak stage put dollops on a cookie sheet (I line mine with parchment paper). Freeze until firm then transfer to a container.
That’s a great idea to freeze pre-whipped and dolloped cream! I bet that makes a quick and beautiful garnish!
Rich from FrugalityMagazine says
This is an awesome list Stephanie! I do a lot of freezing vegetables from our garden but I don’t freeze a lot of the other items mentioned. Now I know, I can start to use my freezer even more; it’s currently my favorite way of preserving and storing food and we now have *two* in our kitchen 🙂
That’s awesome that you have 2 freezers! In my experience, freezing is definitely the most time-efficient way of preserving, especially with a productive garden. Even though I end up canning a lot too, the freezer let’s me to it on my own schedule!
THANK YOU for the tip of shock freezing cut-up fruit on a tray! I have been freezing a bunch of fruit this summer and I now have difficulties getting them out of the bags easily (especially raspberries and blueberries). I will try that next time and see how it works.
Also, freezing food is good when you go on a trip. Whenever I go on a trip and can’t use up everything in my fridge, I throw the perishables in the freezer. When I get home I let them thaw and can use them easily again.
I do berries both ways actually. When I am lazy, I just put the berries into a bag. I use those for making jam, so I just thaw the whole bag at once. For smoothies (or anything else that needs less than a whole bag), I use the tray method.
Putting perishables in the freezer before going on a trip is a great way to prevent wasting food!
Freezing garlic is a new one to me, but I’m certainly going to try it. I actually bought garlic starts to plant, but then changed my mind thinking it’d be too difficult to store in Houston humidity before it was all used.
I always freeze flour, crackers, cereal, oatmeal, butter, chocolate chips, cheese, walnuts, and pecans, and when I found taco shells on sale for $.25 a dozen I froze several boxes of those too. You mentioned cookie dough, but I’d freeze cookies after I baked them. I always make a double batch, but didn’t want that many in the cookie jar at once. And, I found out by accident (when I was trying to hide a package from a certain 12-year-old) that we like Reese’s peanut butter cups a lot better frozen!
Oh Diane, you don’t know how good a frozen Reese’s pb cup sounds to me right now!!
Baked always sounds like a good idea, but they never make it to the freezer (and I can’t just blame the kids)! I learned the garlic trick from a college roommate. We grow our own garlic and store a year’s worth in the freezer. We keep nuts in the freezer too!
Myles Money says
Great suggestions. It’s always cheaper to buy in bulk and freezing leftover meals in conveniently-sized portions (chilli, pizza, etc.,) makes for an easy dinner when you come home after a busy day at work and you don’t feel like cooking.
Some foods don’t freeze too well though… strawberries, for example. Whatever method you use to defrost a strawberry, it’s always going to look like you’ve punched it 🙂
Freezing in dinner-sized portions is great! It’s like a TV dinner that is cheaper and healthier!
Strawberries do look pretty gross when they thaw all the way. They are perfect for smoothies though. Don’t thaw them, just toss them in frozen. I also chop them up while they’re still frozen and put them on my kids oatmeal to cool it off and give it flavor and color.
Nichole @Budget Loving Military Wife says
What a great list! Thank you for sharing! I had never thought of beans before, this will make it so much easier (and cheaper). Thanks so much!
My favorite is tomatoes! But berries are a close second! 🙂
Thanks Nichole! Freezing beans saves so much money, but the best part is not having that slimy liquid that comes in canned beans. I’m not sure what it is, a preservative of some sort, but it kinda grosses me out. 🙂
The liquid in cans of beans is just the water they’re cooked in- it’s gotten thick from all the starch leaching out as they’re cooked!
Thought you’d want to know. 🙂
Becky Miller says
I buy roasts when they are on sale often cheaper than the 80/20 ground beef. I have it run through the grinder twice for a leaner, better ground beef. When I get home I bag it into portions for what I plan to make and freeze! So much less grease comes out of your beef when you cook it with lean ground meat.
I have never ground my own meat before. That’s awesome that you can save money by getting roast at a cheaper price and you get leaner and better ground beef! Ground beef is so expensive these days!
I buy boneless chicken breast and thighs and grind them together and it’s way less expensive than hamburger or packaged ground chicken.
Becky Miller says
I grown a garden full of tomatoes to can my salsa and sauces with. How ever when they come on faster than I can work them up freezing is a wonderful option. I just wash them and place on trays in the freezer for working up later. They will peel without the blanching stage and then I can cut them up so easily for my salsa and other sauces. However my family is a big salsa eating bunch so I mostly make salsa. Its a great way to preserve my pepper from the garden too. I chop to the size I want and freeze. I recommended you double bag the peppers. the have a tendency to smell up the freezer!
Mmmm salsa sounds really good right now! Double bagging the peppers is a good idea. I would recommend that for onions too! 🙂
Love this blog! I’ve been freezing shredded cheese for years only to be told from a whole foods snob that “I would never freeze cheese” – ha! You can also freeze bacon and when you freeze breast milk, put it in those bottle-sized plastic wraps so they freeze flat, ditto with mashed potatoes. Great info. Thanks.
Well I guess the “snob” title is well-deserved! Freezing cheese is great! I’ll have to try mashed potatoes! I’ve frozen bacon raw in the package, but cooking it in bulk then freezing it would make it really convenient to use as bacon bits topping. I use these breastmilk storage bags and the’ve been wonderful!
You can buy most of these things frozen, so why couldn’t you freeze it yourself? Anyone ever buy frozen pizza? It has FROZEN cheese on it. I buy shredded cheese in bulk and freeze half for later. People who are ‘snobbish’ about it will just have to suffer wasting food or not buying in bulk.
Very true about the frozen cheese on pizza. We’ve all seen that and didn’t think twice about it! 🙂
I have frozen most of the items on your list. Not garlic though, will try soon. Other things that freeze well are chips and crackers. They stay crisp after thawing. Also I keep my flour in the freezer. Oh, dry dog food. I have a medium size dog, and a few weeks ago I had coupons to buy one bag get one free. Bought 4 bags and 3 went in the freezer. I enjoy reading your posts.
Thanks Betty! I’ve never tried chips or crackers. We eat them pretty fast around here! That would be great for single people though! We tear through flour as fast as I grind it, but my MIL puts any extra she grinds in the freezer. Congrats on getting a deal on dog food! We don’t have a dog, so I had no idea that there would be a need to freeze dog food! 🙂
Thorough information – thank you! I have tried milk and even after shaking a good thaw it was yuckie and wasted down the drain. I wonder if it has anything to do with what % milk you use. You did give me several new ideas to try though. Thanks!
That’s so strange that milk didn’t work out for you. We usually buy skim milk, but we used to buy 2% and it worked out fine too.
I’ve been freezing raw milk. It’s definitely different when thawed (I thaw it in a sink of cold water as I’m not very patient). The fat separates and forms bright yellow dots. I’ve been using it in cheese and it’s been almost as good as fresh. Definitely good if I have an excess or am stockpiling so I have a guaranteed supply when I need it. I just freeze it in the plastic bottle. It expands enough for the milk not to leak out.
Hi Janet – I realize this post is 2 years old now, but I thought I’d try for a response anyway. I’ve just gotten a surplus of raw milk, buttermilk, heavy cream, cottage cheese, greek yogurt and half and half, in addition to some egg nog. Everything is in glass except for the buttermilk. Do I need to transfer everything that’s in glass to plastic or other containers before freezing?
Erin @ Journey to Saving says
Great resource here! I knew about a few of these, but hadn’t thought of others (like pasta or shredded cheese). Thanks for enlightening us!
Thanks Erin! Pasta was a surprise for me too. My MIL was helping with a big dinner once and that’s where she learned the trick and passed it along to me.
Curious Q says
How do you thaw and then use the frozen pasta? I have frozen celery, onions, bell peppers, cheese, nuts, coconut, and chocolate chips for years though.
I just cook it, drain it well, and stick it in a freezer bag. When it’s time to eat, I pull it out and warm it up on the stove. Rather than adding water to keep it from burning, I just add the sauce directly to the pasta pot and warm it up in its own sauce.
I’ve used the microwave as well. That can sometimes dry out parts of the exposed pasta and leave the unexposed pasta a little starchy, so I prefer the stove, but in a pinch, the microwave works.
I’m glad you commented that berries and melon will be somewhat mushy when thawed. The texture is definitely changed and you have to be careful to use them in something where the texture isn’t important, such as your suggested smoothies. I will disagree with you, however, on freezing milk. I’ve tried it and found that it simply doesn’t reconstitute to the same as before it was frozen. Yes, I shook it vigorously but it just didn’t work out well.
Pretty much any fruits or veggies work well in smoothies since texture doesn’t matter. 🙂 That’s sad that milk hasn’t worked out for you. I have done it for decades without problems.
now i love freezing milk but i cant drink after it’s been frozen it taste water down to me but i still use it on my cereal and in baking and cooking 🙂
If I drink it before it’s totally thawed, then it does taste watered down because the watery part is the first to thaw. If I wait until it’s all thawed and then shake it up really well, we don’t have a problem. That’s great that you still like it on cereal and for cooking though, even if you don’t like it by the glass! 🙂
diane @smartmoneysimplelife says
Maybe it depends on the type of milk? I have always frozen milk as I can never get through a carton before it turns into yoghurt – yucky yoghurt! I use full cream unhomogenised milk and it always thaws brilliantly. Also, I buy the freshest cartons on the shelf (from the back) and divide them as soon as I get home so perhaps it’s also about the freshness of the milk?
Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving says
My parents gave us an upright full freezer for our wedding. Best wedding present ever because my freezer is always stocked! I freeze almost everything you mentioned, in addition to chocolate chips. I find they keep fresher that way. Cheese, chocolate chips and butter. You’ll always find these items in my freezer! I also like to dice my onions ahead of time and then I divide them into onion bundles and freeze them that way so I only pull out one onion bundle at a time when I need to cook. It’s simple and such a time saver!
Chocolate chips are a staple in my house! 🙂 We freeze them when I buy them in bulk around the holidays. I found a great sale on natural peanut butter chips and I keep those in the freezer so the peanut butter doesn’t go rancid. Thanks for sharing Kristen!
diane @smartmoneysimplelife says
I freeze chocolate chips, too. Sometimes it’s the only way to ensure they are still around when I need them. The freezer really is ‘outta sight, outta mind’!
I keep buying chocolate chips so that I will have some when the mood strikes to bake something. But my husband and daughter keep snacking on them! I am going to stash a couple recipes worth in the freezer! Then everyone will be happy!
Thank you so much for mentioning that, it never crossed my mind.
Yes, goodies like chocolate chips seem to “disappear “ from my freezer too, so I have learned how to hide them. Put them in an empty bag from frozen vegetables, or put them in an opaque bag (like a gray plastic bag from Walmart) and then slip that inside an empty bread bag. Most scavengers won’t investigate that thoroughly! 🙂
Thank you for this!! I am a freezing novice!! I am finding a lot of great resources about how and what to freeze, but I can’t find anything on how to thaw/use the items. For example, if I buy and freeze butter, how do I thaw it? How quickly do I have to use it after it has thawed? I have a big freezer full of things I don’t know how to use!! HELP!
Frozen butter thaws just fine in the fridge or on the counter. The consistency doesn’t change at all, so you just use it like you normally would. There is no hurry to use it. Butter lasts a long time!
The only time there is a rush to use something that was frozen and thawed is if it was put in the freezer close to the expiration date. If I have an extra half gallon or gallon of milk that I can see we aren’t going to get through before the date, I will freeze is. Use a sharpie and write “Frozen x/x/xx” write next to the expiration date so you can see the date difference and know how long you have to use it. When it thaws, it becomes the product it was on the date it was frozen.
I found 3 pound packages of Lil Smokies at Grocery Outlet for $2.99 a week before their “use by” date. I bought several packages, divided them into smaller portions in freezer bags, and just use them straight out of the freezer. While a food is frozen, time freezes and the food doesn’t advance toward the “use by” date. In fact, often on meat packages it will say “use or freeze by” to teach consumers that freezing the product freezes the package date.
You can find estimates on how long things last in the freezer, but they are all very conservative in my opinion. I’m still using strawberries and apricots that I froze two years ago and they are just fine. If you have a deep freeze at 0 degrees, things will last for much, much longer.
Hope that helps a bit!
I seriously had no idea you could freeze milk! That is awesome because we buy milk from Costco and normally get through both gallons but not always. Do you have an estimate for how long it takes to thaw a gallon in the fridge? Is it just a day or maybe more?
We have a peach tree in our yard and so I often blanch the peaches, remove the skin (it’s really easy after blanching), then slice and freeze for smoothies or cottage cheese toppings. Hmmm…that gives me an idea in going to try freezing cottage cheese which I buy in bulk and eat instead of ice cream.
I usually thaw it in the sink and it takes less than a day. It thaws from the outside in of course, so the core is cold enough to keep the thawed milk on the outside cold. Whenever I’m in the kitchen I just give it a shake. Thawing in the fridge takes a long time.
I haven’t tried freezing cottage cheese, let me know how it turns out!
Jeannine R says
I like thawing milk (and all kinds of other things too, like the burger chubs from Costco) in a big pot of clean water. I like to put the lid on top of the milk/pot to make a bit of a “refrigerated” space. The milk takes close to half a day, the burger chub less than an hour usually!
Cooked rice freezes rather nice as well. You might add a little water when you reheat it though.
That’s a great tip on thawing Jeannine! We’ve frozen cooked rice too when we make too much. I usually add it to a soup when I use it and it works well.
I just pour boiling water through it (when the rice is in a sieve) to reheat it. Give it a good bang to get rid of the excess water and it’s good to go.
Cauliflower rice freezes well too
Wowzers – that’s a lot of freezing. I like freezing bananas and making “ice cream” with them and some almond milk.
Our freezer just went out on us – lost gallons of raspberries we’d picked from our yard, frozen dinners my sister made on my maternity leave, and all my breastmilk 🙁
Breastmilk! I need to add that. I don’t have a baby right now, but when I did I always had a supply of Mama milk in the freezer.
I’m so sorry your freezer went out! So so sad!!
Becky Miller says
Oh my breast milk. That’s like liquid gold! I am sure the saying don’t cry over split milk came from a man who had never just lost precious pumped breast milk! So sorry that you lost your breast milk along with your other foods. My daughter just returned from a trip that she ended up having to dump out her pumped breast milk because the people she had planned to donate it too couldn’t meet up with her! It was so sad for her. Her fellow co-workers had to console her with the reason why she was pumping anyway, so she could continue to breast feed when she got back to her sweet daughter.
So true! Breastmilk is definitely worth crying over! That would be so sad for your daughter to see her precious milk go down the drain!